SIX OF THE BEST!
The Reds showed their ruthlessness in front of goal, scoring six second half strikes to gain Paul Heckingbottom’s men their third win of pre-season, without conceding a goal.
Stefan Payne continued his superb goal scoring form in pre-season by netting a perfect hat-trick, before strikes from Hammill and Hourihane made it 5-0. Latest summer signing Tom Bradshaw rounded off a perfect afternoon for the Reds with a header late on, giving his new teammates their sixth goal of the afternoon and an excellent win against a hard-working Weston-Super-Mare side.
A first half of Reds domination saw no goals but plenty of fluent, silky and attacking football. Shaun Tuton and Andy Yiadom had developed a quick understanding and partnership down the right hand-side of the midfield, which saw them regularly exchanging passes, beating their men and putting crosses into the box.
The same can be said down the left hand-side between Callum Evans and Kayden Jackson. Evans was a constant threat and showed his skills on the ball, but it was Jackson who used his pace to his advantage on multiple occasions, seeing him get shots off at Luke Purnell in the WSM net. Purnell was in excellent form though, denying Jackson a first goal in a Reds shirt with acrobatic saves.
WSM did manage to have a brief attack of their own when Elliot Richards found some space, but his effort was tame and Nick Townsend had no trouble keeping it out.
Starting the match as Captain, Josh Scowen dictated the play and controlled the pace from central midfield, floating chipped passes and through balls over the pitch when required, but also getting the ball down and beating his men with trickery and finesse.
As the half-time whistle approached, a piece of quality from both sides was produced as George Moncur cut inside from the right and curled a stunning left-footed effort towards the top corner, only for Purnell, again, to produce a similarly stunning one handed save.
Half Time: WSM 0-0 Reds.
The second half began with the Reds opening the scoring quickly, through Stefan Payne. The Barnsley striker anticipated a pass from the WSM defence and stole the ball, before powering into the box and sliding home to open the scoring.
That goal opened the floodgates on a dry afternoon in Somerset, as Payne quickly scored another. George Moncur and Adam Hammill were linking up superbly, and after Purnell saved well from Moncur’s effort, Payne finished well through a crowded area to score his second.
The hat-trick for Payne then followed and he made it a perfect hat-trick as he scored a header from Hammill’s pinpoint cross! The Reds were now firmly on top and creating chances at will. Shaun Tuton saw an effort saved excellently again from Purnell at point blank range, but a fourth goal would follow quickly as new signing Tom Bradshaw slipped Conor Hourihane into the box, where the Reds Captain curled into the top corner in a calm fashion.
The fifth goal was the goal of the match, coming from Hammill’s right boot. After coming on at half-time, he constantly tormented the WSM defence and was cruelly hacked down when running through midfield. Hourihane passed the free-kick quickly to Hammill, where he then shot from 30 yards into the top corner.
There was time for the new man Bradshaw to get a goal for himself and make it 6-0 to the Reds. Again, more superb link-up play across the whole pitch saw Aidy White break into space on the left where he crossed for Bradshaw to head in.
An excellent afternoon for the Reds, showing excellent fitness and a deadly eye for goal.
Full Time: WSM 0-6 Barnsley.
Reds Squad: Townsend (GK), Yiadom, Nyatanga, Cowgill, Evans, Jackson, Moncur, Scowen, Tuton, Payne, Watkins.
Subs: Davies (GK), Hourihane, Hammill, Winnall, Bree, Mawson, Roberts, White, Bradshaw.