Reds 4 v 1 Gillingham
Hourihane 22, Winnall 30, Cole 68, Jennings 76.
Two goals in each half for the Reds saw Danny Wilson’s side pick up their first win at Oakwell since March last year.
Hourihane and Winnall were the scorers in the first half before substitutes Cole and Jennings added the extras in the second period capping off a fantastic team performance.
Despite a goal from the visitors in the second half, the Reds looked unfazed as they completed a convincing win over the Gills dominating the majority of the action.
Barnsley came out for the first half looking determined as possession switched frequently between both sets of players for the first five minutes.
Despite some good attacking moves from Gillingham, the Barnsley defence was able to stand strong as Reece Brown knocked the ball out for the game’s first corner.
The resulting effort from the Gills was headed over the bar by striker Danny Kedwell as Reds keeper Adam Davies looked comfortable between the sticks.
The Reds bounced straight back soon after holding on to the ball in the middle of the park for a period.
Midfielder Brad Abbott is making his professional debut for the Tykes, replacing the unfit James Bailey in the centre of midfield.
The Reds’ first real chance of the game came after 14 minutes as Joe Dudgeon whipped in a cross to the far post finding Luke Berry who saw his effort strike the side netting.
The Reds then took the lead soon after in the 21st minute as Conor Hourihane smashed home from 25 yards, his left footed thunder bolt easily beating Bywater to the top left corner of the Gills’ goal.
Adam Davies was then called into action to keep the Reds in front, a quick break from the visitors saw Jermaine McGlashan fire a low shot at the Barnsley goal but Davies made the save and easily dealt with the danger.
The Reds doubled their lead nine minutes later in the 30thminute as Sam Winnall scored his first Barnsley goal connecting with a good cross and heading powerfully past Bywater in the Gillingham goal.
Looking galvanised thereafter, the Reds continued to press Gillingham going into the latter minutes of the half as the first period came to an end with the Reds up by two.
The Reds came out for the second period looking just as impressive as the first. A loose back pass to Gills’ keeper Bywater presented Winnall with an early chance to put the Reds three up.
Looking to weave his way around the visitor’s keeper, Bywater was able to close down the angle and force Winnall to give up possession.
Despite continuing to look the better side, Reds boss Danny Wilson made two changes on the hour mark brining on Dale Jennings and Devante Cole in an effort to see his side get themselves further in front.
The substitutes came good soon after as a cross from Winnall in the 68th minute was hit home by Devante Cole going in off the underside of the crossbar, giving the Manchester City loanee the perfect start to his home debut for the Reds.
Gillingham were handed a lifeline in the form of a penalty in the 71st minute after Joe Dudgeon fouled his man in the area.
Despite Adam Davies saving the initial penalty from Danny Kedwell, the striker followed up his shot for an easy rebound making it 3-1 with around 20 minutes remaining.
A matter of minutes later, the Reds hit back once again. Winning a free kick on the edge of the Gillingham box, Hourihane’s effort hit the wall presenting substitute Dale Jennings with a one on one opportunity in the 76th minute that he had no problem with converting comfortably and restoring the three goal cushion.
Barnsley continued to fish for more goals, from a corner in the 81st minute Hemmings almost made it five but his effort came back into play off the post.
Substitute Devante Cole’s pace was the main point of the Reds’ attack in the final minutes as his speed on the turn terrorised the Gillingham defence.
Reds: Davies, Brown, Dudgeon, Berry, Nyatanga, Cranie (C), Treacy (62), Hourihane, Winnall (77), Abbott, Lita (62).
Subs: Hemmings (77), Jennings (62), Digby, M'Voto, Bree, Cole (62), Turnbull.
Gillingham: Bywater, Egan, Hause, Legge, Hessenthaler, Kedwell (C), McGlashan (77), Morris (59) , Dack, Dickenson (59), Hoyte.
Subs: Morris (77), Fish, McDonald (59), German, Pritchard (59), Norris, Davies.
Referee: Carl Berry
Assistant Referees: Barry Cropp & Geoffrey Law
Fourth Official: David Benton
Attendance: 9163 (288 Away)