Barnsley lost 2-0 at Preston North End in their final away game of the Championship league season.
The hosts netted either side of half-time from a corner and long throw. It was an even game overall but Barnsley will be disappointed with the goals they let in and their start to the second half while, having been confirmed in the play-offs, they lacked their usual intensity.
The Reds are now sixth in the table, with one match to play at home to Norwich City next Saturday. After Brentford and Swansea won but Bournemouth lost at Wycombe, Barnsley can no long finish third and would require a huge goal difference swing to claim fourth place, so they look likely to compete with Bournemouth for fifth or sixth.
Valerien Ismael made two changes from the side that beat Rotherham United a week earlier. Romal Palmer and Conor Chaplin came in for Aapo Halme and Carlton Morris.
Chaplin should have opened the scoring in the ninth minute but, after Daryl Dike easily beat Jordan Storey to a long ball and Cauley Woodrow ran down the left side of the box then crossed low, the unmarked forward sliced badly wide of the bottom right corner from ten yards out.
There was a chance at the other end seconds later as Ryan Ledson's left-wing corner was headed wide from four yards out at the back post by Storey.
The Reds then had a good spell of pressure without creating another chance but almost fell behind on 29 minutes when Tom Barkuizen's long throw was flicked on to Sepp van den Berg whose five-yard shot on the left was blocked by the chest of Brad Collins.
Dike then headed wide a difficult headed chance from 15 yards out after meeting a cross by Callum Brittain. Barnsley's first shot on target arrived in the 36th minute when Dike flicked on Brittain's long throw and Michal Helik's overhead kick was caught by Daniel Iversen diving to his left.
The hosts took the lead in the 39th minute when a right-wing corner appeared to be headed towards goal by a Barnsley man then, after ex-Red Liam Lindsay was denied, Storey fired in from close range.
Ismael made a triple change at the break, with Morris, Toby Sibbick, and Jasper Moon coming on for Chaplin, Palmer and Michael Sollbauer. Moon, a 20-year-old who usually plays in central defence and was making just his second Barnsley appearance, played in central midfield for the second half.
The hosts doubled their lead five minutes after the interval as a long throw was flicked on and Ched Evans nipped in between Collins and a defender to tap home.
Mads Andersen headed over a right-wing Alex Mowatt corner eight yards out midway through the second half. Then Dike looked certain to score after substitute Victor Adeboyejo's bicycle kick from a Brittain cross fell to him six yards out but his shot was deflected wide.
Moon almost scored his first professional goal after a left-wing Mowatt free-kick dropped to him eight yards out but his low shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
Preston team (3-5-2): Iversen, Lindsay, Storey, Hughes; van den Berg, Whiteman (Potts 82mins), Ledson, Browne, Cunningham; Barkhuizen (Riis Jakobsen 70mins), Evans (Bayliss 90+2). Unused: Hudson, Molumby, Huntingdon, Maguire, Sinclair, Potts, Gordon. Goals: Storey 39, Evans 50.
Barnsley (3-4-3): Collins; Sollbauer (Sibbick HT), Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Mowatt, Palmer (Moon HT), Styles (Williams 84mins); Chaplin (Morris HT), Dike, Woodrow (Adeboyejo 64). Unused: Walton, Halme, Thompson, Oduor.
