Barnsley suffered a humiliating 2-0 home loss to their fellow relegation-battlers Peterborough United and moved closer to the impending relegation as they are 11 points from safety with four games to play.

The visitors took the lead midway through the first half then scored again late on, with the Reds starting both halves well and creating chances before conceding poor goals and fading badly. Overall, the hosts were extremely disappointing a must-win game.

Fourth-bottom Reading would have relegated Barnsley if they won but came from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 with Swansea City.

The last-placed Reds now have to win all four of their remaining games and hope that Reading pick up one or zero points from their final three games, while Barnsley also must overtake Posh.

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The only change from Friday’s draw at Swansea saw Callum Styles come in for Matty Wolfe as the Reds reverted from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1.

Domingos Quina hit the crossbar after only 40 seconds, letting fly from just outside the box following good work by Carlton Morris on the left wing.

Romal Palmer headed Amine Bassi’s right-wing corner into the ground and saw it easily saved by goalkeeper David Corner then, at the other end, Jack Marriott was played into space on the left of the Reds’ box but shot over from about 15 yards.

Palmer had another chance in the 11th minute when he controlled Remy Vita’s low left-wing cross well but his eight-yard shot was too close to the goalkeeper who pushed it clear. That came after a good move involving passes by all the attacking midfielders Callum Styles, Bassi and Quina.

Bassi’s deep free-kick was then impressively headed by Morris 15 yards out towards the top right corner but Cornell pushed it over.

Posh almost took the lead in the 19th minute when an excellent Marriott pass played in Joe Ward on the right of the box with only Jack Walton to beat but the angle was tight and his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper.

The visitors did score in the 25th minute. Palmer lost a tackle when trying to win a loose ball just inside the Barnsley half and Callum Brittain sprinted out of position to win a ball he could not get to, leaving the left side of the home box free for Sammie Szmodics to play Marriott into and he netted with a good one-on-one finish.

Bassi and Styles then had low shots from outside the box which were weak and straight at Cornell before Morris saw a shot blocked in the box by Frankie Kent. But Barnsley were flat for the rest of the first half after conceding.

Woodrow came on at half-time for Vita as Barnsley reverted to 3–4-1-2 with Brittain on the right of the back three while Styles and Quina were wing-backs and Bassi just behind the front two of Woodrow and Morris.

The Reds came close to a leveller in the 49th minute when Woodrow’s excellent pass found Styles who beat one defender in the box but saw his shot blocked by another then it rolled to Morris who was denied from close range by Cornell. The follow-up corner was turned towards his own goal by a defender but cleared off the line by another.

Posh could have gone 2-0 up when Kwame Poku played in Szmodics in the box but Walton just got there ahead of him.

Woodrow almost levelled when Bassi played a clever low free-kick to him from the right wing but his 12-yard shot through a crowd of bodies was straight at Cornell.

It was 2-0 on 76 minutes when Jack Taylor headed Harrison Burrows’ left-wing corner into the bottom right corner.

Morris missed golden chance for 2-1 on 83 minutes when Ronnie Edwards inexplicably headed a Brittain cross straight to him but, after beating a defender, he blazed over from five yards out with a corner given for a touch by the goalkeeper.

Barnsley (4-2-3-1): Walton, mark out of ten: 7; Brittain 7, Andersen 7, Kitching 7, Vita 6 (Woodrow HT, 7); Gomes 5, Palmer 5 (Wolfe 77mins); Styles 5 (Adeboyejo 80), Bassi 7, Quina 6; Morris 6. Unused: Jinadu, Iseka, Moon, Hondermarck.

Peterborough (3-5-2): Cornell; Edwards, Kent, Knight; Ward (Poku HT), Taylor, Fuchs, Szmodics, Burrows; Clarke-Harris, Marriott (Jade-Jones 65). Unused: Blackmore, Beevers, Brown, Poku, Mumba, Randall.

Yellow cards: Poku, Marriott. Goals: Marriott 25, Taylor 75.

