Goals from Jack Marriott and Frankie Kent on either side of the break gave Peterborough a 2-0 win against fellow strugglers Barnsley at Oakwell.
Posh’s victory raises their hopes of survival and leaves Barnsley on the brink of relegation.
Barnsley started brilliantly, coming close to scoring in the first minute. Carlton Morris passed the ball to Domingos Quina, whose shot from the edge of the box deflected off the crossbar.
Romal Palmer was close too, holding off a low cross from Remy Vita before firing a shot saved by David Cornell.
Morris then tested Cornell with a looping header after receiving a free kick from Amine Bassi, and the keeper did well to deflect the ball over the crossbar.
Peterborough’s Joe Ward scrambled down the right side of the area and fired a low shot at goal, but goalkeeper Jack Walton was up to the task, saving with his legs.
Walton then made a comfortable save from a low shot by Harrison Burrows.
Marriott put Posh ahead in the 25th minute with a clinical shot into the roof of the net after receiving a through ball from Sammie Szmodics.
Barnsley striker Cauley Woodrow was introduced as a substitute when play resumed after the break.
Woodrow was soon involved in the action, slipping the ball through Callum Styles, who was challenged inside the box, and the ball fell to Morris, whose shot was saved by Cornell at his near post.
Szmodics threatened to find a way down the other side with Walton bravely diving at his feet to claim the ball.
As Barnsley looked to level, Bassi’s low free kick carried Woodrow inside the area, but his shot went straight to Cornell.
Posh took advantage when Kent increased their lead in the 75th minute, finding a corner from Burrows with a well-placed header.
Barnsley had a great opportunity to reduce the deficit when Morris looked sure to score but, with Cornell off his line, the player saw his shot deflected by a defender.
Peterborough substitute Kwame Poku fired a low shot into the side of the net in the final minutes.
The loss leaves Barnsley 11 points behind Reading, fourth from bottom, and with a maximum of 12 points still available.
A chorus of boos from Barnsley fans greeted the final whistle with the South Yorkshire club all but certain to play in League One next season.
What the managers said…
barnsley Poya Asbaghi: “We knew that we had to win this game to give ourselves the small chance that we still had. The performance itself was better than the result and that is what disappoints me. We have to fight and continue to believe in it, but I understand how few percentages there are to us (to continue up), although there is no hope, we owe it to the fans to continue fighting.
“I think the fans understood that the performance itself in terms of creating chances was good enough, but we needed to win, so of course they were really frustrated. I’m not going to sit here right now and talk about my future. Of course, I’m going to fight like everyone else. It’s not in my nature to give up anything.”
peterborough grant mccann: “I’m very happy with our boys. We defended ourselves, stayed strong and defended quite a few balls in our box. We weren’t good in terms of the ball, but I think defensively we were strong when we played.” it had to be. I was happy for the goalkeeper and the five from behind. It’s really nice to go out with a clean sheet and three points.
“It’s a good finish from Jack (Marriott) with his left foot. Jack is in good shape and it was a very good finish. It was a good result for us. I don’t think it was the best of games, to be honest.” with you. It was a tense and difficult affair, which I’m sure most people would imagine it would be anyway, given where both teams are positioned.”