Man Utd loanee helps Barnsley into Championship

Date published: Sunday 29th May 2016 5:23

Ashley Fletcher: Celebrates scoring Barnsley's opener against Millwall

Ashley Fletcher: Celebrates scoring Barnsley's opener against Millwall

Manchester United loanee Ashley Fletcher scored after just 90 seconds to help Barnsley into the Championship with a 3-1 League One play-off final win over Millwall at Wembley.

Just two days after Marcus Rashford marked his England debut with a third-minute goal, his United youth-team room-mate took less than two minutes to make his own statement to new boss Jose Mourinho.

Adam Hammill added a spectacular second and although boyhood Barnsley fan Mark Beevers pulled one back for Millwall, Lloyd Isgrove ensured a return to the Championship for the Tykes.

A 3-1 victory completed a remarkable turnaround for the Yorkshire club, who were bottom at Christmas and looking as though they might be exiting the third tier in the opposite direction.

Some Millwall fans charged around the top tier towards the Barnsley section in response to the defeat, while others appeared to lob coins at Tykes players.

But nothing could take the shine off Barnsley’s day – which got off to a perfect start thanks to Fletcher.

The 20-year-old collected Sam Winnall’s flick-on and shrugged off Lions defender Carlos Edwards before racing towards goal and finishing low across keeper Jordan Archer.

Fletcher had a chance to make it two 10 minutes later when another ball over the top beat Millwall’s offside trap, but the angle was tight and Archer beat out his shot at the near post.

But there was nothing Archer could do in the 19th minute when Hammill, the ‘old man’ of this vibrant young Barnsley side at the age of 28, collected the ball on the left wing.

There did not appear to be much on for Hammill, but the former Liverpool youngster cut inside Edwards before unleashing a stunning 30-yard curler into the top corner.

Millwall refused to lie down, though, and clawed their way back into the match when Barnsley failed to clear Shane Ferguson’s 33rd-minute corner.

Captain Tony Craig scuffed his shot but the ball fell to Beevers, who rolled Tykes defender Marc Roberts before rifling home from six yards.

But events were still conspiring against the Lions, who, after losing Byron Webster to injury in the warm-up, saw fellow defender Joe Martin limp off after suffering a freak calf injury moments before half-time.

They had chances in the second half, not least when Steve Morison rounded Adam Davies and sent in a cross which Aiden O’Brien hit straight at the Tykes keeper.

But their hopes were extinguished in the 74th minute when Conor Hourihane swung in a corner and Isgrove leapt highest to nod in at the near post.

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