Roberts and Watkins on target for the Reds as they pick up a well deserved three points away to Blackburn!
Barnsley returned to winning ways with comfortable 2-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
Two goals in seven minutes secured all the points for the Reds, with Marc Roberts nodding home the opener at the far post with just three minutes gone.
Marley Watkins doubled the lead with a blistering 30 yard effort that cannoned off the underside of the crossbar three times before eventually crossing the line, despite the protests of goalkeeper Jason Steele.
George Moncur brought the best out of Steele as the Reds went in search of a third, but Rovers hit back shortly after the restart with Connor Mahoney bending an effort just wide.
Sam Gallagher saw a header cleared off the line by Moncur late on and the Blackburn substitute also fired wide from a narrow angle as the Reds preserved a clean sheet and made sure of all three points.
The Reds, with their first clear chance of the game, won a corner after George Moncur’s driven effort had to be put behind by Jason Steele and the Reds instantly made Rovers pay for conceding it.
Ryan Kent’s excellent delivery was flicked on at the near post by Ryan Hedges and Marc Roberts was left unmarked at the far post to nod the ball home, despite the best efforts of Steele to keep the ball out.
And with only nine minutes on the clock, the Reds doubled their lead with an absolute wonder strike from Marley Watkins.
Josh Scowen’s pass was smartly gathered by the Reds attacker, who let fly from the best part of 30 yards. His effort cannoned off the underside of the crossbar three times before being judged to have crossed the line by the assistant referee.
The Reds continued to press and just before the midway point, Moncur fired at goal from just outside the area, forcing another save out of Steele low to his left.
The hosts finally managed to carve out an opening of their own when Connor Mahoney’s corner was met by Tommie Hoban, who glanced the ball just wide of the target from six yards.
Moncur went on another driving run just before the half hour, picking the ball up inside his own half and taking aim, but his effort was tame and easily stopped by Steele.
Lucas Joao’s header just past the half hour from Mahoney’s cross proved on target, but no bother was caused to Adam Davies, who easily gathered the downward header.
Joao then inexplicably missed a header from two yards out, nodding Mahoney’s free kick wide of Davies’ near post, however his blushes were spared by the offside flag.
Four minutes before the interval, Kent jinked his way inside from the left after good build-up play from Moncur, but once again Steele got down smartly to deny him.
HALF TIME: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Barnsley.
Rovers brought on Danny Graham at the break in place of Danny Guthrie, and he was involved in the move that almost gave the hosts a route back into the game.
He and Joao both went for the same ball with the latter taking a shot on from just outside the area, with Angus MacDonald throwing himself at the ball and blocking brilliantly from the striker.
Mahoney was next to try his luck, taking on Gethin Jones but failing to hit the target with his effort flying into the stands and Kent nearly made him pay for that miss.
Another string run from the Liverpool loanee culminated with an attempt that lacked the necessary direction and flew wide of the upright.
A clever Rovers corner routine caught the Reds a little cold, giving Elliott Bennett, who had been booked for a horrible first half challenge on Adam Davies, a sight of goal.
He leant back too much as he set his sights and the ball sailed into the Reds fans behind the goal, with Moncur drawing a caution out of Tommie Hoban shortly after as the Reds tried to break clear down the centre.
Goalscorer Watkins was booked for illegally halting a run from substitute Craig Conway midway through the second half and the resulting free kick drew a fine save out of Davies, but the offside flag was raised against the Rovers player.
With just over a quarter of an hour remaining, Moncur underlined his selection further by clearing substitute Sam Gallagher’s flicked header off the line, with Davies rooted to the spot.
And Gallagher came close to grabbing a consolation for Rovers just before full time, cutting inside from the left and lashing across goal, only to see his effort flash wide of the mark.
Blackburn Rovers: Steele (GK), Nyambe, Brown, Hoban, Williams, Guthrie (Graham, 46’ (Gallagher, 53’ )), Lowe (c), Mahoney, Bennett, Emnes (Conway, 65’ ), Joao.
Subs: Raya (GK), Feeney, Ward, Akpan.
Reds: Davies (GK), Janko, Roberts (c), MacDonald, Jones, James, Scowen Moncur (Mowatt, 90+3’ ), Hedges (Bradshaw, 68’ ), Kent (Armstrong, 88’ ), Watkins.
Subs: Townsend (GK), Lee, A. Jackson, Bird.