Winnall and Watkins on target as the Reds make it four wins from five after brushing aside Blackburn Rovers!
Barnsley secured back-to-back home wins for the first time in four months as they beat 10-man Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at Oakwell.
Tom Bradshaw came close three times in the opening eight minutes to scoring before Sam Winnall broke the deadlock with a superb header from Conor Hourihane’s cross.
Adam Davies made a couple of excellent saves to deny Marvin Emnes and Wes Brown kept the Reds’ clean sheet intact at the break.
Two fast counter attacks could not be converted for the Reds early in the second half and they were made to work hard by Rovers as Corry Evans struck the woodwork from 35 yards following a poor clearance from Davies.
He made amends with a string of smart saves before Darragh Lenihan was shown a straight red card late on for a rash challenge on Sam Morsy.
Barnsley put the icing on the cake in stoppage time as James Bree scampered clear down the right and offloaded to substitute Marley Watkins, who calmly stroked past Jason Steele.
With only 50 seconds on the clock, James Bree nodded through for Tom Bradshaw, but the striker’s shot on the turn was over the top of the crossbar.
Two chances in a matter of seconds followed for Bradshaw eight minutes in. After smart work from Andy Yiadom, a fingertip save from Jason Steele prevented him firing into the corner.
Josh Scowen could not get on the end of the loose ball but as it was fired back in, Bradshaw’s header flew just wide of the mark.
Just before the quarter of an hour mark, the Reds took the lead as Conor Hourihane’s delicious ball in from the right was nodded home from six yards by Sam Winnall, past the grasp of Steele.
Danny Graham attempted to respond for Rovers, driving at goal but watching as his effort drifted harmlessly away from Adam Davies’ goal.
Blackburn’s first real opening came 22 minutes in as Marvin Emnes’ wayward shot was diverted towards goal by Sam Gallagher, but his stab at goal was well wide of the target.
Adam Davies was called into action for the first time in the game three minutes later, superbly tipping Emnes’ vicious volley over the crossbar.
Excellent play from front to back allowed Winnall to slide in Bradshaw just before the half hour and his driven effort across goal could not be converted by Scowen.
Wes Brown fashioned another chance for Rovers, muscling his way into a shooting position from a free kick before shooting straight at the Reds keeper from close range.
Gallagher did likewise for Rovers moments later, tamely firing into the grateful arms of Davies from close range.
Following a Blackburn corner, Conor Hourihane launched a counter attack which allowed Kent to scamper clear and return the ball to Scowen on the edge of the area.
The midfielder took aim but saw his shot fly just wide of the mark and his effort was followed by Yiadom’s powerful drive two minutes before the break, which skidded just past the post.
Rovers thought they had snatched an equaliser on the stroke of half time as Sam Gallagher’s header seemed destined for the far corner, only for Josh Scowen to clear off the line from almost underneath the crossbar.
HALF TIME: Barnsley 1-0 Blackburn Rovers.
Winnall came close with another header early in the second half but Steele was able to gather his effort and a quick break allowed Hourihane to slip in Bradshaw, only for the striker’s effort to be blocked at the vital moment.
Another counter attack from a Blackburn free kick saw Scowen release Hourihane, who was given time and space to pick his spot, but lifted the ball just over the crossbar from just inside the area.
Bradshaw glanced Scowen’s excellent cross wide after smart play from Bree and the first yellow card came on 64 minutes when Winnall was upended by Charlie Mulgrew just outside the area.
Scowen shouldered the responsibility but sent the ball over the top. Hope Akpan was cautioned after pulling back Scowen as he raced away moments later.
Gallagher’s attempts to give the Rovers an equaliser ended with a tame effort at Davies, but a poor kick from the goalkeeper saw substitute Corry Evans strike the post from 35 yards.
A clever free kick routine in the final eight minutes almost produced a goal with Tom Bradshaw firing into the side netting at the end of a slick move.
Rovers were reduced to 10-men within moments of Jacob Brown being introduced as Darragh Lenihan flew into a challenge on Sam Morsy and was shown a straight red card by referee Andy Madley.
A late chance for Sam Gallagher was superbly turned away by Davies, but the Reds were not done there.
Bree broke clear from the back and slipped in substitute Marley Watkins, who slotted the ball past Steele to secure consecutive home wins for the Reds for the first time in four months.
Attendance: 14,192 (Away: 1,440)
Reds: Davies (GK), Bree, Roberts, MacDonald, Yiadom, Scowen, Hourihane (c), Morsy, Kent (Watkins, 74’ ), Winnall (Armstrong, 74’ ), Bradshaw (Brown, 86’ ).
Subs: Townsend (GK), Jackson, Kpekawa, Williams.
Blackburn Rovers: Steele (GK), Nyambe, Lenihan, Brown (Evans, 64’ ), Williams, Conway (c) (Feeney, 71’ ), Akpan, Mulgrew, Gallagher, Emnes, Graham.
Subs: Raya (GK), Greer, Guthrie, Mahoney, Bennett.