Barnsley U21s 3 (White, Williams, Maris)
Coventry U21s 0
Barnsley’s under 21’s convincingly dispatched of Coventry City under 21’s on home turf in an impressive performance.
Goals from Harry White, George Williams and a stunning solo effort from George Maris saw the Reds run out comfortable winners.
The Reds dominated from the outset and gained an early lead after George Maris whipped a free kick into the box, and on the half volley, Harry White was there to finish and extend his impressive goal-scoring form for the U21’s making it 1-0.
The match was highly competitive throughout and an intense battle was happening down the Reds left hand-side between George Williams and the experienced Stephen Hunt, in the blue and white of the visitors.
Some firm but fair challenges from both players came and went, but the young Reds man got the better of his senior opponent and doubled the Reds lead after his cross from out-wide dipped over the head of Corey Addai in the Coventry net, before hitting the post and going in to make it 2-0.
The score stayed the same until half time and the Reds were deservedly, and comfortably ahead.
The second half began in quick fashion with young and energetic striker Bradley Ash getting a chance on goal after good work which earnt himself space to shoot, but Coventry ‘keeper Addai saved well to deny him.
The Reds defence held firm and dealt with everything thrown at them by Coventry with Marc Roberts winning all the aerial battles thrown his way.
With the game approaching its end there was still time for another goal, and the Reds certainly saved ‘the best till last.’ George Maris picked up the ball just inside the Coventry half and never looked back as he ran past Coventry’s entire defence and jumped every tackle they offered him, before slotting the ball under ‘keeper Addai and putting the seal on a hard-fought and well deserved victory.
The match finished 3-0 to the Reds and Senior Development Coach Paul Heckingbottom gave his thoughts on his side's win.
“It was good in terms of the win as three goals and a clean sheet is very good," he said. "We do go on about winning, we need to win and the lads worked hard and showed good discipline.
“We do have to be better with the ball though as we’re trying to make League One players minimum. I’ve said we need to focus on that to the lads.
“We focus a lot on organisation and commitment to win the game at any level. We stress that they need to be committed in tackles and play with intensity.
“George Maris has had a great second half, we moved him to a bit more central role with half an hour to go and he’s scored a top goal. When we needed a bit more possession he’s the one we looked at to do that and he did.
“I think they’ve only had two shots on target all game so that’s a testament to us and the organisation we had on show.
“The score-line and the clean sheet are the main positives, but we’ll always look to get better.”
Reds XI: Townsend (GK), Scott, G. Williams, Drennan, Gooda, Roberts, Maris, Abbott, White (Alton 78’), Ash, Templeton (Saeed, 84’).
Subs: Walton (GK), Cowgil, Jeffs