A Josiah Dyer hat-trick inspired our U18s to derby day delight with a 4-2 win away at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
Hayden Pickard was also on the scoresheet for the young Reds, who battled hard to come from behind to seal three crucial points in the Professional Development League, leapfrogging the Owls into second place in the process.
We started the game poorly and were one down inside two minutes. Striker Bailey Cadamarteri beat the Barnsley defence for pace before slotting the ball past Kieren Flavell into the bottom right corner.
The home side nearly doubled their lead when a header from a corner was cleared off the line in a frantic opening period.
After this sluggish start, the Reds grew into the game and it wasn’t long before we got our first chance of the half with a free-kick swung in from the right, but the Wednesday keeper was able to gather routinely.
We continued to press in search for an equaliser with corner after corner, but the hosts’ backline stood strong.
This pressure could only be resisted for so long and we got deserved equaliser through Dyer, who slotted in from a rebound after Owls’ keeper Pierce Charles couldn’t keep hold of the ball from a previous effort.
With the confidence from going level our U18s found another gear and were on top for the remainder of the first half and Dyer had another chance to grab a goal but could only head over the bar.
Hayden Pickard completed the turnaround as he cut in from the left and saw his strike fumbled into the back of his own net by Charles.
Moments later, we added a third – right on the stroke of half-time – as Dyer powered home a header from Pickard’s corner to put us in a commanding position.
HALF-TIME: Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Barnsley
Straight from the restart, we were under pressure as Wednesday threw everyone forward to get something from the game.
They were rewarded for their endeavours as Cadamarteri doubled his tally at the second attempt, pouncing on the rebound after his initial effort had come back off the crossbar ten minutes after the restart.
However, the Reds were not disheartened from conceding as Theo Chapman tried his luck from distance, but it didn’t trouble the keeper.
Dyer got his third of the game midway through the half as Pickard collected a hat-trick of assists when his pinpoint cross was met by the forward to nod home.
With the two-goal advantage reinstated Barnsley played professionally to see the game out, running down the clock and frustrating Wednesday as they tried everything to get a goal back.
The result sees our U18s move back into the end of season play-off positions with four fixtures remaining.
FULL-TIME: Sheffield Wednesday 2-4 Barnsley
REDS XI: Flavell (GK), McKay (Monteiro), Pickard (Lacey), Hickingbottom, Benson, Joof, Chapman, Makessi, Hartley, Dyer, Jalo.
Not used: Ravenhill, Benjamin, Anaman.