AS spring finally arrived, we headed over the Woodhead Pass for the relegation showdown with Barnsley.

We stopped off at the Lord Nelson at Hoylandswaine for a home-made steak pie and proper chips, washed down with an Ossett Blonde.

Feelings are running high after a string of disappointing results as we are now on final approach in this traumatic season.

Avoiding relegation has always been the target, meaning it was always going to be a close-run campaign.

Four matches ago, we never thought it would still be this close.

Supporters are looking at the league table and the remaining fixtures for where points will be won and lost for us and our main rivals.

Burton and Sunderland looked doomed, so we must fight it out with Barnsley, Birmingham and Reading.

Avoiding defeat was a minimum requirement, while a win would have given us a five-point gap above the bottom three.

We arrived at Oakwell, where the stewards had optimistically put out buckets for a Flare Amnesty.

Phil Parkinson went for three at the back with Mark Little and Antonee Robinson as wing-backs and Felipe Morais and Sammy Ameobi as the wide men.

Despite a promising opening, we were second best and once Barnsley scored, we were clueless, and the heads went down.

The fans were screaming ‘on the ground, on the ground!’. As the players came off at half time, we looked down and out, but the fans still cheered them off to try to lift the players.

I don’t know what was said at half time or what was in their tea, but a different team appeared in the second half.

Will Buckley came on for Reece Burke and suddenly we took the game to Barnsley.

Significantly, the team finally accepted we had sold Gary Madine in January and tried to keep the ball on the floor, with Ben Alnwick joining in by throwing the ball to players.

We went close several times before Adam Le Fondre smashed the penalty home and Craig Noone deservedly put us in front.

Unfortunately, we could not hold on to the lead, but we came away with a valuable point, a result most fans would have settled for before kick-off.

Even better, we came away with a sense that we are in their fighting.

The spirit and confidence were there in the second half and the fans rose to it. Together we can still do this.