Barnsley finished sixth in the final League One table – and secured a play-off semi-final against Bolton Wanderers – after conceding a last-gasp leveller in a 1-1 home draw with Northampton Town on the last day.

The Reds – who sacked Neill Collins earlier in the week and put Martin Devaney in interim charge – needed to win against their mid-table visitors to guarantee a place in League One’s top six, but losses for Lincoln and Blackpool meant a draw was enough.

The hosts took the lead early on through Herbie Kane then were marginally the better side in a tight game of few chances, before the visitors levelled with nearly the final kick.

Oxford won so Barnsley slipped a place to sixth and will now host Bolton next Friday before visiting the Trotters the following Tuesday.

Devaney made two changes from the team that lost at Blackpool a week earlier under Collins. Corey O’Keeffe and the fit-again Luca Connell came in for Barry Cotter and Conor Grant.

Very little happened until the hosts opened the scoring in the 18th minute after a fine move. Josh Earl’s excellent crossfield pass from the left was cleverly knocked down by Adam Phillips on the right of the box to Kane whose 20-yard shot just snuck into the bottom right corner.

Northampton’s Louis Appere was put clean through late in the first half but Jordan Williams made a fine last-ditch tackle, then Barnsley cleared a series of corners.

Devante Cole almost made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time when he headed down a lofted pass into the box and beat goalkeeper Lee Burge but Jordan Willis blocked.

In the second half, Mitch Pinnock had Northampton’s first shots, both from outside the box, but one deflected over then the other was well wide.

It was nearly 2-0 on the hour-mark when Northampton lost the ball in their box and John McAtee’s shot was blocked on the line by visiting captain Jon Guthrie.

Liam Roberts made his first save on 77 minutes, easily catching a long-range Marc Leonard effort which may have been going wide.

Shaun McWilliams nearly levelled in the 90th minute but his header from Appere’s cross inside the box trickled just wide of the bottom right corner.

Appere levelled at the death when a Leonard free-kick was flicked on by Guthrie and volleyed in by Appere.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Roberts; Williams, de Gevigney, Earl; O’Keeffe (Cotter 90+3mins), Phillips, Connell, Kane, Phillips, Cadden; McAtee (Jalo 72), Cole (Cosgrove 83).

Unused: Killip, Grant, Marsh, McCart.

Yellow cards: De Gevigney, O’Keeffe, Kane.

Goals: Kane 18.

Northampton (5-3-2): Burge; Monthe (McWilliams 75mins), Willis, Guthrie, Sherring, Odimayo (McGowan 61); Pinnock, Leonard, Sowerby (Hondermarck 75); Bowie (Simpson 55), Appere.

Unused: Dodge, Fox, Springett.

Goals: Appere 90+4.

