Sheffield United U18s 1
Barnsley U18s 2 (Pilkington 25, Freeman 90)
The Reds Under 18s’ final match of the season saw Dean Freeman snatch a last-minute winner – his first goal of the campaign – against South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United at Shirecliffe.
Barnsley’s squad was littered with Under 16s but they still managed to claim three points as the curtain fell on another great season for the Tykes youngsters.
Callum Pilkington hammered in bottom corner from just inside the box on 25 minutes to give his side the lead after turning well.
The Reds were on top - playing some good football on a windy evening - but United came back in the second half and enjoyed several spells of possession.
The Blades levelled when a set-piece dropped on the edge of the box and the defender volleyed into the bottom corner through a crowd of bodies to beat Rusling.
In the dying embers of the match, Pilkington received the ball at the far post and nodded into the path of Dean Freeman to tap home the winner, ending the season on a high for Chris Howarth’s side.
“They did well,” said Under 18s Coach Chris Howarth of his young side. “Sheff United were a young side as well. It was good for them to be involved and it’s given us a heads up for next season. We know what we need to work on next season and we have some great lads to work with over the summer.
“In terms of their development it’s been a great season. There have been some disappointing games where we could have done better but we’ve finished with 31 points which isn’t bad.
“I think the clubs within our league; it’s a good competitive league for us and it’s the same with the Under 21s.
“I’ve personally enjoyed my first season and I’m looking forward to next season now. I think the strides we’ve made with the EPPP is great – it will stand us in good stead because of the detail we give the players.”
Reds: Rusling, Bree, Smith, Freeman, Cowgill, Goodha (Templeton 70), Biggins (Hancock 60), Maris, Pilkington, Cooke, Rodgerson (Goodwin 46).
Subs not used: Holgate, Ndlovu.