Barnsley almost pulled off a remarkable comeback but suffered a 5-4 aggregate loss to Bolton Wanderers in the League One play-off semi-finals.

Trailing 3-1 from the first leg at Oakwell on Friday, the Reds pulled one back through Sam Cosgrove but the hosts score twice in the next ten minutes and were 2-1 ahead on the night at half-time, 5-2 up overall.

Adam Phillips levelled on the night then Cosgrove netted again to put the Reds within one goal and they missed chances to level.

It was a great effort but the Reds were second best for the first hour of both games and made poor mistakes for the goals.

Martin Devaney made one change from the first leg, bringing in Sam Cosgrove, who scored off the bench, for Devante Cole.

Corey O’Keeffe’s attempted tackle turned into a pass into his box to Bolton’s Aaron Collins whose low cross-come-shot was pushed away by Liam Roberts. Collins then clearly shoved Mael de Gevigney to the ground chasing a long ball and the free-kick was given before he put the ball in the net.

Luca Connell saw a long-range effort easily saved before Barnsley were denied what looked a clear penalty on 13 minutes. Cosgrove ran onto a John McAtee pass and was tripped by goalkeeper Nathan Baxter just inside the box on the right but no penalty was given.

Collins then cut in from the right and his 15-yard effort was impressively tipped over by Roberts. Collins also volleyed wide from the edge of the box on 21 minutes after a Dion Charles shot was blocked by de Gevigney.

Bolton also wanted a penalty on 25 minutes after de Gevigney tangled with Collins then, at the other end, Josh Earl headed wide from a Nicky Cadden right-wing corner.

The deadlock was broken on 37 minutes when de Gevigney’s long throw from the left was flicked on by Josh Earl and McAtee collected it on the right, beat Collins then dinked a cross over the goalkeeper for Cosgrove to head home almost on the line.

Collins levelled on 43 minutes when he smashed an excellent shot from almost 30 yards into the bottom left corner.

Collins then went clean through and rounded Roberts but his effort from the left of the box was turned over the bar by Earl. From the resulting Josh Sheehan corner, which was missed by Roberts, ex-Red Gethin Jones volleyed back across goal at the back post then the unmarked Eoin Toal headed in.

In the second half, Connell shot wide from 25 yards then, after the other end, George Thomason went clean through after de Gevigney lost the ball but, instead of shooting, passed to Charles who shot wide from a worse position.

Phillips levelled on the night just after the hour-mark. After Ricardo Santos made a mess of an Earl long ball, substitute Cole headed to Cosgrove who played in Phillips on the right of the box and his shot deflected off Santos into the bottom right corner.

The Reds took the lead on the night when Cosgrove met substitute Conor Grant’s right-wing free-kick on the right of the box and headed it into the bottom left corner.

Barnsley were then on top. Cosgrove just missed connecting to a low right-wing free-kick before de Gevigney fired over at the back post. Cole brilliantly ran down the right and crossed but it hit Cosgrove and bounced to the goalkeeper.

De Gevigney headed a Connell free-kick onto the roof of the net, Jordan Williams’ deflected cross sailed just wide then Barnsley appealed for a penalty but the referee gave a foul against O’Keeffe.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Roberts; Williams, de Gevigney, Earl; O’Keeffe, Phillips, Connell, Kane, Cadden (Cotter 61); McAtee (Cole 61), Cosgrove.

Unused: Killip, Russell, Jalo, McCart,.

Goals: Cosgrove 37, 75; Phillips 62.

Bolton (3-5-2): Baxter; Jones, Santos, Toal; Dacres-Cogley, Maghoma (Dempsey 76), Sheehan (Morley 840, Thomason, Williams; Charles (Jerome 80), Collins (Adeboyejo 80).

Unused: Coleman, Iredale, Ogbeta.

Yellow cards: Thomason.

Goals: Collins 43, Toal 45+1.

