Watford 3 (Battocchio 5, Deeney 16, Merkel 75)
Barnsley only troubled the hosts on one occasion in the Hertfordshire sunshine as Watford secured a very comfortable 3-0 victory at Vicarage Road.
Watford forced the Reds under pressure right from the off in the Hertfordshire sunshine. On two minutes Troy Deeney showed just why he hits so many goals as he hit an instinctive volley just over from outside the area.
On five minutes Cristian Battocchio latched onto a poor clearance from Dawson 25 yards out and volleyed into the top corner to make it a dreadful start at Vicarage Road.
Barnsley responded with a long-range drive from Dawson, who cracked a 35-yarder just over in an attempt to atone for his previous error.
It should have been 2-0 but Luke Steele denied Faraoni's shot from six yards after a great dummy allowed the Italian an attempt from a cut-back but Steele denied him with an expert stop at his near post.
Again Steele denied Faraoni after Anya threaded the ball through but his effort could only be blocked by the Reds' number one. But it didn't matter as Troy Deeney doubled his side's lead on 16 minutes after the Hornets broke forward once more. Deeney's tapped a strike towards goal and it was fairly tame but Kennedy couldn't clear it.
Stephen Dawson did well to get in down the left and find Lawrence but he coud only guide his effort wide from barely three yards.
The Reds were offering very little in attack and Nick Proschwitz was a very lonely figure as the only man in the final third for Barnsley.
Barnsley started positively in the second half and controlled the opening stages. Proschwitz back-heeled to Kennedy down the left and his delivery just evaded the head of Lawrence who was lurking inside the six-yard box.
The Reds made a double change with Liam Lawrence and Emmanuel Frimpong being replaced by Chris O'Grady and Reuben Noble-Lazarus on 59 minutes.
Lewis McGugan, who picked up a knock in the first half, left the field for Alexander Merkel on 64 minutes.
A first real attempt from the Reds came as Dale Jennings won the ball inside the Watford half but he could only hammer over from 25 yards with Proschwitz wanting the ball in the area on 67 minutes.
Any slim hopes of a comeback were completely smashed into pieces when Watford countered on a poor Mellis pass to allow Merkel a tap-in that deflected into the roof of the net on 75 minutes.
Lloyd Doyley was replaced by Australian international Lucas Neill in the final six minutes.
The highlight of the afternoon was Jacob Mellis finding Nick Proschwitz's run at goal and the German volleyed first time but his wonderful effort cracked the crossbar on 87 minutes.
Watford: Almunia, Angella, Battocchio, Denney, McGugan, Doyley, Pudil, Faraoni, Anya, Cassetti, Tozsier.
Subs: Belkalem, Ekstrand, Merkel, Neill, Bond, Hoban, O'Nien.
Reds: Steele, Hunt, Proschwitz, M'voto, Jennings, Kennedy, Lawrence, Nyatanga, Mellis, Dawson, Frimpong.
Subs: Turner, O'Grady, Woods, McCourt, Cywka, Rose, Noble-Lazarus.
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Attendance: 14, 531 (364 away)