Middlesbrough 2 (Vossen 48, Ayala 84)
Successfully holding off the Championship promotion contenders for the first half, the Reds went behind in the tie not long after the restart when Jelle Vossen finished past Turnbull.
Failing to find the equaliser, the game was put beyond the Reds with around five minutes left when Daniel Ayala headed home from a corner.
The game was barely a minute old before Boro were forced into a change after Rhys Williams went down injured and was stretchered off the pitch.
After a short delay play resumed and the Reds instantly set about making their way towards the visitors’ goal. By the fifteen minute mark neither side had really made an impact on the game but is was Middlesbrough who saw the majority of the possession in the opening minutes.
The Reds had their first chance of the game on 21 minutes after some good work from Dale Jennings down the right led to Conor Hourihane finding space on the edge of the Boro area.
Despite having some time to align his shot, Hourihane’s effort went over the bar and the chance went begging. Continuing to hold off the Championship high flyers, the Reds started to find their feet around the half hour mark but finding a gap through one of the Football League’s best defences was proving difficult.
It should have been 1-0 to the visitors after 31 minutes when James Husband picked out Kike from the left hand side but the Spanish striker missed the net when it seemed easier to score. Kike was presented with another chance on 37 minutes when Lee Tomlin fizzed in a ball from the right but the Spaniard again was unable to get anything on it.
Ross Turnbull pulled off a great and kept the scores level just before half time when Patrick Bamford unleashed a left footed effort from 20 yards. Only seconds later Turnbull was needed again and he successfully cleared the threat on the Barnsley goal.
A poor pass at the back for the Reds soon after the restart gifted Boro an early chance to take the lead and Jelle Vossen had no problems with finishing side-footed past Turnbull to give the Championship side the advantage.
Not lying down after going behind, the Reds continued to press and Dale Jennings forced Tomas Mejias into his first save of the game ten minutes into the second half.
The good play from Barnsley continued and a quick break away just before the hour mark led to Leroy Lita running on the Boro goal but the Barnsley frontman was unable to find the target against his former club and his shot struck the side netting.
Winning a corner on 64 minutes, the Reds were unable to make anything of their chance and the ball broke to Boro who were straight on the offensive. Getting back quickly, Mason Holgate almost got too involved in the goal line scramble and he headed onto his own crossbar in an effort to clear the danger.
A corner in the 75th minute presented a chance for the Reds to find the equaliser but Ramage’s headed effort was blocked and went out for a second opportunity. Despite the second effort not coming to anything the Reds were handed a big advantage when Adam Clayton was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card for pulling down Leroy Lita. From the resulting free-kick, Mejias in the Boro goal clearly tipped the ball over the bar to deny the Reds from Hourihane’s shot but bizarrely the referee signalled for a goal kick.
Gambling to make something of the one man advantage, Danny Wilson introduced Nana Boakye-Yiadom into the action to try and find the equaliser in the final ten minutes. Daniel Ayala then ruined the Reds’ afternoon when he powered a header home from a corner to double the visitors’ advantage with around five minutes of play left.
Valiant to the last, Barnsley continued to attack Middlesbrough but the side littered with youngsters was unable to find a way back into the tie despite some impressive play at times.
Teams: Reds: Turnbull, Berry (82), Nyatanga, Hourihane (C), Hemmings (69), Jennings, Digby, Ramage, Smith, Holgate, Lita.
Subs: Davies, Brown, Abbott, Oates (69), Boakye-Yiadom (82), Bailey, Cowgill.
Middlesbrough: Mejias, Husband, Clayton, Tomlin (81), Williams (5), Bamford, Kike (66), Ayala, Vossen, Whitehead (C), Omeruo.
Subs: Friend, Gibson, Leadbitter (81), Ledesma, Ripley, Reach (66), Veljkovic (5).
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 9473 3366 Away