Barnsley relegated as Huddersfield seal playoff spot with victory | Championship

Barnsley’s three-season stint in the Championship came to an end following a 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield on Friday night, one that also assured a playoff place for the hosts.

Huddersfield – who have now won four of their last five games – moved to within just a point of second-placed Bournemouth in the charge for automatic promotion, although Bournemouth do have three games extra to play. Barnsley dramatically stayed up on the final day at the same venue almost exactly nine years ago but it was a different story this time around as they succumbed meekly.

There were worrying signs for Barnsley after just three minutes when Duane Holmes fired a deflected strike inches over the top. However, from the resultant corner, the visitors’ early fears were confirmed when Huddersfield stormed ahead.

The goal was only confirmed after a lengthy debate between the officials, with Jordan Rhodes having headed home from close range after Danel Sinani’s corner flicked off Barnsley defender Mads Andersen.

Jordan Rhodes heads Huddersfield into an early lead against Barnsley
Jordan Rhodes heads Huddersfield into an early lead against Barnsley. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/Shutterstock

Poya Asbaghi’s side managed to weather the rest of the early Huddersfield storm, and threatened an equaliser in the 25th minute. Domingos Quina carved out some space on the edge of the hosts’ area, only to see his well-hit shot clip defender Jonathan Hogg before drifting narrowly over the crossbar.

It appeared Barnsley’s fate was all but sealed when Huddersfield struck again in first-half added time. Harry Toffolo tucked home from close range this time as he raced in to meet Sinani’s pinpoint cross.

The game had become rather scrappy as the hour mark passed, and though Barnsley did gain some momentum, both Romal Palmer and Cauley Woodrow were wasteful with half-chances.

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Barnsley fans did get to celebrate a consolation goal in the shape of Callum Styles’s crisp finish in the final minute of seven added on. But that left no time for the visitors to rescue a draw and they must go again back in the third tier next term, while Huddersfield supporters have plenty more to get excited about in their final two, four or five remaining fixtures.

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