  • 7:59pm
    Hello and welcome to the Chronicle's live text coverage of tonight's game at Bolton in the play-offs
  • 8:01pm
  • 8:02pm
    Barnsley go direct early and win a few headers on the edge of the box but Bolton eventually clear
  • 8:03pm
    About 2,000 away fans here tonight. Some are still coming in. There was really bad traffic on the M62
  • 8:04pm
    Massive atmosphere in here. Big cheers as Bolton win free-kick on right
  • 8:06pm
    6 Free-kick from right scrambled out then O'Keeffe passes straight to Collins on the left of the box and his low cross is. touched away by Roberts
  • 8:08pm
    Now Bolton have the ball in the net but it's ruled out
  • 8:09pm
    Collins clearly pushes over Mael chasing a long ball and the whistle goes before he shoots past Roberts
  • 8:09pm
    10 Connell has the game's first shot on target but his weak 25-yard effort. is easily gathered by the home goalkeeper Nathan Baxter
  • 8:12pm
    Cosgrove looks to have been taken down by the goalkeeper. No penalty given
  • 8:14pm
    That looks a clear. penalty on replays
  • 8:15pm
    Phillips then has a long range shot which Baxter pushes up into air and and catches
  • 8:15pm
    The penalty shout saw Cosgrove run onto a McAtee pass and be challenged by Baxter on the right side of the box
  • 8:17pm
    18 Collins cuts in from right and shoots from 15 yards. Roberts tips it over well
  • 8:19pm
    Barnsley clear the corner
  • 8:21pm
    Dion Charles has a shot in the box box after a. cross from the right. then Collins. volleys wide. Bolton have had several chances tonight, mainly through Collins
  • 8:23pm
    A quarter of the way through this game. Five eighths through the tie. Bolton on top tonight and have had the better chances but Barnsley should have had a penalty
  • 8:24pm
    Bolton having lots of pressure now. Barnsley haven't attacked for a while
  • 8:25pm
    Now Bolton want a penalty. I think it was de Gevigney on Collins in box
  • 8:27pm
    A rare Barnsley attack leas to a Phillips cross being turned behind for a corner
  • 8:28pm
    28 Cadden corner on right. Earl heads it but it goes a few yards wide
  • 8:30pm
    Bolton win a corner on the right after a clumsy touch by Earl
  • 8:30pm
    30 Bolton corner on the right. Headed out at the near post. That's what should have happened in the last seconds on Friday
  • 8:31pm
    O'Keeffe concedes another corner, this time on left
  • 8:32pm
    32 Josh Sheehan's left-wing corner is swung dangerously towards the net and it is blocked a few yards out but a free-kick is given for a foul on Roberts. Bolton will try that all the time after Friday
  • 8:34pm
    Cosgrove wins a corner on the right after a forwards pass by Williams
  • 8:35pm
    35 Cadden's corner from the right is headed out. Kane lets it go out. for a. long throw which de Gevigney will take
  • 8:36pm
    Sam Cosgrove opens the scoring!
  • 8:37pm
    De Gevigney's long throw on the left is flicked on by Josh Earl and John McAtee collects turns and crosses. over the stranded goalkeeper for Cosgrove to head in on the line
  • 8:38pm
    That feels huge. Bolton crowd seem stunned
  • 8:41pm
    That was a brilliant assist from McAtee. He bamboozled the defender with his turn and goalkeeper with his dinked cross
  • 8:41pm
    Bolton win a corner on the right
  • 8:42pm
    42 Bolton corner punched out by Roberts
  • 8:43pm
    Aaron Collins levels
  • 8:44pm
    It's a. really powerful effort into the bottom left corner from almost 30 yards.
  • 8:45pm
    Now Collins goes through, rounds the goalkeeper on the left of the box but Earl blocks the shot over the bar
  • 8:46pm
    Eoin Toal heads in from the corner
  • 8:48pm
