Barnsley’s U21’s produced six of the best as they destroyed Nottingham Forest on an afternoon where Paul Heckingbottom said “everything went right.”
The goals came from Harry White and Matty Templeton netting two each, with Ben Drennan and a George Maris also scoring to make it half a dozen without reply.
In a first half that didn’t have too many chances for either side, it was the Reds who made the breakthrough. A ball out wide was played into the middle from James Bree, which initially the Forest ‘keeper looked to hold but the presence of Harry White made him mishandle and the Reds striker finished under pressure.
A long range effort from George Maris looked to be heading towards the top corner, only for it to be tipped round the post at full stretch from the Forest number one.
The second half started with a familiar pattern for the entire half, Barnsley scoring. Just two minutes in, a quick break forward saw Matty Templeton in some space in the left hand-side, which the young winger took full advantage of and broke into the box, before cutting the ball back to the edge where Ben Drennan fired into the top corner.
Forest looked to hit back immediately but Jack Cowgill, who came on at half time, was standing strong and denied the visitors with last ditch tackles on multiple occasions.
Barnsley’s third followed as Harry White grabbed a deserved second. Again, the Reds used the wings to find their chances and George Maris played in a cross which was controlled by White and fired in to give the striker his second.
Just three minutes later it was 4-0. The ever-energetic Templeton fired low and hard into the far corner after good work from Digby again to set him up. The Reds were now completely and utterly dominant, and Templeton could have scored again straight from kick off as the same combination worked again, but this time Templeton volleyed Digby’s cross over the bar.
However the combination of Digby and Templeton caused chaos as the big central midfielder set up another chance for Templeton, as he delightfully chipped the goalkeeper from out wide and into the far corner to make it 5-0 to the Reds.
Despite the game reaching the end, there was still chance for another. The young Reds were awarded a free kick on the left-hand-side which George Maris stepped forward and curled into the top corner to give the Reds a convincing 6-0 victory.
Senior Development Coach Paul Heckingbottom gave his thoughts after the match.
“Wins like this don’t come along very often!” said Heckingbottom. “We took our chances today which is pleasing. We’ve been getting better week by week and today everything went right. We got the clean sheet and we were a threat on the counter, so we definitely deserved the win!
“We worked this week on counter attacking, it was pointless having loads of possession in front of them as we wanted to get in behind, and it worked well today.
“Jack (Cowgill) has had a hamstring injury recently, but we have done a lot of individual work with him before he came back into training to get him fit and mentally prepare him, he’s had to be patient to get an opportunity but he’s ready now.
“Results matter and we want to win. We had a poor start to the season, but now every decision we make we want it to be the right one. Sometimes you play well and get beat but we want to stress in their heads what it takes to win a football match.”
Watch the goals on Barnsley PlayerHD below.