BARNSLEY finished three places and ten points behind Walsall in the 2015/16 League One table but crushed them 6-1 on aggregate to set a new play-off semi-final record.
After an own goal in first half injury-time, Sam Winnall’s brace within two minutes made it 3-0 at Oakwell in the first leg, then Adam Hammill, Ashley Fletcher and Josh Brownhill secured a 3-1 away win.
Aidy White arrived in November when Barnsley were in the bottom three on an eight-game losing streak in the league while they had just lost in the FA Cup at non-league Altrincham. The left-back, who played in the first leg against Walsall, said: “It was amazing. We just went on a winning streak and we felt unbeatable. We were very confident and took that momentum with us then had players who produced in the big moments.
“We had a great team with players like Conor Hourihane, Alfie Mawson and Josh Brownhill who have all played in the Premier League.
“The atmosphere in that first leg was amazing and it was some spectacle to be part of. The fans really got behind us and we responded.
“We won 3-0. We knew it wasn’t job done but we were obviously really confident going into the second leg.”
White has gained promotion with Hearts in the Scottish Championship and hopes Barnsley also go up.
“They have been fantastic.
“It’s usually teams with massive budgets who have come down from the Premier League who are fighting for promotion. They are the underdogs but they can play with no pressure and hopefully they can cause an upset. I know Alex Mowatt, who has been brilliant for them, and a few of the staff members.
“I have really fond memories of my time there. We got promoted and had some good times then, after my contract finished, I did my rehab there and played for the under 23s to get my fitness back. It’s a proper people’s club. I hope they go up.”