Reds 3 (Watkins 20, Winnall 55, Hammill 66)
Barnsley’s impeccable start to 2016 continued with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Bury as the Reds steamrolled their way to yet another win.
Marley Watkins opened the scoring after cutting inside and finishing smartly via the post while Sam Winnall headed wide in the search for a second.
Winnall collected his 16th League One goal 10 minutes into the second half, lashing home from close range and Adam Hammill sealed the points, sweeping home substitute Ashley Fletcher’s cross.
Fletcher headed just wide in the search for a fourth goal but the Reds comfortably secured their seventh League win in a row and extended Barnsley’s unbeaten run to eight games.
The hosts created the first opening inside three minutes as Adam Hammill’s teasing delivery was punched clear by Ian Lawlor while Conor Hourihane fired just wide shortly after.
The winger went close again just before the quarter hour, cutting inside following some slick passing football but fired straight at the stopper.
Danny Mayor blazed over in Bury’s search for an opener but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock 20 minutes in.
Watkins latched onto Hourihane’s ball over the top, cut back inside the stranded Lawlor and blasted the ball home via the inside of the post for his fifth league goal of the season.
Stopper Adam Davies, who made two penalty saves on Thursday evening, denied Clarke from netting a header seconds later while Sam Winnall headed Lloyd Isgrove inviting ball over after 25 minutes.
Leon Clarke lashed just over the crossbar moments before the half hour and Josh Brownhill was cautioned for pulling down Danny Pugh seven minutes before the interval.
The resulting free kick was cleared but a dangerous O’Sullivan cross was flicked away from everyone by Reds defender Kevin Long.
The final action of the half saw O’Sullivan hit a rasping 25-yard effort just past Davies’ upright but the Reds ended the half in the driving seat.
Hamill created the first opening of the second half, cutting inside but Lawlor turned his effort away smartly before an error in the Reds defence almost saw the ball loop over Davies, the stopper recovering well to turn the ball behind.
After 51 minutes, Superb skill in the corner from Hammill created space for Aidy White who fired over from inside the area on his weaker right foot.
The Reds doubled their lead 10 minutes into through top scorer Sam Winnall. The striker’s initial effort was blocked but the ball broke his way and he smashed home from close range.
The Reds had to survive a scare after Leon Clarke planted a header wide from close range but the Reds made sure of the points through Hammill on 66 minutes.
James Bree slipped the ball infield and substitute Ashley Fletcher, who had been on the pitch less than a minute chipped the ball across the face of goal.
Winnall was unable to connect properly but Hammill was on hand to lift the ball into the roof of the net for his third goal of the season.
Fletcher came close to nodding in a fourth 10 minutes from time from Hammill’s delicate cross but the effort drifted just wide as Shakers defender Peter Clarke was cautioned for fouling Josh Scowen four minutes from time.
Scowen himself could have made it 4-0 a minute before the end, blasting at Lawlor from just inside the box but the Manchester City loanee turned his effort to safety.
Man of the match White almost added his name to the score sheet in stoppage time, lashing wide after a strong run from full back while Shaun Tuton made his Reds debut late on.
A total of 9,443 fans saw the Reds wrap up another three points and secure their third league clean sheet in a row.
Reds: Davies, Bree, Long, Mawson, A. White, Brownhill, Isgrove (Fletcher, 65’ ), Hourihane, Hammill (Tuton, 87 ‘), Watkins, Winnall (Scowen, 76’ ).
Subs: Townsend, Roberts, McCourt, Williams.
Bury: Lawlor, Brown (Miller, 60’ ), P. Clarke, Cameron, Hussey, Mayor, Soares, Pugh (Mellis, 60’ ), O’Sullivan (Jones, 48’ ), L. Clarke, Pope
Subs: Riley, Tutte, Sedgwick, Burgess.