Barnsley lost a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 draw at high-flying Peterborough United as 2023 ended with thriller.

The Reds raced two up through Herbie Kane and Devante Cole, both after forcing errors by pressing, but Jonson Clarke-Harris netted either side of half-time for 2-2.

It was a very entertaining game with plenty of chances at each end.

The Reds stay seventh in League One, now one point off the top six and five from second.

Owen Dodgson came into the side at left centre-back for the injured Jamie McCart while

Callum Styles replaced the benched Nicky Cadden at left wing-back. Peterborough started big striker Clarke-Harris in the league for the first time in more than two months.

Jordan Williams shot over from 15 yards in the first minute as Barnsley made a bright start. They pressed their hosts who tried to play out from the back and it paid off in the tenth minute when John McAtee tackled goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic in the box and the ball rolled to Kane 12 yards out to fire into the almost empty net for his sixth of the season.

Bilokapic claimed for a foul by McAtee and had to come off injured soon after.

Clarke-Harris then headed wide a right-wing cross as Posh had their first real chance on 25 minutes. Peter Kioso was inches away from what would have been a close-range tap-in after a blocked shoot looped into the air and went wide.

But Barnsley netted again when they won the ball deep in the Posh half as they had done regularly in the first 30 minutes. Corey O’Keeffe tackled Harrison Burrows in the left-back area and found McAtee who squared for Cole to fire high into the net five yards out for his 13th goal of the season.

Liam Roberts clawed out Josh Knight’s header from a left-wing corner then, at the other end, sub goalkeeper Talley dropped a free-kick but Mael de Gevigney could not get a shot off.

It was 2-1 in first half injury-time when, after Clarke-Harris headed a David Adiboye cross from the right, Roberts made a superb save but Williams appeared to slice the ball into his net when trying to hook off the line.

Kane almost made it 3-1 with a swerving 25-yard strike after a corner was saved then Phillips blazed the rebound over.

Joel Randall could have levelled on the stroke of half-time, going through after more poor defending but his low shot was saved by Roberts diving to his right.

Clarke-Harris made it 2-2 three minutes into the second half, heading home from close range after Burrows crossed from the left following a good move.

Barnsley were inches from going 3-2 up as, after Luca Connell played in Cole on the left, his low cross found O’Keeffe in yards of space at the back post but his powerful ten-yard shot hit the underside of the bar and bounced out.

Roberts saved easily his near post from Kwame Poku then, at the other end, Connell’s fine 20-yard effort was tipped around the post.

Peterborough thought they should have had a penalty when Connell slid in on Ephron Mason-Clark after a good run into the box but nothing was given.

Kane then saw a volley from the edge of the box blocked over the bar after a good cross by substitute Cadden.

Mason-Clark rattled the crossbar from the left of the box with a powerful 12-yard effort.

Cole saw a looping 20-yard effort easily saved then Roberts brilliantly came off his line to deny Ricky-Jade Jones who went clean through.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Roberts; Williams, de Gevigney, Dodgson; O’Keeffe (Lopata 66mins), Connell, Kane, Phillips (Cadden 66), Styles, Cole, McAtee (Watters 66).

Unused: Killip, Jalo, Cosgrove, Cotter.

Goals: Kane 10, Cole 31.

Peterborough (4-2-3-1): Bilokapic; Kioso, Edwards, Knight, Burrows; Katongo, Collins; Mason-Clark, Randall (Poku 55), Ajiboye, Clarke-Harris.

Unused: Talley, Crichlow, De Havilland, Kyprianou, Jones, Wakeling.

Goals: Clarke-Harris 45+2, 48.