Yellow cards: Helik. AS IT HAPPENED
  • 3:01pm
    1 Romal Palmer takes kick-off, Barnsley play a long ball straight away which is cleared
  • 3:01pm
    There is fake crowd noise being played loudly at Deepdale. It could be the final time Barnsley are ever subjected to it if fans return for the play-offs then next season, as planned
  • 3:02pm
    2 Preston win a corner on the right after a decent move. Sepp van der Berg's cross is blocked
  • 3:03pm
    3 Preston corner on the right is played short then the cross is blocked by Chaplin for a throw
  • 3:04pm
    4 The long throw is headed up in his own six yard box by Dike who seems to play keepie uppies with it before conceding another corner, which is cleared easily
  • 3:05pm
    Five minutes gone and Preston have had most of the ball. They are yet to do anything meaningful with it as a succession of set pieces were all easily cleared
  • 3:06pm
    6 Barnsley opened up by a kick from the goalkeeper Iversen which finds Greg Cunningham on the left of the box and his low cross is put behind by Helik for a corner
  • 3:07pm
    7 Dike heads away the corner at his near post, Barnsley counter with Chaplin finding Styles in the Preston half but he takes a heavy touch and is tackled
  • 3:08pm
    8 Barnsley attacking more now, Dike powers past Lindsay in the Preston box but his touch is just too powerful and the goalkeeper claims
  • 3:09pm
    9 The first big chance of the game falls to Conor Chaplin. Dike once again holds the ball up well and finds Woodrow who advances down the left of the box and squares to Chaplin who is in space 12 yards out but slices badly wide of the bottom right corner
  • 3:09pm
    Chaplin applauds his team-mates after a fine move featuring the front three but it is just not happening for him in front of goal
  • 3:11pm
    11 Preston corner on the left. Ledson takes and Storey heads wide at the back post from four yards out at a difficult angle. Good chance for the hosts
  • 3:15pm
    So one decent chance each in the first 15 minutes, although Barnsley's was best with Conor Chaplin wasting a very good opportunity to net his first goal since Brentford away in February
  • 3:16pm
    16 Daryl Dike – who has looked very alert and dangerous so far – blocks the goalkeeper Iversen's kick on the edge of the home box and it goes out for a throw to Preston
  • 3:19pm
    Barnsley having a decent spell here, their pressing is forcing Preston into a few sliced clearances at the back
  • 3:21pm
    20 A decent Barnsley move involving Sollbauer's pass to Woodrow in the box then sees Brittain's cross cleared before Chaplin volleys from 20 yards into the ground but the goalkeeper runs to the left of his net to collect easily.
  • 3:22pm
    Conor Chaplin is down injured now
  • 3:23pm
    Barnsley's number 11 was clutching his right angle and is in pain but is up now and looks set to continue
  • 3:23pm
    24 Brittain's long throw on the right is flicked on by both Dike then Helik but eventually cleared
  • 3:24pm
    Midway through the first half and Barnsley are just edging this. They have had the best chance of a fairly quiet game and look the more lively and dangerous of the two sides
  • 3:28pm
    28 A big chance for the hosts. Barkuizen's long throw is flicked on and Sepp van der Berg meets it five yards out on the left of the six yard box but his shot is straight into Collins' chest
  • 3:29pm
    That's the first shot on target of the game and could be a wake up call for the visitors who have had a good spell without scoring
  • 3:30pm
    30 Dike now heads Brittain's cross well over. It was a difficult chance for the American who, about 15 yards out, really had to arch his neck back
  • 3:32pm
    32 Another Barkuizen long throw is headed out by Dike then cleared by Chaplin and Mowatt
  • 3:35pm
    Brad Collins and Michael Sollbauer both shouting words of encouragement at the Reds. They want a strong finish to the half
  • 3:35pm
    35 A lovely back heel by Woodrow puts Chaplin into the box on the right but his cross is cleared
  • 3:35pm
    36 Barnsley's first shot on target is an overhead kick by Michal Helik which forces Iversen to spring to his left and catch after Dike flicked on Brittain's long throw
  • 3:39pm
    Jordan Storey sweeps in after Barnsley do not clear a left-wing corner
  • 3:40pm
    Poor defending by the Reds from the corner. A Barnsley defender looked to head it towards his own goal where it was blocked by Storey fired in
  • 3:40pm
    41 Mowatt's free-kick on the right is blocked
  • 3:44pm
    The Reds will be disappointed with that goal which they should have cleared. They have improved so much on defensively set pieces recently but that was poor
  • 3:44pm
    We're in the final minute of the first half. Can the visitors respond?
