On a balmy bank holiday Monday, my daughter and I were 2 of over 70,000 people who made the pilgrimage from South Yorkshire down to Wembley, our hopes high and nerves jangling.

Walking up Wembley Way, the atmosphere was electric, with a sprinkling of gentle and good-natured banter between local rivals, all underpinned by a quiet tension and knowledge of the enormity of the match ahead.

That tension didn’t go away.

After a cagey first half, Barnsley started on the front foot. With the fans in full voice and the team starting to dictate play, two huge decisions changed the game entirely.

Firstly, what seemed like a stonewall penalty, at least from where I was sitting, was missed by the referee, shortly followed by a soft red card for Adam Phillips. Both decisions have been widely criticised subsequently.

Many clubs would have folded under this sort of pressure. Many fans would have lost hope when it seemed the odds were stacked against them. Not our fans. From that point on the Barnsley supporters were incredible, lifting the team and driving them forward.

To lose in the way we did was heart-breaking and not what the lads on the pitch, or the tens of thousands of Reds in the stands deserved but the club is building something special and long lasting - not least with our title winning U18s, led by the legendary Bobby Hassell - and we all have to make sure that this set back becomes nothing more than a footnote in history on the road to success.

The togetherness, both on and off the pitch showed just how far the club has come this season.

The unrelenting hard work of Julie Anne, Neerav and Jean, along with Khaled and team, has repaired the damaged bond between the club and the town.

The transformation between a team with just 6 wins from 46 to one that has a distinctive and attractive style of play who only fell short of promotion in the final seconds of extra time has been truly special.

Promotion would have been the icing on the cake of a remarkable and transformative season for the Club and richly deserved for Barnsley fans but when the dust settles and the pain of such a cruel loss subsides, there are still many great things to celebrate.

It seems the club and our town has its mojo back - the fortunes of Barnsley FC and the borough of Barnsley are interwoven, when the club performs well, so too does the town, you only have to look at the buzzing atmosphere before the Bolton game to see what can be done when all parties work together.

However, as with any success story, there comes admiring glances and there is no doubt clubs with greater purchasing power will aim to poach our best talent in the months ahead.

The fans rightly expect, and deserve, that we now do not go backwards - that means retaining our best players and staff and continuing to improve the fan experience at Oakwell.

It will be by no means easy, with big clubs coming into League 1 but automatic promotion is a must next season and all of us can play our part in making that happen.

One club. One town. One goal.

You Reds!