AS IT HAPPENED
  • GAME UNDERWAY
  • 3:03pm
    1 Quina hits the crossbar after 40 seconds! Great work by Morris on the left, he gets into the box and beats a defender then passes back to Quina whose effort from about 22 yards cannons off the bar
  • 3:06pm
    Really bright start by the hosts. Now Palmer heads Bassi's corner from the right but it's into the ground and easily caught by Cornell
  • 3:08pm
    7 First chance for the visitors. Jack Marriott is put in on the right, cuts back and shoots over from about 15 yards
  • 3:10pm
    An action packed start to the game then. Pretty end to end but Barnsley have started the better overall
  • 3:12pm
    11 Another chance for Palmer. After a decent move involving Styles, Bassi and Quina, Vita crosses low from the left and Palmer takes it well in his stride and shoots from about seven yards but it is too close to Cornell who saves.
  • 3:13pm
    Update from elsewhere. Reading took the lead against Swansea but are 2-1 down already
  • 3:16pm
    So Barnsley have hit the bar and had two half chances for Palmer in the first quarter of an hour. They look dangerous, getting players wide on the overlap in space regularly
  • 3:18pm
    16 Another Barnsley chance. A free-kick from the right is headed by Morris 15 yards out and destined for the top corner until Cornell pushes it over,
  • 3:20pm
    19 Big chance for Posh now. Fantastic pass by Marriott plays in Joe Ward on the right and he is one on one with Walton but the angle is tight, he shoots straight at the goalkeeper who blocks. That's six close calls at either end already
  • 3:24pm
    A pretty entertaining first quarter of the game despite the goalless scoreline., Both sides will one ruing missed chances. Posh's have come on the break and Barnsley's as a result of pretty regular pressure
  • 3:26pm
    GOAL!
    Jack Marriott puts the visitors in front
  • 3:28pm
    Both Palmer and Brittain lose tackles in the middle and it opens up for Szmodics to play Marriott in on the left and beat Walton
  • 3:30pm
    Barnsley have lost the last 12 times they have fallen behind.
  • 3:31pm
    Bassi's corner on the left is headed out
  • 3:33pm
    32 Bassi now shoots on the volley from about 22 yards but it lacks power and is straight at Cornell who saves easily
  • 3:34pm
    33 Styles now shoots from just outside the box but again it is weak and straight as Cornell
  • 3:37pm
    36 Posh free-kick on the right, caught by Walton
  • 3:38pm
    36 Barnsley counter from the free-kick and Bassi's cross from the left is touched by Palmer and falls to Morris who turns in the box and his 12-yard shot blocked by Frankie Kent
  • 3:45pm
    All gone pretty flat for Barnsley now. Those early misses and the away goal seem to have taken away that edge they had at the start when they were regularly putting in dangerous balls and getting men over in space on the wings.
  • 3:46pm
    Approaching the final minutes of the half. A goal now would be huge for Barnsley but a vital team talk is also required
  • 3:46pm
    Two added minutes
  • 3:49pm
    Swansea 3-1 up at Reading
  • 3:49pm
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0, Peterborough 1. The Reds started brightly but could not take their early chances and conceded in the 25th minute
  • 4:05pm
    Cauley Woodrow on for Vita
  • 4:06pm
    SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
  • 4:09pm
    49 Good move Barnsley,. Woodrow plays a wonderful pass to put Styles in the clear and a defender blocks then the goalkeeper foils Morris.
  • 4:11pm
    The corner is then turned towards his own goal by Fuchs but cleared off the line
  • 4:11pm
    Barnsley so close to a leveller there
  • 4:12pm
    YELLOW CARD
    Half-time substitute Kwame Poku booked after clipping Palmer who had brilliantly skipped past him and was running towards the Posh box
  • 4:13pm
    53 Styles curls the free-kick well over
  • 4:15pm
    55 Chance for Posh. Poku plays in Sammie Szmodics is the box but `Walton just gets there ahead of him to smother the ball
  • 4:20pm
    The match has calmed down a little bit since that frantic start to the second half. Barnsley do look more threatening than at the end of the first though
  • 4:23pm
    62 Bassi free-kick on the right is played low and cleverly to Woodrow who shoots 12 yards out but it is straight at Cornell who catches easily. Good idea
  • 4:26pm
    Posh bring on Ricky Jade Jones for goal scorer Marriott
  • 4:27pm
    67 Good burst forward by Palmer, not for the first time, but it runs to Morris who takes a poor touch and loses the ball, also not for the first time
  • 4:30pm
    Approaching last 20 minutes. Barnsley have looked more dangerous going forward this half but you'd hope so against the worst defence in the division when you desperately need to win.
  • 4:33pm
    Reading are 4-3 down at home to Swansea with 20 minutes left. If they somehow win and this score stays the same, Barnsley are down
  • 4:35pm
    Frankie Kent heads in Burrows' corner
  • 4:36pm
    Pretty much a free header. I think he got between Andersen and Morris.
  • 4:39pm
    Wolfe came on for Palmer just after the goal. Another puzzling change if you are trying to get back into this game
  • 4:40pm
    Addeboyejo on for Styles
  • 4:40pm
    Posh bring Joel Randall on for Jonson Clarke-Harris
  • 4:45pm
    Extraordinary miss by Morris. A defender heads the ball straight to him, he beats another then blazes over with the goal gaping, apparently via a slight touch from the goalkeeper. Chief executive Khaled El-Ahmad storms out of the directors box and down the stairs in disgust
  • 4:47pm
    87 Poku shoots wide with a low 25-yard effort
  • 4:48pm
    88 Kitching's 25-yard effort deflected behind for a corner
  • 4:49pm
    89 The corner leads to some head tennis then Andersen nods it down tamely and the goalkeeper gathers
  • 4:50pm
    90 Now Quina blasts over from long range. This is what the hosts have been reduced to
  • 4:52pm
    Reading still losing 4-3 so Barnsley will not go down as it stands but this is a terrible day yet again for the Reds
  • 4:55pm
    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 0, Peterborough 2. A terrible result and, for the most part, performance from the Reds against their fellow strugglers