  • 12:33pm
    Northampton look to be playing a flat back five with five natural centre-backs across it
  • 12:34pm
    McAtee robs defender Jon Guthrie of. the ball and would go through on goal but it's given as a foul
  • 12:35pm
    Now Cole gets down the left but his cross is cleared
  • 12:37pm
    Phillips almost played through by long ball over top but just can't. get to it before the goalkeeper
  • 12:38pm
    Blackpool are winning already
  • 12:40pm
    The game has calmed down a bit after positive start for the Reds. Very even now
  • 12:41pm
    Pretty positive in stands with chants from Ponty End
  • 12:41pm
    Northampton take quick free-kick down right and Akinwale Odimayo crosses to no one at the back post
  • 12:43pm
    11 Cole heads on long ball to Phillips on left of box and he crosses low but it's cut out
  • 12:44pm
    Oxford and Blackpool both winning... Barnsley out of top six as it. stands at this very early stage
  • 12:45pm
    Josh Earls lets a pass go past him to Kieron Bowie on the right of the box. He swaps passes with Louis Appere but then takes a heavy touch which goes out
  • 12:47pm
    Connell wins a big tackle, the crowd roars and Devaney turns round to tell them to keep the noise up
  • 12:48pm
    17 Kane wins corner on left after putting Akinwale Odimayo under pressure chasing long ball
  • 12:48pm
    17 Kane wins corner on left after putting Akinwale Odimayo under pressure chasing long ball
  • 12:49pm
    17 Cadden's left wing corner is played short to McAtee and back to Cadden whose cross to back post is headed up in air then the goalkeeper catches
  • 12:50pm
    Herbie Kane puts the hosts in front
  • 12:51pm
    Lovely goal. Earl's excellent cross field pass finds Phillips on. right of box and. he. cushions it down to Kane who find the bottom right corner from 20 yards
  • 12:54pm
    De Gevigney turns behind for. corner on right
  • 12:54pm
    Northampton corner on left leads to scramble but hooked out
  • 12:55pm
    Herbie Kane joins Cole, McAtee and Phillips in double figures for league goals this season. First time four players have done it since 1999/2000 with Barnard, Shipperley, Hignett and Sheron.
  • 12:56pm
    That goal came out of nowhere really. First chance of game
  • 12:58pm
    Barnsley struggle to clear their lines passing out from back and it leads to. scramble but eventually ball falls for Roberts to gather
  • 1:01pm
    Northampton have reacted. pretty well. They have had a lot of the ball and got forward a few times but no chances
  • 1:02pm
    After. a one two with McAtee, Phillips plays O'Keeffe in on. right and he wins corner
  • 1:03pm
    Corner is cleared
  • 1:04pm
    A break for a Cobblers injured but back underway
  • 1:05pm
    Barnsley playing some good stuff. A. nice move down the left ends with McAtee lofting a pass into box but Cole beaten to it by the goalkeeper
  • 1:07pm
    Ten minutes left in this half. Barnsley the better side but they'd love a second before the break
  • 1:09pm
    Kieron Bowie played clean through but Williams impressively gets back to make a last ditch tackle. Corner on left
  • 1:09pm
    37 Williams heads corner behind for another
  • 1:10pm
    38 This time McAtee heads at front post and it goes all way out on other side for corner on. right
  • 1:10pm
    Right wing corner. Couple of heads. Bowie shot blocked for another corner
  • 1:11pm
    39 Corner headed towards goal but Phillips hacks clear
  • 1:16pm
    Very good passing move leads to O'Keeffe whipping in a cross from the right but it's in front of Cole who is the only man in the box.
  • 1:17pm
    45 Chance for. 2-0. A high ball into the box is headed down by Cole who gets something on it again but goalkeeper Burge blocks one on one
  • 1:17pm
    Two added minutes
  • 1:19pm
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 1, Northampton 0.
  • 1:35pm
  • 1:37pm
    A quiet start to what could be a very nervous second half
  • 1:40pm
    Reds yet to settle in. this half and get on the ball for long spells
  • 1:40pm
    Mitch Pinnock's long throw on left goals into side netting
  • 1:42pm
    Strong McAtee tackle appreciated by the crowd
  • 1:42pm
    Northampton's Bowie goes down injured
  • 1:44pm
    Bowie off, Tyreece Simpson coming on
  • 1:45pm
    A really quiet start to the second half. Barnsley won't mind that too much but they will want to get on the ball a bit more
  • 1:46pm
    Barnsley win throw on right. Mael to take
  • 1:47pm
    57 de Gevigney's throw is headed out
  • 1:47pm
    Northampton break from the throw and Pinnock's shot is deflected just over
  • 1:48pm
    58 Earl heads the corner out
  • 1:48pm
    Northampton win another corner on left
  • 1:49pm
    Conor cleared and Pinnock shoots well wide from distance
  • 1:50pm
    So close to 2-0. Northampton lose ball in their box but McAtee's close-range shot blocked on line.
  • 1:50pm
    Corner cleared to Kane who volleys good effort over from 25 yards ]
  • 1:51pm
    Northampton bring Aaron McGowan on for Akinwale Odimayo
  • 1:54pm
    Chants of 'we are going up' from the home fans
  • 1:56pm
    Game stops for injury for Sam Sherring with Reds on ball in visitors' half
  • 1:59pm
    Midway through second half. Barnsley have been better last ten minutes with their pressing, penning their visitors in well
  • 2:00pm
    Jalo coming on by the looks...
  • 2:01pm
    Nice flowing move with passes by Connell to Kane to Phillips but it's juts slightly overhit in the box and goes out
  • 2:01pm
    Jalo on for McAtee
  • 2:03pm
    Double change coming up for visitors
  • 2:04pm
    Jalo robs defender then looks to have won a corner but assistant referee gives goal kick
  • 2:04pm
    Ex Red Will Hondermarck comes on for Jack Sowerby and Shaun McWilliams on for Manny Monthe
  • 2:07pm
    77 Roberts has to make his first save. He dives to his left to catch Marc Leonard's long range effort which might have been going wide anyway
  • 2:09pm
    Now Roberts catches Pinnock cross from left. At other end, Phillips had overhit pass to Jalo in box
  • 2:09pm
    80 Northampton win free-kick on right wing
  • 2:10pm
    Free-kick to back post to McGowan whose cross is cleared
  • 2:11pm
    Cosgrove coming on
  • 2:12pm
    Cosgrove. on for Cole who has put a good shift in
  • 2:15pm
    Into the final five minutes. Barnsley still 1-0 up. Blackpool and Lincoln losing so, by my maths, even a draw would be enough for Reds as it stands.
  • 2:15pm
    Northampton have put a few crosses in in the. last few minutes. but no one In box to meet them
  • 2:17pm
    More than 15,000 here
  • 2:19pm
    into the 90th minute. Northampton still yet to have a shot on target
  • 2:20pm
    90 Close to a leveller. Appere's cross headed wide from close range by Shaun McWilliams
  • 2:23pm
    Good move on right by visitors. Williams behind for corner
  • 2:23pm
    Corner over everyone. Referee gives foul anyway
  • 2:23pm
    Cotter on for O'Keeffe
  • 2:25pm
    Herbie Kane booked for a very late challenge. A bit of pushing and shoving follows
  • 2:27pm
    Louis Appere levels right at end
  • 2:28pm
    Free-kick headed on and volleyed in
  • 2:28pm
    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 1, Northampton 1.
  • 2:35pm
    Lincoln 2-0 down deep in injury-time
  • 2:35pm
    Barnsley finish sixth and will face Bolton in play-offs