    Sheehan corner from left volleyed at back post by Gethin Jones and headed in by Eoin Toal. Two goals in a couple of minutes and Bolton are 5-2 up
  • 8:49pm
    HALF-TIME: Bolton 2, Barnsley 1.
  • 9:05pm
  • 9:08pm
    It's a jubilant atmosphere in here now. Bolton fans think they are going to Wembley. They probably are. But can Barnsley just cause a few doubts?
  • 9:08pm
    Cosgrove wins a corner on the right
  • 9:08pm
    Corner on the right by Cadden headed out . He gets it back and sees a couple. more crosses dealt with
  • 9:09pm
    O'Keeffe loses the ball in his half and de Gevigney has to block a. shot on the. edge of the box
  • 9:10pm
    51 Bolton corner on the left. Just over everyone's heads and out for a corner on the right
  • 9:11pm
    52 Williams corner on right. Cries of shoot. It's towards the near post and Cadden heads out
  • 9:12pm
    53 Luca Connell's 25-yard shot is well wide of the bottom right corner
  • 9:15pm
    Now Connell goes down hurt after an aerial challenge
  • 9:17pm
    Massive chance for 3-1 on the night. De Gevigney loses the ball and George Thomason goes clean through but instead of shooting passes to Charles who is in a worse position and drags an effort across goal and wide
  • 9:21pm
    A hour gone now. Barnsley still three goals behind. Should be more
  • 9:22pm
    Triple change for the Reds. Kane, McAtee and Cadden replaced by Cotter, Cole and Grant
  • 9:23pm
    Adam Phillips levels on the night. 5-3 on aggregate
  • 9:25pm
    Santos makes a mess of a long ball by Earl. Cole heads to Cosgrove who plays in Phillips and the shot deflected in off Santos 100 goals for the season in all competitions. Phillips has 12 of them.
  • 9:27pm
    Cotter long throw headed out
  • 9:28pm
    Adam Phillips booked for ending a counter attack on the left wing
  • 9:29pm
    Free-kick over everyone and out
  • 9:29pm
    Cotter wins corner on right after nice footwork by Grant
  • 9:30pm
    Connell corner headed out
  • 9:32pm
    The Reds subs have made an impact. Grant has a shot blocked. Now Cotter wins another corner on right
  • 9:32pm
    Earl heads in from. the Connell corner but the whistle had long since gone for a foul
  • 9:33pm
    Approaching final 15 minutes. Another Reds goal makes this. very interesting
  • 9:35pm
    Sam Cosgrove gets another!
  • 9:37pm
    Fantastic cross by Grant from the left and it's a lovely header back across goal into the bottom left corner from right of box. Cosgrove has as many goals in the play-offs as the whole league season
  • 9:38pm
    Nearly a Cosgrove hat-trick. He. almost connects with a low free-kick from right. Then Mael shoots over at back post
  • 9:41pm
    Whatever happens Barnsley have at least shown some character and spirit tonight. Loads of mistakes I know but Devaney and the players deserve credit for taking it this deep.
  • 9:42pm
    Another Cosgrove chance! Cole brilliantly runs down left and crosses. It hits the big striker and goes straight to the goalkeeper.
  • 9:46pm
    Barnsley have been brilliant these last 20 minutes. Can they find one more goal?
  • 9:49pm
    Barnsley still pushing hard but no chances in last few minutes
  • 9:49pm
    The Reds win free-kick on left. Away end loud
  • 9:50pm
    90 Connell free-kick headed up into. air by Mael but lands on roof of net
  • 9:50pm
    90 Connell free-kick headed up into. air by Mael but lands on roof of net
  • 9:50pm
    Five added minutes
  • 9:52pm
    Williams cross deflected across goal and out for corner on left
  • 9:52pm
    90=3 Connell corner on left. Headed on. Reds want a penalty but foul given other way
  • 9:54pm
    A few seconds left
  • 9:56pm
    FULL-TIME: Bolton 2, Barnsley 3. The Reds lose the semi-final 5-4 on aggregate