Reds 1 (Dawson 54)
Southampton 5 (Davis 26, Rodriguez 49, Mayuka 67, Davis pen 90, Ramirez 90+1)
Barnsley gave it a good go but Premier League Southampton eased the Reds out of the Capital One Cup at Oakwell, with the score-line a little harsh on Flitcroft’s men.
The Reds were split with barely a minute on the clock but, thankfully, Gaston Ramirez could only tuck wide of the post after breaking clean through.
The next chance didn’t come until the 17th minute when O’Grady glanced a header through for Pedersen who took his shot early from the edge of the box but his effort drifted wide.
On 26 minutes the next shot saw a goal and it was for the visitors. A clearance fell kindly for Davis who got lucky, and he didn’t waste the gift from a fairly tight angle as he fizzed in from 10 yards.
After Jack Cork placed wide from a Rodrigeuz dink at one end, Pedersen snatched at a chance at the other on 33 minutes. The Norwegian took aim early from 25 yards but could only drill his effort wide with David untroubled.
Rodriguez cracked a vicious effort at goal from 25 yards after an opening but Pollitt was equal to it with a fine block on 35 minutes.
With little over two minutes to the break, Barnsley upped the tempo and Golbourne teed up Mellis to fire from range but he hammered wide with Davis sprawling to his right.
Four minutes into the second half, Jay Rodriguez curled in a delightful second for Southampton with the first attempt of the second half. The Reds failed to clear their lines and the former Tykes loanee didn’t waste his chance with a lovely curling effort from the edge of the box.
Three minutes after the Saints’ second, Rodriguez had a much easier chance to bag one again but he struck the post after the defence parted in front of him.
Right up at the other end, Stephen Dawson fired his side right back into it with a gorgeous low drive that nestled into the bottom corner. Pedersen squared for the Dubliner who advanced ten yards before thumping into Davis’ bottom right-hand corner from 23 yards.
The Reds made a double change on 56 minutes as Marcus Pedersen was replaced by Jason Scotland and Tom Kennedy by Chris Dagnall.
Mayuka curled a tame effort at goal that Pollitt dealt with comfortably. Barnsley should have been level on 59 but Dagnall couldn’t get his shot under control after O’Grady’s effort had deflected into the striker’s path.
Another good move from Barnsley saw Jacob Mellis land a volley just wide after the ball sat up nicely just outside the box. The Reds were looking rejuvenated and were going all out for the equaliser as Tomasz Cywka replaced Kelvin Etuhu on 66 minutes.
Saints pulled away, though, on 67 minutes as Mayuka turned in the box before planting expertly past Pollitt from 15 yards.
The third goal deflated the Reds somewhat, and Jason Scotland fired over in anger after surging forward down the centre on 78 minutes.
A fourth was denied by Pollitt with a brilliant low block to deny youngster Rowe a certain goal when he was teed up at the far stick just 15 yards out with eight to play.
Jim McNulty hacked down Mayuka in the box, allowing Steven Davis a spot-kick up against debutant Mike Pollitt. The Wigan loanee got his hands to it down to his left, but the ball found the corner of the net for 4-1.
Saints’ £12million man Gaston Ramirez danced his way into the Barnsley box in stoppage time, flooring Mike Pollitt with an excellent dummy before dinking home for number five.
The visitors still had time to get in again but Pollitt denied the top-flight team a sixth with a neat stop to thwart Rowe at the death.
Reds: Pollitt, Golbourne, Kennedy (Dagnall 54), O'Brien, Dawson (c), O'Grady, Wiseman, McNulty, Pedersen (Scotland 54), Mellis, Etuhu (Cywka 66).
Subs: Steele, McCourt, Noble-Lazarus, Jennings.
Saints: K. Davis (c), Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, S. Davis, Rodriguez (Reed 81), Ramirez, Fox, Cork, Mayuka (Sinclair 90), Isgrove (Rowe 72).
Subs: Ward-Prowse, Chambers, Gazzaniga, Stephens.
Attendance: 6574 (694 away)
Man of the match sponsored by Napoleon’s: Stephen Dawson.