Araphat Abubakar’s first half strike was enough to give Barnsley U18s all three points against Ipswich Town on Tuesday afternoon.
The midfielder, on trial at Oakwell, struck a thunderous shot from 25-yards that proved to be too hot to handle for visiting goalkeeper Toby Egan as Martin Devaney’s side picked up their first win in three games.
However, Reds goalkeeper Sam Lomax will take the plaudits as his second half heroics ensured the hosts claimed victory.
The 18-year-old stopper was called into action on numerous occasions by Ipswich - in particular Zac Brown - and rose to the occasion every time to deny the Tractor Boys a share of the spoils.
It was the visitors who started brighter, despite their 200-mile journey from East Anglia. Left-back Tommy Smith whipped in a fantastic cross from deep, but Tommy Hughes’ powerful header was straight into the arms of Lomax.
Barnsley then had a good chance to take the lead as Charlie Winfield broke down the left flank, but his low cross to the back post was turned behind by Smith as the Reds enjoyed a good spell of possession.
The hosts soon made their continuous pressure count as Abubakar let fly from range to give Devaney’s side a deserved lead with 16 minutes gone.
It should have been 2-0 shortly after as Chris Thorpe won possession deep in the Ipswich half and played a lovely through ball for Will Calligan, but the winger’s low shot was comfortable for Egan to gather.
Thorpe then fashioned a chance for himself moments later - again winning the ball in opposition territory, before seeing his fierce drive deflected behind for a corner.
However, the visitors still looked dangerous on the counter attack and almost grabbed an equaliser against the run of play as Hughes cut in from the right and bent a shot narrowly over Lomax’ bar.
After the interval, Ipswich came out of the blocks flying and almost pulled level within three minutes of the restart, but Hughes was denied by Lomax again from close range.
Next it was Brown’s turn to be frustrated by the young Reds’ stopper as he unleashed a thunderbolt towards goal, only to see Lomax thrust a strong hand up to keep Barnsley in front.
The Reds then launched their own counter attack and Calligan weaved his way past three defenders but was denied by Egan from 12-yards.
Lomax was called into action again moments later as he thwarted Brown for the second time in a matter of minutes in a breathless start to the second half.
It was quickly becoming the Lomax show as he again kept out Hughes’ low strike, plunging to his left to tip a goal-bound effort wide of the post just after the hour mark.
Ipswich continued to knock at the door as the game ticked into added time, and Brown danced his way through a couple of challenges on the edge of the box, prodded a shot towards goal and sank to the turf in disbelief as Lomax somehow clawed the ball out of the bottom corner.
The young Ipswich forward was denied yet again by Lomax in the fifth minute of injury time as the Reds’ goalkeeper stood strong to block a shot from close range to seal victory for Barnsley.
REDS XI: Lomax, Helliwell, Pache, Gagen (c), Winfield (Rangel, 79), Lancaster, Abubakar, Willard (Sandhu, 90), Walsh, Thorpe (Greenfield, 90), Calligan
Not used: Marsh
IPSWICH XI: Egan, Henry, Smith, Elmzoini, Henderson, Vega, Scott, Foundil, Brown, Hughes, Dobra
Subs: Barley, Ronan, Ferenbach, Baker