Barnsley’s automatic promotion hopes suffered a massive blow as they lost 2-0 at home to relegation-battlers Cambridge United on Good Friday.

A disastrous own goal saw Mael de Gevigney’s back pass go into the net on 13 minutes.

The visitors – who had one point in their previous seven games and went down 6-0 and 4-0 in the last two – added another midway through the second half as the Reds produced a deeply disappointing performance.

They are still fifth and now ten points behind second-placed Derby County, with two games in hand, while they are seven points clear in the top six.

Neill Collins made three changes from the 11 which started the 0-0 draw with Cheltenham 13 days earlier.

Jordan Williams, Devante Cole and Herbie Kane – back from suspension – returned to the 11 in place of Corey O’Keeffe, Sam Cosgrove and Jon Russell.

Max Watters was back on the bench.

Barnsley had the first chance in the tenth minute when Williams surged into the box on the right and his low cross was deflected to Nicky Cadden who sliced a shot wide from eight yards out with little time to think about it.

The visitors took the lead in bizarre fashion on 13 minutes when de Gevigney passed back to goalkeeper Liam Roberts but it evaded him and went into the bottom right corner.

Roberts then tipped over a powerful Danny Andrew free-kick from the right wing. From the resulting corner, Ryan Bennett headed in but the referee ruled the goal out for a foul.

John McAtee looked certain to level on 33 minutes when he met Josh Earl’s fine low left-wing cross at the back post but somehow hit the post from just a few yards out.

Adam Phillips was played through but his shot from just inside the box on the left was well-saved by Will Mannion down to his left.

Overall, the Reds were sluggish and uninspiring in the first half against one of the worst teams in the division based on recent form.

Cambridge started the second half well and Lyle Taylor was put clean through but, under pressure from defenders, his weak shot was straight at Roberts.

Barnsley brought O’Keeffe on for Jamie McCart and he almost created a goal instantly but his cross come shot went narrowly wide of the bottom left corner. He did the same thing from wicked right-wing free-kick.

McAtee then saw a 25-yard strike saved by Mannion diving down to his left.

Cambridge’s Sullay Kaikai was played in on the right by a lofted pass but shot well over from a good position.

The second goal saw unmarked substitute Gassan Ahadme loop a fine headed in off the left post from Andrew’s left-wing free-kick.

Collins brought on Barry Cotter and Max Watters, who made his 50th appearance for the club.

Substitute Sam Cosgrove headed on for Cole whose tame volley was easily saved.

Kaikai again shot over in a good position in injury-time after Ahadme was clean through on goal but hesitated.

Luca Connell fired just wide of the bottom left corner from 25 yards.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Roberts; de Gevigney, McCart (O’Keeffe 57mins), Earl; Williams, Phillips (Watters 82), Connell, Kane, Cadden (Cotter 82); McAtee (Cosgrove 65), Cole.

Unused: Killip, Russell, Cosgrove, Grant,.

Yellow cards: McCart, Earl.

Cambridge (3-4-2-1): Mannion; Jobe, R Bennett, Andrew; L Bennett, Digby, Cousins, Gibbons (Rossi 82mins); Brophy (Kachunga 82), Kaikai; Taylor (Ahadme 54). Unused: Chadwick, Okenabirhie, Lancaster, May.

Goals: de Gevigney OG 13, Ahadme 72.

