Barnsley recorded their third straight win on Wednesday night when they made the trip to the KCOM Stadium to face Hull City, coming out deserved 1-0 victors after a dominant performance.
The Tykes had been resurgent in the last couple of weeks as they recorded vital back-to-back wins against Fulham and Middlesbrough, boosting their survival hopes immensely and leaving them with a real chance of stealing a march on the sides above them.
Their great form had seen Gerhard Struber’s men move to within six points of safety after these two wins and in with a chance of closing that gap to just three points with a win, as Middlesbrough lost at home to Leeds United.
They faced a seriously out-of-form Hull City side and took full advantage, dominating the majority of the game and being well-worth their 1-0 lead at the back end of the first half via top scorer Cauley Woodrow.
Boos rang around the stadium at full-time but the away section were in euphoria as they continued to rise towards 21st-place with a third-straight win.
As Barnsley now see themselves with a genuine shot at survival, we take a look at three things we learnt about them in their 1-0 win…
Cauley Woodrow’s impact
Woodrow was the match-winner on the night as he latched onto a Conor Chaplin cross that was spilled by George Long in the Tigers goal, handing Woodrow a goal on a plate inside the six-yard box.
It was coming throughout the first half and it came as no real surprise when the Tykes finally broke the deadlock.
While he netted for the 14th time this season, it was a complete performance from the attacking midfielder to create a consistent flow of chances in both halves that could have seen Barnsley add more goals if it weren’t for a string of last-ditch blocks.
Dropping down into attacking midfield has seen a tremendous improvement in Barnsley’s attack as they have managed to get more out of Conor Chaplin and Jacob Brown, with Woodrow’s influence not wavering.
Brad Collins stepping up
Injury to Sami Radlinger has seen Brad Collins return to the starting lineup in recent weeks and to great effect as he has now kept a third clean sheet in a row to help the Tykes to nine points out of a possible nine.
It seemed harsh that he was dropped in the first place when Struber was appointed but it’s no surprise that he favoured a fellow countryman in Radlinger.
The hosts had little in the way of chances on Wednesday but when called upon, Collins stepped up with a vital save in the first-half at 0-0 when a deflected Josh Magennis effort looked to be bound for the far corner before he tipped it wide.
Even if Radlinger comes back from injury, it would be extremely harsh to drop Collins from a winning team that hasn’t conceded for three games in a row.
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Their style is suiting a fightback
With the whole club looking far more galvanised in their quest to fight for survival, the style of play that they have managed to refine under Struber looks like fitting the bill perfectly at the moment.
The gung-ho high press and swift attacking play is catching teams cold and Hull are just the latest in this run to fall to it.
With confidence flowing through the Barnsley team at the moment, this very organised yet free-flowing play in the final third is seeing much better results and looks like creating a snowball effect.
With more games against their relegation rivals coming up, they will be definitely confident that they can extend their run.