Believe me I’ve nothing in particular against Barnsley (apart from the obvious, that it voted for Brexit). I was at Oakwell when we won 6-0. As Palace fans once sang at The Valley, ‘who’s effin’ laughing now?’. They deserve the plaudits for staying up; I admit when it came to looking at the permutations with a few rounds left I’d written them off (Bowyer had not), given who they were going to play and their points total. But have people really taken on board how outrageously lucky they were? I don’t know who they were praying to over the last week or so but I’d like to know for a rainy day.
They win at home against Notts Forest with a 93rd minute goal. They scored the crucial goal relatively early last night, grabbing the utterly unlikely winner away at Brentford in the 91st minute. OK, fair play to them, they got the breaks (and a goal in stoppage time to win a game always amounts to getting the breaks). But what else did they need to stay up?
Birmingham’s 93rd minute equaliser against us denied us two points. With those points we would have finished above Birmingham and Barnsley in 20th, they would have ended on the same points and same goal difference but with Birmingham above Barnsley having scored more (and Birmingham would surely have gone into their final game with a different attitude if they needed something out of it to stay up, as they would have done).
That’s not all. We scored our equaliser against Wigan in the 92nd minute. If Bonne had missed, sure we would have had one point less and still gone down, but Wigan would have had two points more – and stayed up at Barnsley’s expense even with their points deduction.
In other words, at the conclusion of the season four stoppage time goals, two of which had nothing to do with them, were all required to go their way for them to stay up. One of them doesn’t happen and they would be down instead of us (or Wigan). Just think of the odds. Four points went begging for teams above them and they garnered an extra four.
When they come to write the book about great escapes from relegation this has to be right up there for the odds involved, especially when you add in the fact that Barnsley’s last-gasp goals cost Notts Forest a play-off place and Brentford possibly automatic promotion (they would have needed a winner themselves to finish second). If anybody mentions Barnsley in the foreseeable future I am just going to go off on one. Especially as a fellow Addick has just reminded me that Barnsley also scored a stoppage-time winner at The Den.