BARNSLEY went some way to proving there’s life without top-scorer Ricardo Vaz Te by ending Derby County’s seven-game unbeaten run at Oakwell last night.
The Portuguese striker, who bagged 12 goals for the Reds this season, was in London penning a deal with West Ham United as Keith Hill’s men secured their first home win of 2012 with a 3-2 success against Derby County in the Championship.
Hill highlighted the importance of playing “with a little bit of freedom of expression” in front of the Barnsley fans following their disappointing 3-2 home loss against Millwall last time out.
And his men certainly heeded his calls with a blistering first half-an-hour that saw them 3-0 to the good against Nigel Clough’s in-form side.
New loan signings Michael Tonge and Korey Smith both made the starting line-up.
Matt Done gave the hosts an eleventh-minute lead and was involved in the Tykes’ second when he was hauled down inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Andy Gray didn’t waste the chance to fire the hosts 2-0 up inside 23 minutes.
It got better for Barnsley on the half-hour mark, Scott Wiseman producing a cool finish to leave the Rams with it all to do.
Former Sheffield United man Jamie Ward pulled a goal back for the visitors with 20 minutes to go and there was a tense finish for the Reds when Tom Carroll netted a second for Derby deep into added time.
But the Reds held on for a big three points that take them to within six points of the play-offs.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for a full Barnsley FC round-up.