FULL TIME: Barnsley 2 Wanderers 3
WANDERERS survived a second-half scare at Barnsley to claim a third successive victory.
Goals from David Ngog and Jay Spearing had made Dougie Freedman's side look relatively comfortable at the break but the Tykes hauled themselves back into it through Tomasz Cwyka and Chris O'Grady.
Craig Dawson then scored what proved to be the decisive strike – his fourth goal in three games – to put Wanderers ninth, seven points off the play-offs.
Wanderers completely dominated the first half and took the advantage 15 minutes in when Eagles found an unmarked Ngog six yards from goal, and though Luke Steele denied the Frenchman first time, his second shot was placed neatly into the bottom corner.
Adam Bogdan was kept busy enough, making good saves from Jim O'Brien and David Perkins but the better chances were being created at the opposite end.
Craig Davies, booed throughout by his former club's fans, fluffed a volley before Steele made an excellent save to push away a curling effort from Eagles.
Seven minutes from the break, Wanderers made their superiority tell.
Ricketts' long throw was cleared to the edge of the box and Spearing drilled his shot into the bottom corner, possibly aided by a deflection en route.
There was certainly no telling at that point that a Barnsley revival was on the cards. But the Yorkshiremen managed to get themselves level within eight minutes of the restart.
First Tomasz Cwyka curled a shot past Bogdan from the edge of the box to set Oakwell rocking.
And just a few minutes later it was 2-2 as Cywka's shot was spilled by Bogdan to leave Chris O'Grady with a tap in.
But it took Wanderers just six minutes to get back in front, as Steele saved a free kick from Eagles only for Craig Dawson to pounce on the rebound for his fourth goal in three games.
The game became chaotic after that with both sides trading chances.
Bogdan redeemed himself slightly by denying O'Brien, who was clean in on goal, but Wanderers broke instantly and sparked a mass scramble in the Barnsley box in which Eagles had two shots blocked on the line.
Barnsley threw everything forward later on, prompting Freedman to put on David Wheater and Medo to firm up at the back.
And the Whites defended well in the later stages to make sure Barnsley did not get another sniff.
By holding on to three points, Wanderers have won three games in succession for the first time in 11 months.