Huddersfield halted by Barnsley as they drop points at Oakwell
Huddersfield learned a harsh lesson as their juggernaut towards the top two of the Sky Bet Championship stuttered with a 1-1 draw at Barnsley.
The Terriers, who have been defying expectations all season, should be celebrating a seventh successive league win for the first time since 1982, but they only had Michael Hefele's header to show for a game they dominated and created an endless amount of chances.
And they paid the price as Marley Watkins' late leveller earned the Reds a draw and ensured the Terriers missed the chance to close the gap on Newcastle to three points.
With Rafa Benitez's men visiting the John Smith's Stadium next week, victory at Oakwell would have made that game an even bigger spectacle, but David Wagner will go home ruing three sitters that Izzy Brown missed and a host of good saves by Barnsley goalkeeper Adam Davies.
The point, while handy, does not do a lot for the Reds' play-off ambitions and they are eight points off the top six.
This is a Yorkshire rivalry which is keenly contested at the best of times, but this one even more so given both side's chances - albeit differing levels - of going up.
Huddersfield are the form team in the country and some early domination was rewarded with an 18th-minute lead.
After Chris Lowe's swerving free-kick was deflected for a corner, Hefele climbed highest from the set-piece and powered a header, which took a knick off a Barnsley defender, into the top corner.
Wagner's men were having it all their own way and they should have doubled their lead just after the half-hour.
First Brown danced through a tight situation to close in on goal but his low effort was well blocked by Barnsley goalkeeper Davies, who then kept out Aaron Mooy's drilled rebound.
On this evidence, Wagner's men will not look out of place at the top level and they had further chances either side of the break to tighten their grip on the game.
First striker Collin Quaner could not keep his shot down from a good position at the back post and then early in the second half Jon Stankovic saw an effort cleared off the line.
They were made to regret not taking those opportunities, though, as Barnsley levelled out of the blue in the 75th minute as substitute Adam Hammill's cross was met at the near post by Watkins, who poked home.
Huddersfield will have been left scratching their heads even more how they did not have the game sewn up as three outstanding chances came and went to restore their lead.
Brown's was the best of them as he tried walking the ball into the net and was denied by a heroic goalline clearance by Marc Roberts while Smith produced a sublime save to deny a fierce Quaner effort and Hefele had a header blocked.
A day to forget in front of goal for Brown ended with him fluffing another golden chance in injury time, as he again failed to beat a defender on the line with the goal gaping just six yards out.
Source : PA