Barnsley U23s suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat at Professional Development League leaders Nottingham Forest on Friday afternoon.
A brace from Will Swan either side of the interval was added to by Trialist, substitute Victor Sodiende and Alex Mighten as the hosts ran out convincing winners at the Wilford Lane Training Ground.
Elliot Simoes’ seventh goal of the season gave the young Reds hope of salvaging something from the game, but Forest showed their clinical edge in the final third to seal all three points.
One positive, however, for Barnsley was the return of Kenny Dougall. The Australian midfielder completed a full 90 minutes as he continues his recovery from injury.
The visitors started brightly and almost took the lead inside two minutes when Tommy Willard tested Marios Siampanis down low at his near post.
However, Forest soon had the upper hand as Swan ghosted into the six-yard box to flick a free header beyond Joshua Rae.
Midway through the first half, Trialist doubled the hosts’ lead as he played a deft one-two with Swan before drilling home from close range.
Sam Fielding and Dylan Mottley-Henry both had decent opportunities to reduce the arrears in the closing stages of the half, but neither could divert their efforts on target.
HALF-TIME: Nottingham Forest 2-0 Barnsley
The Reds came out firing on all cylinders after the break and deservedly halved the deficit within five minutes of the restart as Simoes turned home Mottley-Henry’s low cross.
Willard then saw his deflected effort crash off the upright, before Siampanis made a fine save to deny Simoes his second of the afternoon.
But the contest turned on its head when Forest were awarded a penalty, which Swan duly dispatched from 12-yards to restore the hosts’ two goal lead.
With the game petering out, Forest struck twice in the last five minutes, first through Sodiende’s curling strike into the top corner and then Mighten’s low drive, which squirmed under Rae.
It was a harsh final scoreline for Barnsley, who put in a fine shift after the interval.
FOREST XI: Siampanis, Gabriel, Preston, Fornah, Rama, Stewart, Trialist, Barnes, Swan, Asare, Mighten.
Subs: Statham, Gallacher, Sodiende, Haynes, Spooner.
REDS XI: Rae, Helliwell (Gagen, 64), Fielding, Mundell, Barnett, Dougall, Wollerton (Sang, 75), Martin, Simoes, Willard (Marsh, 87), Mottley-Henry.
Not used: Flavell, Ward.