  • 3:45pm
    Michal Helik the first name in the book after he heads the ball straight to Ched Evans then brings down the Preston man
  • 3:46pm
    HALF-TIME: Preston 1, Barnsley 0. The Reds have had their chances in an even game but conceded a poor goal from a set piece
  • 4:02pm
    It looks as though Moon, Sibbick and Morris are all coming on for the Reds
  • 4:03pm
    Jasper Moon, Toby Sibbick and Carlton Morris are replacing Michael Sollbauer, Toby Sibbick and Conor Chaplin
  • 4:04pm
  • 4:04pm
    Jasper Moon, a 20-year-old centre-back who is making his second professional appearance, is playing in central midfield with Alex Mowatt
  • 4:05pm
    Sibbick has gone to right centre-back with Morris on the left of the front three
  • 4:05pm
    Sollbauer won a lot of headers in the first half but did struggle for pace against Tom Barkuizen at times
  • 4:06pm
    Palmer can have no complaints at being taken off after completing just two passes in the first half
  • 4:06pm
    Chaplin missed a big chance early on and Morris is on much better form in front of goal
  • 4:08pm
    Ched Evans doubles the lead
  • 4:09pm
    A long throw is flicked on then Evans gets between the defence and Collins to tap home
  • 4:10pm
    A terrible start to the second half for the Reds and another goal from a set play, which is very out of character
  • 4:15pm
    56 Another Preston long throw is headed by Dike then eventually cleared. The visitors haven't got going after the break
  • 4:17pm
    58 Dike again clears a long throw. He's been dominant in the air in his box but the hosts must get him more involved at the other end
  • 4:19pm
    60 Mowatt's free-kick is flicked on then cleared by Sepp van den Berg
  • 4:21pm
    Barnsley have had a decent spell in the last few minutes, with a few crosses into the box
  • 4:22pm
    Cauley Woodrow is replaced by Victor Adeboyejo, who scored the winner in the reverse fixture
  • 4:23pm
    Woodrow had a decent first half but has faded after the break like most of his team-mates
  • 4:25pm
    66 Barnsley have the ball in the Preston box but none of Adeboyejo, Dike and Morris can get a shot in and eventually the Reds pass all the way back to Collins in goal
  • 4:27pm
    68 Andersen heads over a left-wing Mowatt corner. Decent chance for the Reds, about eight yards out
  • 4:28pm
    Preston's first change. Tom Barkhuizen is replaced by Emil Riis
  • 4:30pm
    72 Big chance for the visitors. A Callum Brittain cross is volleyed by Adeboyejo, blocked and then falls to Dike six yards out but his shot is deflected wide
  • 4:31pm
    73 One corner headed behind for another
  • 4:32pm
    73 Mowatt's right corner looks to be headed towards goal by one defender then blocked by another
  • 4:32pm
    This is by far Barnsley's best spell for the second half, but can they find a way back into the game?
  • 4:34pm
    76 Mowatt's left-wing corner is headed out to Styles who lofts it back in and the goalkeeper Iversen drops the ball then gathers
  • 4:38pm
    Approaching the final ten minutes here. Barnsley have been much better in the last 20 minutes or so. Can they finish strongly and at least take some positives, if not a point, from this afternoon?
  • 4:40pm
    Preston bring on former Barnsley man Brad Potts for Ben Whiteman
  • 4:42pm
    Callum Styles is replaced by Jordan Williams
  • 4:43pm
    85 Jasper Moon comes close to his first professional goal as a left-wing Mowatt free-kick drops to him ten yards out but his low shot is straight at the goalkeeper
  • 4:49pm
    Four added minutes
  • 4:49pm
    This has been an even game overall but Barnsley will be disappointed with the goals they let in and their start to the second half while, having been confirmed in the play-offs, they have lacked their usual intensity.
  • 4:53pm
    FULL-TIME: Preston 2, Barnsley 0.