Reds 1 (Hourihane pen 67)
Burton Albion 0
Barnsley kicked off this season’s home campaign with a hard earned 1-0 victory over Burton Albion.
It took until the 67th minute for the breakthrough as Josh Scowen won a penalty which Conor Hourihane emphatically smashed home.
The Reds dominated the early possession and almost opened the scoring on 12 minutes. James Bree won a free kick on the flank and George Smith’s inswinging delivery flashed inches wide of the far post via a deflection.
Marc Roberts guided Joe Rothwell’s header at goal and after a fumble, Jon McLaughlin gathered the ball before it rolled in.
Burton had the game’s first shot on target on 16 minutes. A quick counter attack ended with Stuart Beavon driving goalward from the edge of the box with Adam Davies saving comfortably.
Two minutes later, Barnsley’s Josh Scowen broke clear through the middle and sent a rasping 25 yard effort just over the crossbar. Burton could have taken the lead twice in the space of six minutes. Duffy connected with Nasser El Khayati’s cross only for Davies to superbly tip the ball around the post.
Then, El Khayati himself stung the palms of Davies with a low left-footed effort from the edge of the box after cutting inside from the left. James Bree stepped up Barnsley’s search for an opener on 38 minutes.
He drove down the right-wing and delivered a teasing cross that was just too high for Marley Watkins. El Khayati sent a powerful shot skidding past the near post while the Tykes denied Naylor from six yards with an excellent block from Roberts.
Lucas Akins sliced wide from Beavon’s delivery under pressure from Roberts as the sides went in level at the break.
Chances were at a premium at the beginning of the second-half. Naylor had the ball cleared with the goal at his mercy by captain Alfie Mawson while Phil Edwards headed high over the bar from Duffy’s corner.
Just before the hour, substitute Conor Hourihane unleashed a venomous 20 yard drive which was smartly saved by McLaughlin.
Barnsley were awarded a penalty on 66 minutes after Scowen drew a foul out of Damien McCrory. Hourihane shouldered the responsibility and blasted home from the spot.
The Brewers almost levelled immediately as substitute Jerome Binnom-Williams teed up Duffy, however the winger’s tame effort failed to trouble Davies On 74 minutes, Binnom-Williams charged into the Barnsley box and rolled the ball back for Duffy who skied his effort from close range.
Chances died down until eight minutes from time as Burton’s Timmy Thiele picked Josh Scowen’s pocket and sent a rasping 25-yard drive over via the crossbar.
Winnall almost doubled the tally on 86 minutes after brilliantly lobbing McLaughlin while Hourihane’s follow-up effort was smartly saved.
Barnsley’s endeavour earned them their first three points of the campaign in-front of 8,583 fans, the first points of many expected at Oakwell.
Reds: Davies, Bree, Smith (Crowley 46), Pearson, Roberts, Nyatanga, Rothwell (Hourihane 54), Watkins, Scowen, Mawson, Winnall (Wilkinson 89).
Subs: Townsend, Hourihane, Wilkinson, R.Williams, Digby, G.Williams.
Burton Albion: McLaughlin, Edwards, Cansdell-Sherriff, Mousinho, Weir (Palmer 80), Beavon (Thiele 80), Akins (Binnom-Williams 64), El-Khayati, McRory, Naylor, Duffy.
Subs: Reilly, Butcher, O'Connor, Thiele, Matthews.