Reds 4 (Watkins 22, Wabara 44, Nyatanga 59, Hourihane 79)
Swindon Town 1 (Nyatanga o.g. 20)
Barnsley’s swagger and style shone through with a dominant 4-1 victory against Swindon Town.
Barnsley threatened first with seven minutes on the clock. Ben Pearson slipped in Ryan Williams but the Australian fired over on his first start for the Reds.
Pearson received a booking after 13 minutes for fouling Yaser Kasim whilst Nick Townsend warmed his gloves, keeping out Fabien Robert’s curling 20-yard effort.
The opening goal came 20 minutes in as a communication breakdown between Townsend and Lewin Nyatanga saw the latter head over his own goalkeeper and the ball tricked slowly over the line.
Parity was restored just two minutes later as Josh Scowen slipped in Marley Watkins, who beat the offside trap and kept his cool to slot home from the edge of the area.
Williams departed the action after 28 minutes, Sam Winnall replacing him and the striker almost put the Reds ahead on 33 minutes, firing just wide after quick build-up play.
Nicky Ajose rounded Townsend after being slipped in by Anton Rodgers but ran wide and the midfielder’s effort seconds later flew harmlessly wide.
Three minutes before the break, Nyatanga headed Conor Hourihane’s delivery back across goal but Winnall was unable to connect.
The Reds were ended the half the strong and went in 2-1 ahead at the interval courtesy of Reece Wabara’s stunning long range strike.
He picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and rifled the ball home beyond the flailing arms of Lawrence Vigouroux.
The Robins introduced Henrik Ojamaa for Fabien Robert at the interval and replaced Yaser Kasim with Louis Thompson seven minutes later.
On 59 minutes, a Barnsley free kick came back to Conor Hourihane. Lewin Nyatanga rose highest and made amends for his own goal by accurately heading home from six yards out.
Scowen received a caution for a strong challenge on Louis Thompson one minute later but the Swindon midfielder received a caution seconds later for a revenge challenge on Barnsley’s Scowen.
A quick Barnsley break on 69 minutes saw Scowen put Winnall clean through on goal. The striker rounded Vigouroux before going down under the goalkeeper’s challenge but no penalty was awarded.
With 72 minutes on the watch, Wes Thomas stormed through the Reds rear-guard but failed to hit the target, flashing an effort beyond the rooted Townsend.
The Reds extended the lead after 76 minutes. Josh Scowen collected a loose ball on the edge of the area and drove into the area. His effort was tipped onto the crossbar by Vigouroux but Conor Hourihane was on hand to volley into an unguarded goal.
Kadeem Harris’ afternoon came to an end 11 minutes from time as Simeon Jackson was introduced while Winnall was millimetres from adding a fifth with eight minutes remaining, flashing an effort just beyond the upright.
Nicky Ajose almost twice reduced the deficit, first turning in the area and firing over from six yards on 82 minutes, before curling an effort straight at Townsend on 84 minutes.
Winnall crashed a volley at Vigouroux two minutes from time but the Swindon stopper diverted his effort over the top.
Townsend denied Thomas from pulling one back for the Robins in stoppage time with a brilliant save from close range as the Reds recorded their third win of the season in front of 8,227 fans.
Reds: Townsend, Wabara (Bree 86), Mawson, Nyatanga, Smith, Watkins, Scowen, Hourihane, Pearson, Harris (Jackson 79), R. Williams (Winnall 28).
Subs: Davies, Roberts, Wilkinson, Digby.
Swindon Town: Vigouroux, Barry, Branco (C), Williams, Turnbull, Rodgers, Traore, Kasim (Thompson 52), Ajose, Thomas, Robert (Ojamaa 46).
Subs: Belford, Brophy, Smith, Balmy, Ojamaa, Stewart.
Attendance: 8,227 (381 Swindon)