Barnsley U23s suffered a 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United in the Professional Development League on Monday.
Martin Devaney’s side dominated for large periods of the game, but were undone by Jordan Hallam’s thunderous strike midway through the first half.
Louis Wardle also saw a penalty saved by Blades’ goalkeeper Jordan Amissah on a frustrating afternoon for the Reds.
The result was harsh on Barnsley, who were by far the better team at Bracken Moor but were unable to find that clinical touch in front of goal as the hosts snatched all three points.
It was the Reds who had the first real chance of the clash inside six minutes as Wardle picked out Gerry McDonagh with an inch perfect cross, but the powerful striker was unable to divert his volley goalward.
McDonagh came close moments later as Jordan Barnett drilled in a cross from the right flank, but the United backline managed to get in a vital block to avert the danger.
Then, against the run of play, the hosts took advantage of slack marking from a throw-in and Hallam capitalised on a loose ball to lash a ferocious shot in off the underside of the bar.
Barnsley almost drew level within a matter of minutes as Amir Berkovits latched onto McDonagh’s through ball before cutting inside and unleashing a fierce drive that whistled inches past the far post.
The Israeli winger then broke from deep and drove into the Blades’ area, only to see his low shot deflect behind for a corner as the Reds continued to exert their dominance.
Barnett and Jasper Moon then tested Amissah from the edge of the area before Barnsley were awarded a penalty after McDonagh had been clumsily toppled over inside the box.
Wardle stepped up confidently, but Amissah got down well to his left to parry the spot-kick three minutes before half-time.
It was a similar story after the interval as the Reds twice lashed the ball across the face of goal, only to see it deflect behind for a corner on both occasions following some last-gasp defending.
Tai-Reece Chisholm then came close just after the hour mark when he ran onto Kieran Feeney’s clever flick on, but Amissah was equal to the young midfielder’s chip as Barnsley continued to be frustrated.
Feeney then burst down the left flank and his cross-come-shot was acrobatically turned away by Amissah, but Louis Walsh was unable to find the target on the rebound as his volley skewed wide.
The Reds pushed forward once more and again had an opportunity to level when substitute Romal Palmer, making his return from injury, won possession deep in the Blades’ half and played a perfectly weighted pass for Chisholm who fired wide of the far post.
Sam Fielding also saw a late header cleared off the line as United held on to claim victory in the South Yorkshire derby.
BLADES XI: Amissah, Gordon, Mallon, Broadbent, Cantrill, York (c), Sheppeard, Greaves, Oure, Hallam, Boyle
Subs: Weaver, Kelly, Williams, Neal, Ackroyd
REDS XI: Kendrick, Wardle, Moon, Fielding (c), Trialist, Chisholm, Helliwell, Barnett (Palmer, 72), Walsh, McDonagh (Feeney, 55), Berkovits
Not used: Greenfield, Willard