Reds 2 (Maris 11, Gannon 69)
Nottingham Forest 3 (Burke, 24, Cash 43, )
Barnsley Reserves played their part in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of recently-crowned champions Nottingham Forest at Oakwell, running the leaders close to the end.
The goal of the game, however, went to George Maris. The forward bagged a brilliant 25-yard strike that broke the deadlock on 11 minutes and went on to enjoy a fine game as the tip of a midfield diamond.
A first real chance yielded the opener and it was first-year professional Maris who continued his fine scoring record on Oakwell. Bree sprinted clear down the right before playing infield for Gannon and his lay-off to Maris was rifled into the top corner of the near post for the opener.
Four minutes later, the provider of the first goal, Gannon, sent a sweet half-volley not too far wide of the far post after a half-cleared corner by the visitors dropped his way.
Forest's first threat came through Thorne and it took a decent save to deny the away side a 22nd-minute leveller. The striker's cushioned side-foot towards goal was smartly denied by Barnsley's Wales Under 21s 'keeper.
There was nothing Dibble could do about Burke's effort two minutes later, however. A gap opened up for the Forest wide many to attack, and after a great burst of pace he stabbed home with the outside of his boot from inside the box.
Barnsley should probably have retaken the lead on 28 minutes after a brilliant piece of exchange play between Digby and Oates. Striker Oates slipped the ball through for Digby into the box but he was denied one-on-one by a brave save from Erlandsson.
The resulting corner was taken short and Maris curled in a vicious cross that cracked the frame of the goal after beating Erlandsson.
Less than two minutes before the break, Forest took the lead as Cash was on the money to turn home a cross from the right beyond a helpless Dibble.
After the break, the tempo of the game slowed and chances dried up at either end until past the hour when Forest were gifted a third goal.
Goalkeeper Christian Dibble was caught out by substitute Todorov who robbed him of the ball before tapping into an empty net.
Again the Reds responded quickly with Oates bursting forward down the left before finding Maris to twist and turn before seeing his shot blocked. Boakye-Yiadom picked up the rebound but was too blocked by the stubborn Forest defence.
With 69 minutes played, the Reds did pull one back as Boakye-Yiadom's delivery was met by the head of Gannon, who diverted beyond Erlandsson and into the bottom corner.
Another header fell the way of the Reds with Maris glancing just wide and it would prove to be the last chance Barnsley had with 15 to play as Forest held on for the win.
Reds: Dibble, Bree (Gooda 60), Suker, Scott, McKinnon, Digby (Templeton 60), Drennon, Gannon, Oates, Maris, Boakye-Yiadom.
Subs: Walton, Brown.
Forest: Erlandsson, McQueen, Iacouitti, Crookes (Yates 72), Riera, Worrall, Burke, McEneff (Kelly 60), Thorne, Cash, Petravicius (Todorov 46).
Subs: Durrant, Otim.