Even Guy Fawkes himself couldn't have endured as much drama back in 1606 as 10,223 people endured on an afternoon that ensured there wouldn't only be sparks at Locke Park in Barnsley today.
German giant Heinz Muller proved once and for all why Nick Colgan handed in his transfer request with a simply stunning penalty stop deep into injury time to get The Reds back on the winning front.
The game started with a surprise. Earlier in the week manager Simon Davey had ruled striker Istvan Ferenczi OUT of this weekend's double header and most certainly out of today's game with Preston but in fact "Stan" STARTED upfront with debutant Jon Macken. Kayode Odejayi and Miguel Mostto were both dropped to the bench after their ineffectual displays at Hull and Leicester.
They didn't disappoint. Macken certainly looked lively, playing against the club where he made his name and it was a surprise that Barnsley didn't grab the lead in the opening 15 minutes.
With 11 minutes gone, a lovely flick down by Macken allowed Ferenczi a great strike from 8 yards out. Somehow Preston keeper Andy Lonergan made an outstanding save to keep it out.
Better was to come 4 minutes later when despite 3 attempts the ball just wouldn't go in.
Ferenczi's effort was blocked with Lonergan committed and then Macken stabbed the rebound towards goal which was hacked off the line, before Sam Togwell came steaming in for the third bite but his effort was again superbly blocked by the desperate North End defence.
It certainly was encouraging stuff after the two previous games where a goal from a Barnsley player had looked about as likely as Mr Fawkes reappearing and rendering the whole Bonfire Night thing a hoax.
It wasn't all one way traffic however and although Brett Ormerod and Karl Hawley were well marshalled by the return to form of the Kozluk, Souza, Nyatanga and Foster backline, The Reds still had Muller to thank for keeping the scores level on 18 minutes.
Hawley finally managed to wriggle clear of Souza's shackles to fly in a shot which Muller superbly tipped over the bar. The advantages of being a goal-keeping version of Peter Crouch there to see for all.
It looked like being a goal-less first half until we finally made a set-piece count.
Skipper Brian Howard, who was truly woeful throughout the game, made his only significant impact- and how.
He floated in a great left footed free-kick and whilst the entire Preston backline stood still, Ferenczi slipped past all of them to plant a firm header into the corner. Lonergan had simply no chance. After the toiling of the forwards recently, to see one on his first start for 6 games grab a goal was certainly heart-warming.
The goal probably changed both manager's half-time team talks but Preston very nearly equalised within seconds of the restart with Muller again the hero.
Darren Carter's brilliant run took him inside both Stephen Foster and Jamal Campbell-Ryce but his effort was blocked by the legs of Muller- much to Oakwell's relief.
Preston dominated possession in the second period but the best chances fell to Barnsley, and they should have taken them.
Campbell-Ryce produced his first real cross of his Barnsley career but Howard summed up his afternoon as he rose unmarked but the ball hit his nose rather than his head and the ball flew wide.
Always dangerous on the break Preston should have been level on 64 minutes but for the brilliance of yep you guessed it, Muller.
A great cross was met by a thundering header from Carter but out of nowhere Muller produced a stunning world-class save to keep the ball out. How he got to it I'll never know!
Campbell-Ryce sent a far post effort wide from a Martin Devaney cross and Ferenczi was sent clear by Howard with 4 minutes remaining but his first touch let him down and his eventual toe-poked shot was blocked by Lonergan.
Togwell somehow headed over from 6yards when it looked easier to score and as the game entered the third and final minute of injury time it looked like Barnsley would be punished for their missed chances when referee Clive Oliver pointed to the spot after Kozluk tugged on Sean St Ledger's shirt.
Some refs give it some don't, but I have no qualms about the decision.
Oakwell waited with baited breath as ex Liverpool youngster Neil Mellor stepped up and sent a great effort towards the right top corner. But the game just wouldn't be complete without another wonder save from Muller and he delivered, diving high to somehow palm the ball away. THE best penalty save I have ever seen and Oakwell simply erupted.
Cry's of "One Heinz Muller" rang around the ground at the final whistle. Saves like that win you so many points throughout a season and I'm sure everybody will agree with me when I say, Heinz, have a brockwurst on us tonight!!!
