On This Day: Barnsley 1 Cardiff City 2
You don't have to think hard to recall this one. After a torrid 4 years in League 1, Barnsley sneaked back into the Championship via the back door, namely Cardiff and the Play-offs in a thriller of a penalty shoot-out against Swansea City. Their reward - a place back in the second tier of English football, where they've spent more seasons than any other club and an opening day fixture at home to Cardiff City.
Barnsley lined up against a certain Stephen McPhail on August 5th 2006. The former fans favourite had opted to join Cardiff City in the summer, despite the Reds winning promotion and the offer of improved terms to remain a Barnsley player.
Andy Ritchie included new signings Sam Togwell and Michael McIndoe in the team that started the match in front of a gate of 12,082.
Barnsley landed back in the Championship with a resounding thud when youngster Joe Ledley tapped in from 6 yards to put Cardiff City 1-0 up.
A couple of minutes later the defecit was doubled by a superb left footed volley from Thompson after a pinpoint cross from in form Ledley. 2-0 down right in front of the Ponty End and things looked bleak at Oakwell.
The Reds hit back in fashion however just after the half hour mark when Paul Heckingbottom crossed from the left, finding Brian Howard on the edge of the Cardiff box with his back to goal, who promptly chested the ball up and performed an acrobatic scissor kick which found the top corner of the net and sent the Barnsley team, bench and fans crazy.
Unfortunately for the Reds a host of missed chances meant that they began life back in the Championship with a defeat. Little did they know then that it would be a narrow loss to Cardiff City thanks to missed opportunities and another goal from that man Ledley that would later knock them out of the F.A. Cup at the Semi-Final stage to deny them their first appearance in the final since 1912.
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