Paul Harsley’s Barnsley Under 23s battled strongly to earn a 1-0 victory against Charlton Athletic at Oakwell.
Ryan Hedges’ glancing header nine minutes from time proved the difference between the two sides, turning home Cole Kpekawa’s looping attempt.
George Moncur and Saidy Janko had the best of the first half chances for the Reds, with Archuie Edwards going close for the visitors in reply.
Townsend was busier in the second half and had to be alert to keep out Karlan Ahearne-Grant and Dan Bowry, with Nathan Fox also striking the post.
Ryan Williams hobbled off just before Hedges’ winner, but the Reds were more than deserving of the victory.
The Addicks were the first of the two sides to create an opening when Brandon Hanlon had a sight of goal, but Nick Townsend rushed out to deny him a shooting opportunity.
The Reds had their first chances inside the opening 10 minutes as George Moncur flashed an effort just wide of the target, while Saidy Janko’s long-range effort brought the game’s first save from Dillon Phillips.
Karlan Ahearne-Grant muscled his way into a crossing position midway through the half, only for a vital touch from Cole Kpekawa to deny Hanlon a tap in at the far post.
Townsend made a fine save to deny Ahearne-Grant from finding the corner with a free kick from 25 yards, while Alex Mowatt’s 30-yard free kick flew just over the crossbar.
George Lapslie brought a strong save out of Townsend when he let fly from the edge of the area, while Ahearne-Grant’s accuracy was out from 30 yards, firing high into the stand.
Ryan Williams failed to test Phillips when he cut inside from the left, firing straight at the Addicks’ stopper, while Archie Edwards lashed wide from a difficult angle for the visitors in the final action of the half.
HALF TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Charlton Athletic
The visitors began the second half as they started the first, fashioning the first opportunity as Ahearne-Grant passed a close range chance up, firing wide of Townsend’s near post.
Janko had two chances in quick succession to open the scoring, first racing past four players before firing wide, and then bringing a low save out of Phillips at his near post.
Ahearne-Grant and Dan Bowry both went close in reply, but Townsend saved both of their efforts, before Kayden Jackson saw his smart effort from Hedges’ cute pass turned off the line by Nathan Fox.
George Moncur’s audacious volley was deflected just wide and from the resulting corner, Adam Jackson’s towering header was cleared off the line by Aaron Barnes.
Townsend made another strong save to deny Hanlon from a tight angle, with Fox hitting the post from the resulting corner.
Kayden Jackson came close to the opener 10 minutes from time when he volleyed Hedges’ excellent cross toward the top corner, only for a flying Phillips to keep him out.
From the resulting corner however, the Reds made the crucial breakthrough as Kpekawa rose highest and Hedges nipped in to glance home from six yards out, earning the Reds a hard-fought three points.
Reds: Townsend (GK), Janko, A. Jackson, Kpekawa, Wardle, Bird (c), Mowatt, Moncur, Hedges, K. Jackson, R. Williams (Charles, 77’ ).
Subs: Rodriguez, Proctor, Dolan, Lund.