  • 3:05pm
    A couple of minutes in and Cambridge have had most of the ball without doing anything with it so far
  • 3:08pm
    Cambridge are playing a back three, four. across the middle then two attacking midfielders behind Lyle Taylor up front
  • 3:08pm
    A fairly sedate start. Reds haven't had much of the ball so far
  • 3:11pm
    Cambridge dominating the. ball and passing it well but not really threatening to break through the home back line
  • 3:13pm
    First chance. A decent move on right. sees Williams surge into box. His cross is deflected to Nicky Cadden who hits his volley wide. Very;little time to react eight yards out
  • 3:16pm
    Mael de Gevigney's pass goes past Roberts and into the Barnsley net . Embarrassing own goal
  • 3:19pm
    An awful moment for Barnsley and they need another comeback
  • 3:22pm
    Cambridge had lost their last four away games without scoring.
  • 3:24pm
    Barnsley having a bit more of the ball now but not opening Cambridge up yet
  • 3:25pm
    Williams' cross is caught by the goalkeeper
  • 3:27pm
    Barnsley look pretty sluggish and lacking in ideas at the moment against an away side who have gone pretty deep and defensive. A long way to go through
  • 3:29pm
    Phillips shoots over from about 30 yards
  • 3:30pm
    Earl takes out Kakai just outside box on right wide. Good free-kick position
  • 3:31pm
    28 Danny Andrew's right wing free-kick is a powerful shot. which is tipped over by Roberts
  • 3:32pm
    Cambridge goal ruled out, looked like for a push on Roberts Could be a big moment. Ryan Bennett headed in a left wing corner
  • 3:35pm
    Incredible miss. Earl's cross from the left looks certain to be turned in by McAtee but somehow he hits the post
  • 3:40pm
    A flat period with Barnsley having a lot of the ball but creating nothing
  • 3:41pm
    The Reds have now gone 1-0 down in the first 20 minutes in seven of their last nine games
  • 3:43pm
    Mael long throw cleared
  • 3:44pm
    Phillips played in and shoots from just inside box on left. Good save by Mannion down to his left
  • 3:47pm
    Replays of that disallowed goal early appear to show the Reds have got a bit lucky. I can't see a foul
  • 3:48pm
    One added minute
  • 3:48pm
    Nicky Cadden lets the ball in a good area go through his legs for Earl, who is not there
  • 3:48pm
    That sums up the first half
  • 3:49pm
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0, Cambridge 1.
  • 4:06pm
  • 4:07pm
    Jamie McCart booked for taking out Sullay Kaikai on. Cambridge's left wing
  • 4:07pm
    47 `Cambridge free kick on left over everyone and out
  • 4:09pm
    Chance for Cambridge. Lyle Taylor is put in behind the home defence and, under pressure, squeezes out a weak shot which Roberts easily saved
  • 4:10pm
    McAtee shoots over from about 25 yards
  • 4:12pm
    Lyle Taylor has been down in the Barnsley box injured for about a minute as the hosts attack. Eventually the ball is cleared out of play and he is getting treatment
  • 4:13pm
    Taylor is now hobbling off. The crowd are not very happy because this is taking a long time
  • 4:14pm
    Gassan Ahadme on for Taylor
  • 4:15pm
    55 De Gevigney's long throw on the left sees McCart bundled to the ground. The fans want a penalty but the players barely react
  • 4:17pm
    O'Keeffe on for McCart. So Williams back into the back three
  • 4:19pm
    O'Keeffe almost makes an instant impact off the bench but his cross come shot just evades the strikers and the bottom left corner.
  • 4:23pm
    McAtee's 25-yard strike is pushed away by the goalkeeper
  • 4:24pm
    Barnsley win free-kick on right
  • 4:25pm
    63 Right wing free-kick by O'Keeffe into good area but again no one can turn it in and it goes just wide
  • 4:27pm
    Connell pass into Phillips on left of box but he cannot control it and it goes out
  • 4:27pm
    McAtee off, Cosgrove on
  • 4:28pm
    Decent chance for Cambridge. A loft pass plays in. Kaikai on the right of the box but he blazes well over
  • 4:28pm
    Josh Earl booked for a foul near halfway
  • 4:29pm
    That decision to take off McAtee was booed and his name is being sung
  • 4:30pm
    Mamadou Jobe booked for timewasting
  • 4:31pm
    Barnsley win a free-kick on left of box
  • 4:32pm
    71 O'Keeffe free-kick headed out then his pass into the b ox is to no one and cleared
  • 4:32pm
    Cambridge now win a free-kick on the left wing for. a foul by O'Keeffe
  • 4:33pm
    Gassan Ahadme heads in a Danny Andrew free-kick
  • 4:36pm
    Decent goal. Looping header in off the left post. But this is a shocking day so far for the Reds.
  • 4:36pm
    Cosgrove denied by the goalkeeper one on one after Cole headed. But flag is up for offside
  • 4:38pm
    Barnsley and their fans very flat at the moment. They are still attacking but lacking impetus and creativity
  • 4:39pm
    Looks like Watters and Cotter coming on
  • 4:42pm
    Cambridge bring Elias Kachunga and Zeno Ibsen Rossi for James Brophy and James Gibbons
  • 4:42pm
    Max Watters comes on for Adam Phillips and Barry Cotter on for Cadden
  • 4:44pm
    Cosgrove heads on for Cole whose tame on the volley is easily saved
  • 4:48pm
    Will Mannion gets some treatment in the Cambridge goal for a few minutes. There will be at least five added on I reckon. three left of the 90
  • 4:50pm
    Cotter's long throw is headed out and his cross leads to a scramble but the goalkeeper gathers
  • 4:51pm
    Eight added minutes
  • 4:52pm
    Cambridge. get in behind the. hosts again. Ahadme hesitates then passes to Kakai who fires over again
  • 4:53pm
    Connell drags a tame low shot well wide from 25 yards
  • 4:57pm
    Cross easily caught by the goalkeeper. Barnsley going out with a whimper at the moment
  • 4:59pm
    Connell fires just wide of the bottom left corner
  • 5:01pm
    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 0, Cambridge 2. The Reds were extremely poor and their top two hopes are in tatters