Goals from Conor Hourihane, Adam Hammill, Saidy Janko and Tom Bradshaw helped the Reds to their biggest away victory since September 2012. The skipper got the ball rolling with a drilled effort from just inside the area with 20 minutes remaining. Hammill’s dancing feet and close-range finish doubled the advantage. Late substitute Janko had only been on the pitch for two minutes when he rifled home an absolute stunner for 3-0 before fellow sub Bradshaw made it an awesome foursome when he spun and finished in injury time!
The Reds made just one change to the starting XI with Marley Watkins dropping to the bench to allow the Preston match-winner to start. Janko replaced Elliot Lee on the bench.
Within 30 seconds of the game getting started, Wolves were awarded a dubious-looking free-kick right on the edge of the Reds box after Hourihane was adjudged to have felled his man. It was taken by Jack Price and his curled effort had to be helped over the bar by Adam Davies.
Following the corner a mad scramble ensued and Marc Roberts combined with Andy Yiadom to clear off Davies’ goal-line. Wolves so close to taking a very early lead.
With five minutes on the clock The Reds had their first opportunity when Hourihane’s dangerous in-swinging cross from the right was met by Sam Winnall but the former Wolves man failed to get a decent contact and it ran through for Carl Ikeme in the Wolves goal.
A couple of minutes later and Adam Armstrong seized upon a poor pass out of defence before Ryan Kent flashed a firm effort just wide of goal.
With 10 minutes played, a Davies mis-kick left Jed Wallace bearing down on the Reds goal but he blew the opportunity firing into the side-netting.
The Reds came straight back at the hosts as Kent drifted in off the right-hand side and found Armstrong in the box but the Newcastle United loanee fired straight into the grateful hands of Ikeme.
Hesitancy in the Reds defence saw Joe Mason looking to enter the penalty area but he dwelled on the ball and the chance never came.
Kent was seeing lots of space down the right flank and he again ghosted through midfield and beyond the defenders before dragging his shot harmlessly wide. It was a great chance.
On 17 the best chance of the first-half arrived, as Winnall totally missed his effort from six yards after a great cross from Armstrong off the left wing.
Mason went close on 25 when his downward header spun up and just over Davies’ crossbar.
Winnall on 39 minutes fed Armstrong and after bursting into the box he curled his chance just wide of the Wolves left-post.
The Reds had dominated a first-half lacking in quality and the home side left to a chorus of boos from the home supporters.
HALF TIME: Wolves 0-0 Barnsley
Wolves made a change at half -time when Price made way for Helder Costa. The Reds lined up as they had at the start.
Josh Scowen looked to have been fouled in the box within a couple of minutes of the restart, nothing given by the officials as he waved play on.
On 51 minutes a thunderous strike from 30 yards by Kent was saved brilliantly low-down by Ikeme. Soon after, Scowen saw his effort saved low-down after a lovely, flowing move down the right involving Winnall and Kent.
On the hour mark, the home side finally started to apply some sustained pressure but the Reds rear-guard were holding firm with MacDonald and Roberts getting crucial blocks in when needed.
On 66 minutes, a lovely ball from Conor Coady over the top saw Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in on goal and his terrific volley whistled just over the Reds bar with MacDonald applying pressure.
On 70 minutes the Reds made a double change when Winnall and Armstrong were replaced by Watkins and Bradshaw.
Three minutes later and the breakthrough arrived! The Reds were interchanging beautifully down the right-hand side and after some neat passes inside the box, the skipper arrived on the spot, 12 yards out, a little to the right and thundered home into the bottom corner for 1-0.
On 82 the Reds made their final change with Saidy Janko replacing Ryan Kent.
A minute later, it was 2-0 Barnsley! Hammill tricked his way into the box before placing a right-footed finish beyond Ikeme!
Wolves were shell-shocked, and they were soon picking the ball out of the net again as Janko made it 3-0 with a vicious hit from the corner of the box on the right. It was a blink and you’d miss it moment, a hammer blow.
Entering injury time, insult was added for the hosts. Substitutes Bradshaw and Janko combined and the former spun expertly in the box before firing home with aplomb. It was 4-0 and no more than the Reds deserved after some devastatingly effective attacking football in the second half. It could have been 5-0 but Hourihane was denied by the post.
The Reds stay in 3rd position in the Championship table on 15 points but just one behind the leaders, Huddersfield Town before this weekend’s home game against Reading.
Wolves 0-4 Barnsley
Wolves: Ikeme; Doherty, Stearman, Batth, Iorfa (Cavaleiro 75); Coady, Price (Costa 45), Wallace (Teixeira 64), Oniangue; Mason, Bodvarsson.
Unused subs: Lonergan, Saville, Gladon, Hause.
Reds: Davies; Yiadom, Roberts, MacDonald, White; Kent (Janko 82), Scowen, Hourihane, Hammill; Winnall (Watkins 69), Armstrong (Bradshaw 69).
Unused subs: Townsend, Morsy, Kpekawa, Jackson.
Booked: Scowen (42), Hammill (78), Watkins (84).