Heinz Muller: The best goalkeeping display I've seen at Oakwell for many years! Every stop was world class and capped off by THAT penalty save which will be talked about for months and could prove oh so crucial come May. 10
Rob Kozluk: Good to see the calming influence of Kozluk back in the side. Hardly put a foot wrong. I say hardly because his stupid shirt pull at the end so nearly cost us. Booked. 8
Dennis Souza: Getting back to something like his best after the two shaky away games. Won every header again and kept, first the lively Hawley and then the bulky Patrick Agyemang in his pocket. 8
Lewin Nyatanga: Another solid display. There was a reassuring calmness about him today. He always knew where the ball was and what he was going to do with it when it came to him. 8
Stephen Foster: Started off really shaky but grew in confidence as the game wore on. By the end he was unbeatable at the back. 7
Jamal Campbell-Ryce: Much improved since I last saw him and was Barnsley's brightest spark going forward. Even provided a good cross!!! Whatever next. 8
Brian Howard: Arrghh abysmal! A great free kick for the goal but that was it. Looked like Bambi on Ice most of the game and couldn't control or pass the ball properly! Maybe he's wanting Premiership teams to go off him because he wants to stay….. 3
Sam Togwell: Play like that consistently Samuel lad and Ill apologise for my criticisms of you. He finally produced what a defensive midfielder should produce. His tackles were immense, looked good going forward (although missed a sitter) and at the end was throwing his body in front of everything that moved! PLEASE KEEP IT UP!! 9
Martin Devaney: Let him come on for the last 15minutes and nothing else. His displays when starting are in complete contrast to the ones where he comes on as a sub. Has got a left foot as bad as Howard's right and both of them didn't deserve to be on the winning side today. Subbed. 4
Istvan Ferenczi: Ruled out on Tuesday, match winner on Saturday. Not bad hey. Great header for the goal, worked his socks off and should have finished the game when sent clear late on. The only blemish on another great Ferenczi display. Subbed. 8
Jon Macken: Has been ridiculed on certain forums but looks a classy player to me. Holds the ball up superbly and deserved a goal for his efforts. They will surely come if he continues to perform. His experience could be vital. Subbed. 8
Kayode Odejayi (for Macken 80) Gave Preston something different to think about for the final 10 minutes but when Ferenczi's fit Odejayi will miss out. 6
Miguel Mostto (for Ferenczi 88) One delightful piece of control and pass showed again what he could be capable of when he adjusts fully to English football. Don't write him off just yet. 6
Grant McCann (for Devaney 90) Lucky to even be on the bench after his last few displays. Just got a run-out to run down the clock. 5
Paul Reid, Rohan Ricketts
Preston North End:
Lonergan, Halls, Sedgwick, Hawley (Agyemang 72), Carter, St Ledger, Chilvers, McKenna, Ormerod (Mellor 72), Hill, Nicholls (Whaley 78).
Subs: Davidson, Neal.
Sponsor's Man of the Match: Dennis Souza
BarnsleyBoy's Man of the Match: Souza must be setting a record for number of times he has got the sponsor's award. I'm so desperate to give my nod to Togwell for an outstanding display but even he is outshone by Muller. Wonderful all through the game and then the defining moment at the end. If Heinz Muller is remembered for nothing else, he will ALWAYS be remembered for that penalty stop! A moment that will go into Oakwell folklore!
Impressed by Preston's: The TV programme portrayed Sean St Ledger as a spoilt brat at Peterborough. Looked a very promising player for Preston today. Could play higher.
Ref Watch: Clive Oliver: Even though he nearly ruined 10,000 people's weekends at the end I cant really fault him. It WAS a penalty and he's probably the best ref we have had this season.
P.S I know that doesn't say very much.
Coca-Cola Championship Results: Saturday 3rd November 2007
BARNSLEY 1-0 Preston
Colchester 1-1 Leicester
Plymouth 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday
QPR 2-0 Hull
Scunthorpe 0-0 Crystal Palace
Sheffield United 0-0 Burnley
Southampton 0-1 Charlton
Stoke 1-3 Coventry
Watford 0-3 West Brom
Wolves 1-1 Bristol City
Barnsley lie in 11th place in the Coca Cola Championship with 20 points from 14 games. We are 1 point outside the Play-Offs, 7 points off the Automatic Promotion Places, 12 points off First Place and 7 points above the Relegation Zone.
Coca-Cola Championship Matchday Fifthteen: Barnsley v Blackpool Monday 5th November 2007 Kick-Off: 7:45pm
THIS GAME IS LIVE ON SKY!!!
Tickets for the big game are priced at:
East Stand and West Stand Upper Tiers
Juveniles (U11) £7.00
Barnsley Chronicle Family Area
Juveniles (U11) £7.00
East Stand Lower and West Stand Lower
Juveniles (U11) £6.00
Enterprise PLC Stand (Pontefract Road End)
Juveniles (U11) £6.00
All Disabled Areas £20.00
Helpers FREE OF CHARGE
To book tickets for forthcoming matches simply phone the Oakwell Box Office on 0871 2266777. Alternatively call at the Box Office in person; contact the Box Office by fax on 01226 211444 or e-mail email@example.com. Please note that Juvenile U11 tickets must be purchased in advance from the Oakwell Box Office and this price will not be on sale
On The Road:
Coca-Cola Championship Matchday Sixteen: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Barnsley Saturday 10th November 2007 Kick-Off: 3pm
Senior Citizens: £14
Students (With Valid NUS): £14
Juveniles (U17) £12
Juveniles (U12) £10
Official Coaches will be travelling to Molineux.
Departure Time: 11:30m on the day of the game.