It's back to back Oakwell victories as Barnsley thump Sunderland.
Hecky’s Reds won their second successive home match in style after putting Simon Grayson’s Sunderland to the sword on a sunny afternoon at Oakwell, as three players opened their accounts for the season.
Ike Ugbo and Harvey Barnes bagged their first goals for the Club before half-time, and George Moncur struck a third in the second half to secure a fine victory to round off August.
Sunderland made threatening early pressure as James Vaughan burst clear in behind, but his square ball towards Lewis Grabban was cut out well by Adam Jackson.
Central midfield pairing George Honeyman and Lee Cattermole both then had shots blocked by a sturdy Reds defence as the visitors did make an encouraging start.
Barnsley’s first attempt came 12 minutes in, Brad Potts carving out a half-chance on the right, firing over from a tight angle.
Barnsley found their feet in the game as the first half progressed and began to create, George Moncur running well before testing Robbin Ruiter to his left with a 20-yard strike. Potts also had another sniff at goal, heading Adam Hammill’s cross into the arms of the Dutch goalkeeper.
But it was just after the half-hour mark that the pressure from the Reds paid off, and Ugbo was off the mark for the season. Hammill found space down the left and knocked in a threatening ball, which the Chelsea loanee duly met and diverted home the opener.
Sunderland had barely settled again when Barnsley fired home number two. As the Black Cats struggled to clear their lines, an attempted header away only found Barnes, who smashed home a roaring volley to join Ugbo in netting his first Reds goal, sending Oakwell into elation.
The events of the first half did not stop there, as Grabban looked to burst clear from a long ball, brought down by Liam Lindsay on the edge of the Barnsley area.
Referee Chris Kavanagh awarded the free kick and issued the centre-half with a yellow card despite the appeals for a red from some in a Sunderland shirt. Aiden McGeady struck the subsequent kick narrowly over, and the Reds went in with a healthy advantage at the interval.
HALF TIME: Barnsley 2-0 Sunderland
The second half began in similar fashion, Potts driving forward and forcing Ruiter into a save 25 yards from goal, with Barnes coming close with a looping header from an angle.
Sunderland had occasional breaks of their own to try and halve the deficit, James Vaughan having a penalty shout turned down by Kavanagh.
Billy Jones also had a header easily saved by Adam Davies, whose clean sheet adds to a tremendous week after receiving a Wales call-up by Chris Coleman for their all-important upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
But today was a Red day, and Moncur was on hand to notch his first of the season with an exquisite strike. Picking up the ball down the left flank, the midfielder made his way into the area and thundered a sweet left-foot hit high into the net at Ruiter’s near post.
The home fans were having a ball, cheering every pass from Hecky’s side, who continued to press to extend the scoreline further. The visiting faithful began to simmer out of Oakwell as Barnsley were in full control.
One final chance for Sunderland fell to Grabban, whose effort from distance was palmed over by Davies. Mamadou Thiam entered the fray late on to make his home league debut for the Reds.
The final whistle in South Yorkshire was greeted with a rapturous applause from the Barnsley crowd, whose side will go to Preston in a fortnight after the international break in full confidence after a fantastic display.
FULL TIME: Barnsley 3-0 Sunderland
Reds XI: Davies, McCarthy, Lindsay, Jackson, Pearson, Williams, Hammill (Thiam 88), Potts, Moncur, Barnes (Hedges 66), Ugbo (Bradshaw 71).
Subs not used: Townsend, Pinnock, Bird, Mowatt.
Sunderland XI: Ruiter, Jones, Browning, Kone, Oviedo (Matthews 80), Ndong, Cattermole, Honeyman (Khazri 65), McGeady, Vaughan (Gooch 54), Grabban.
Subs not used: Steele, O’Shea, Gibson, Asoro.