It was easy. Probably too easy.
Derby County are by no means the best side to come to Oakwell this season but they left with the 3 points to boost their promotion hopes without really breaking sweat.
Goals early in the first and second halves were enough to send Billy Davies' men and their 7,400 fans home happy with Sam Togwell's 98th minute goal only a brief aberration on Derby's sheet.
The Reds also left with two major injury worries.
Firstly goal-keeper David Lucas who was surprisingly chosen ahead of Nick Colgan to make his full debut swallowed his tongue whilst trying to punch out a cross that led to Derby's second goal, and instigated the 8 minute of stoppage time, whilst captain Paul Reid also limped off just as Danny Nardiello was set to replace the ineffective Peter Rajczi.
Even the most positive Barnsley fan would probably have predicted defeat this afternoon against a side who boasted ELEVEN wins away from home this season and those fears were heightened just 11 minutes in.
Young England prospect Giles Barnes was blocked by the onrushing Lucas but the ball spilled out to ex Manchester United youngster David Jones, and despite 3 Barnsley players close to the goal-line, Jones was able to stab the ball home.
From then on Derby rarely looked like relinquishing the lead, as The Reds bizarrely continued to sit back. Simon Davey spoke after the game that he had started the match with a 4-3-3 formation consisting of Kyel Reid, Istvan Ferenczi and Rajczi upfront but it looked increasingly like Ferenczi was playing against the giant Darren Moore and athletic Dean Leacock on his own.
Rajczi was extremely ineffective whilst Reid didn't seem to know whether he was playing upfront, on the left or on the right.
In midfield, Brian Howard toiled, Sam Togwell had arguably his worst ever game which is something given the inept performances he's put in throughout the season and Grant McCann failed to bring his international form back to the club stage.
Derby meanwhile looked like a team top of the league and playing with confidence.
Only wastefulness stopped them doubling their advantage.
Yet Barnsley's best chance could have brought them level. Rajczi found himself unmarked in the area but failed to get the ball out from under his feet in time and Derby cleared.
Any hopes of pushing on in the second half evaporated within 4 minutes of the restart in disturbing circumstances.
Lucas collided with Barnes as he attempted to punch out a cross and with both players laying prone on the floor Matt Oakley gleefully rammed the rebound home.
Barnes recovered but after intense treatment Lucas was stretchered off the field to send Nick Colgan straight back into contention.
Derby from then on cruised the game but Rams goalkeeper Stephen Bywater produced an outstanding save with his leg to stop Kyel Reid making the score-line 2-1 on 79minutes.
Barnsley though got some consolation in the final minute of the eight when Togwell found himself in space inside the area and he rammed the ball past Bywater.
This was never a game marked down as crucial to win, next weekends trip to Ipswich is far more crucial but home form is becoming a worry. Today's defeat makes it 3 on the spin at Oakwell and with Birmingham and Crystal Palace the next two visitors it doesn't look like getting any better. Away form may now be crucial…
David Lucas: Handed his full debut today and his decision to leave his line on 49 minutes proved costly for him and his team. We wish him all the best in his recovery though! Subbed. 6
Paul Heckingbottom: Out of 11 mediocre performances today his was marginally the best, which probably sums the whole afternoon up. Booked. 7
Paul Reid ©: Struggled slightly and then was forced off with injury. Subbed. 5
Antony Kay: Back in the side due to Nyatanga's ineligibility and despite sending one ball out of the ground he was his usual neat and tidy. 6
Bobby Hassell: Due to the bizarre 4-3-3 formation employed by Davey, Hassell was basically playing as a right back and a winger and he gave his best shot. But nowhere near his favoured position. 6
Brian Howard: Worked hard and most of The Reds attacking moves started with him. But they never fulfilled their promise. 6
Grant McCann: Marvellous for Northern Ireland but rarely in the game today. Subbed. 5
Sam Togwell: Apart from the Sunderland game has being poor all season but today was by far his worst! Constantly gave away possession and even his first goal for the club couldn't mask an awful showing. 4
Kyel Reid: In the first half the poor kid didn't seem to know where he was playing. Became a left winger in the second half and it seemed to help him more. 6
Istvan Ferenczi: Despite the supposed 4-3-3 formation "Stan" often looked like he was playing alone upfront and he got little change out of Darren Moore. Booked. 6
Peter Rajczi: Very ineffective. Would have been subbed if it wasn't for Paul Reid's injury. 5
Nick Colgan (for Lucas 55) Probably cant believe his luck. Dropped from the side but then back in within 55 minutes. Had very little to do, Derby had shut up shop by then. 6
Paul Hayes (for McCann 55) Back in from the cold and Huddersfield. Surprising what been shunted out on loan can do. Showed a lot of endeavour on the right wing. With his contract up in the summer the remaining 6 games gives him an ideal chance to put himself in the shop window. 7
Neil Austin (for P.Reid 73) Reid's injury meant Austin rather than Nardiello played out the remaining quarter of the game. Neat and tidy. 6
Ritchie Jones, Daniel Nardiello
Sponsors Man of the Match: Paul Heckingbottom
BarnsleyBoy's Man of the Match: Very hard to find anybody deserving but Heckingbottom was the best of the average.
Most Impressed by Derby's: Easy to see why they are top of the league with one of the best defences. Frightening pace and DARREN MOORE at the back.
Ref Watch: Scott Mathieson: Had worse but he wasn't much better. 5
Coca-Cola Championship Results: Saturday 31st March 2007:
Barnsley 1-2 Derby
Burnley 0-0 Luton
Cardiff 0-1 Sunderland
Colchester 3-0 Norwich
Crystal Palace 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Hull 4-0 Southend
Ipswich 3-0 Plymouth
QPR 1-2 West Brom
Stoke 4-2 Leicester
Wolves 0-6 Southampton
Friday 30th March 2007:
Leeds 2-1 Preston
Barnsley lie in 20th place in the Coca Cola Championship with 41 points from 40 games. We are 25 points off the Play-Offs, 32 points off the Automatic Promotion Places, 35 points off First Place and 2 points above the Relegation Zone.
On The Road:
Coca-Cola Championship Matchday Forty One Ipswich Town v Barnsley Saturday 7th April 2007 (Easter Saturday) Kick-Off 3pm
Bought in Advance:
Adults - £26.00
Senior Citizens (Over 60) - £18.00
Juveniles (Under 16) - £9.50
Bought on the turnstiles:
Adults - £28.00
Senior Citizens (Over 60) - £20.00
Juveniles (Under 16) - £11.50
Official Reds On The Road coaches will be making the trip to Portman Road.
Coaches will depart Oakwell at 9.30am on the day of the game
Coca-Cola Championship Matchday Forty Two Barnsley v Birmingham City Monday 9th April 2007 (Easter Monday) Kick-Off 3pm
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 01226 211200. 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 turnstiles under any circumstances.