Sheffield Wednesday continued their impressive run over neighbours Barnsley with a convincing 2-0 victory in a feisty encounter.
A strike from Sam Hutchinson and an own goal from Angus McDonald ensured the home side claimed all three points in what was a crucial match for both sides.
Ill discipline and a lack of quality finishing cost Barnsley as substitute Adam Hammill and manager Paul Heckingbottom were both sent off.
Wednesday were unbeaten in 12 out of their last 13 matches against The Tykes and were looking to go back into the play-off places.
Carlos Carvalhal made three changes to the side that were defeated 2-1 by Reading last Saturday, as Daniel Pudil, Liam Palmer and Steven Fletcher replaced Jack Hunt, Ross Wallace and Atdhe Nuhui.
After their impressive 2-1 victory over Norwich City, Heckingbottom’s side were unchanged as they looked to move above The Owls in what was a frosty South Yorkshire derby.
The home side started impressively early on. Adam Reach, moved from left back to attacking midfield, was very alert and bright on the ball. A wild flying shot from Pudil epitomised a side eager to take the initiative quickly.
Barnsley’s best opportunities seemed to be from set pieces, but when Conor Hourihane fired his effort well wide of the goal it summed up a quite tense and mistake-ridden first 20 minutes.
The away side, who had lost just one of their previous seven matches, then went closest to scoring. After neat build up play from the left, the ball found its way to Sam Winnall, who put through Tom Bradhsaw, only for the striker to be denied by the scrambling Keiren Westwood.
As the game livened up space for both midfields increased, and suddenly Wednesday nearly took the lead from a corner when a Lucas Joao header skimmed the post.
Andy Yiadom’s speculative effort from 25 yards suggested that The Tykes were the most likely team to go in-front, but that idea was trampled by Joao. His powerful header from a Liam Palmer cross found the net after a severe deflection from Barnsley centre back Angus McDonald took it away from the desperate Adam Davies in goal.
Barnsley’s frustration was clear. A yellow card for Sam Morsy for a reckless foul started a tussle involving seven players from both sides. Minutes later Barry Bannan was booked for a late challenge on Morsy, a decision which inspired a Carvalhal touchline rant towards the fourth official.
After the break both sides had tame penalty appeals turned down before the home side nearly doubled their lead when Reach’s header glanced towards the oncoming Davies.
Carvalhal brought on Ross Wallace for Joao to solidify Wednesday’s midfield, and although Palmer went close with a blocked effort from close change, the away side had the best opportunity when Westwood brilliantly dived to his right to save Bradhshaw’s lurching header.
The Barnsley forward was replaced by Stefan Payne, while Heckingbottom also brought on Adam Hamill for Sam Morsy in an effort to force the issue.
And five minutes later the equaliser looked a certainty when the two substitutes nearly combined brilliantly. Hamill’s run, a marvellous piece of technique, was enough to find the space to drive the ball low in the box, but for Payne only to see his instinctive flick pushed away by Westwood.
Throughout the afternoon set pieces were the most likely route to goal for Barnsley but it ended up being their downfall, when a mix-up in the box from The Tykes’ defence allowed Sam Hutchinson to find the corner of the net.
Then the game exploded. A wild challenge between Hutchinson and Hamill brought both fans on their feet, and when the latter was sent off those cheers and jeers grew even louder. Coaching staff on both benches tussled with Heckingbottom sent to the stands.
As the game petered out smoke bombs were let off from the travelling supporters, but no doubt the night belonged to Wednesday.
Sheffield Wednesday: Keiren Westwood; Daniel Pudil; Tom Lees; Glenn Loovens ©; Adam Reach; Sam Hutchinson; Kieran Lee; Liam Palmer; Barry Bannan (David Jones, 67); Lucas Joao (Ross Wallace, 54); Steven Fletcher (Atdhe Nuhiu, 77). Subs not used: Joe Wildsmith; Jose Semedo; Vincent Sasso; George Hirst.
Barnsley: Adam Davies; James Bree; Marc Roberts; Angus McDonald; Josh Scowen; Conor Hourihane ©; Sam Winnall; Andy Yiadom; Tom Bradshaw (Stefan Payne, 69); Sam Morsy (Adam Hamill, 69); Ryan Kent (Saidy Janko, 79). Subs not used: Nick Townsend; Callum Evans; Cole Kpewawa; Saidy Janko; Ryan Williams.
Adam Hammill (83)
Lucas Joao (50)
Barry Bannan (45+1)
Sam Morsy (40)
Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistant Referees: Paul Hodskinson and Jonathan Hunt
Fourth Official: Graham Salisbury