  • 7:46pm
    As expected. it's a back three of Williams, de Gevigney and Dodgson
  • 7:46pm
    Williams has already had a shot from about 15 yards out just over the bar after Cole's cross was blocked
  • 7:49pm
    Pitch looks very soggy
  • 7:50pm
    Posh had a few attacks after that bright Barnsley start. but crosses cleared
  • 7:52pm
    Styles played in on left, powerful cross. touched by keeper. O'Keefe to Kane who dummies on edge of box and Connell's low 25-yard strike is blocked
  • 7:52pm
    Cole shot blocked for corner after a good move involving Phillips and Kane
  • 7:53pm
    8 Kane's corner scrambled out then Connell scuffs a 25 yard shot well well wide
  • 7:54pm
    David Ajiboye allowed to sprint about 50 yards up the pitch an d open Barnsley up but he overhits the pass to put Ephron Mason-Clark through and the offside flag tis uucp anyway
  • 7:55pm
    Herbie Kane opens the scoring after the goalkeeper loses the ball in the box
  • 7:57pm
    Posh have been passing the ball around their box all gamer very riskily. McAtee tackles goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic and it breaks for Kane to find the almost empty net from 15 yards. The goalkeeper is now down injured. posh think it was a foul. I thought fair tackle watching live
  • 7:58pm
    Goalkeeper carries on and game re-starts
  • 8:00pm
    That was Kane's sixth goal of the season. He has been really good on the attack recently
  • 8:02pm
    Posh not settled. They lose it again deep in their half a couple of times but manage to win it back
  • 8:04pm
    Nicholas Bilokapic the Posh goalkeeper is down again
  • 8:05pm
    Nicholas Bilokapic is coming off. Fynn Talley replaces him in goal
  • 8:09pm
    Cole and McAtee again win the ball high up the pitch but Cole's cross cannot find Kane
  • 8:10pm
    First chance for Posh. Jonson Clarke-Harris heads a right wing cross wide
  • 8:13pm
    Posh having more of the ball now and seem to have settled a bit
  • 8:15pm
    Chance for Posh. After a scramble, a shot is blocked and loops up high for Peter Kioso but he stretches and misses the ball just a few yards out
  • 8:17pm
    Devante Cole doubles the lead !
  • 8:18pm
    For the umpteenth time today, posh lose the ball deep in their half. This time it is O'Keefe who robs Burrows and squares to McAtee to set up Cole who fires high into the net from six yards for his 13th goal of the season. Big moment as Posh had had a better spell
  • 8:22pm
    Liam Roberts has to make h is first save. Clawing out a Josh Knight header from a corner
  • 8:23pm
    Posh win another corner on right. Crowd behind them,
  • 8:23pm
    Headed behind at near post for another corner
  • 8:23pm
    This time the corner floats onto the roof of the. net to the delight of the away fans who are noisy
  • 8:24pm
    Lovely O'Keeffe cross just over Cole's headed and nodded behind for corner
  • 8:25pm
    Kane corner on left. Caught by the goalkeeper
  • 8:26pm
    Free-kick. dropped by sub goalkeeper Fynn Talley and de Gevigney tries to get a shot away but it's good defending and he is outmuscled
  • 8:31pm
    Six added minutes this half
  • 8:32pm
    Jonson Clarke-Harris pulls one back
  • 8:33pm
    The expected danger man heads in after an attack down the right. Williams almost cleared off line but it went in
  • 8:35pm
    Nearly 3-1. A corner is cleared to Kane whose swerving effort is well saved then Phillips blazes over the rebound from 12 yards. out
  • 8:37pm
    Almost 2-2 now. AS defensive error sees Randall go clean through and he shoots towards the bottom left corner but Roberts saves well
  • 8:37pm
    HALF-TIME: Peterborough 1, Barnsley 2
  • 8:53pm
  • 8:55pm
    Jonson Clarke-Harris heads in a left-wing cross
  • 8:56pm
    decent move. Burrows played. in on the left and stands up a cross for Clarke-Harris who is very dominant in the air as expected and nods home a
  • 8:58pm
    The home. crowd and players are really whipped up now
  • 9:02pm
    Posh bring on Kwame Poku for Joel Randall
  • 9:03pm
    Barnsley have just calmed the game down a bit after the leveller. They need to reset, Still well in this
  • 9:04pm
    Wow. Barnsley so close to 3-2. O'Keeffe smashes a shot onto the underside of. bar and out after Cole played in by Connell on left and his low cross leaves O'Keeffe in loads. of space
  • 9:06pm
    Now Poku has a shot after a run on left. of box but Roberts saves easily at near. post
  • 9:07pm
    Another chance., Connell's good 25-yard shot is tipped wide
  • 9:07pm
    Kane's corner cleared.
  • 9:10pm
    This has been a really good game so far
  • 9:11pm
    Posh think they should have a penalty after Connell slides in on Ephron Mason-Clark. Adam Herczeg says no
  • 9:13pm
    Cadden and Watters on for Phillips and McAtee Also Lopata on for O'Keeffe Williams and Cadden wing-backs
  • 9:16pm
    Barnsley come close again. Cadden's cross from the left volley from. edge of box by Kane but blocked by defender. and floats just over for corner
  • 9:18pm
    So close for. Posh. Ephron Mason-Clark played in on the left of the box and h its a powerful shot which cannons off the crossbar
  • 9:22pm
    Cole is having a good game, he wins a corner. after a fine run but it's cleared
  • 9:23pm
    A couple of. minutes of no chances which is unusual in this breathless encounter
  • 9:24pm
    Approaching the final ten. minutes. Barnsley have at least shown they can compete. well with one o f the best teams in the division. but will they have something to show for it?
  • 9:28pm
    Kioso's cross goes over everyone and. out
  • 9:28pm
    Will Barnsley throw Jalo or Cosgrove on? No sign at the moment
  • 9:29pm
    De Gevigney heads away with Clarke-Harris waiting to. head in a hat-trick goal from close range
  • 9:29pm
    Kane plays in Cole on the left and he shoots from 20 yards but it loops up easily for the goalkeeper to save
  • 9:33pm
    Into the final five minutes. Pretty even at the moment
  • 9:34pm
    Brilliant Liam Roberts. Ricky-Jade Jones goes clean through but the goalkeeper races off his line to tackle him and the ball squirts away from danger
  • 9:35pm
    Luca Connell booked for taking out Burrows
  • 9:37pm
    Barnsley break through Williams who runs well. out of defence but hits heavy pass to Cole on right. He finds Styles who balloons a shot well over
  • 9:38pm
    Three added minutes
  • 9:39pm
    Lopata repels and a long throw and the next cross
  • 9:41pm
    FULL-TIME: Peterborough 2, Barnsley 2.