Barnsley U23s picked up their second consecutive victory as they convincingly beat Crewe Alexandra 4-2 at Oakwell on Friday afternoon.
Louis Walsh, Trialist and Kieran Feeney struck for the Reds inside the first eight minutes, while Tai-Reece Chisholm bagged his third goal of the campaign after the interval.
The visitors scored twice in quick succession midway through the first half, with Joseph Lynch and Oliver Finney’s stunning volley the products of a frenetic, end-to-end encounter.
Martin Devaney made six changes from the side that beat Coventry City last week and watched on with delight as the Reds made an incredible start to the game.
Jordan Barnett floated a long-range pass to the feet of Walsh, who danced into the area from the left flank before firing a low shot through a forest of legs and into the bottom corner. It was the young winger’s first league goal for Barnsley and it set the tone for a frantic opening at Oakwell.
The Reds soon doubled their advantage as Trialist fired a low cross in from the left, which evaded everyone and nestled into the far corner after just six minutes.
Two soon became three for Barnsley as Barnett’s free-kick was knocked down by Trialist and Feeney was on hand to nod over the line, despite the best attempts of the Crewe backline to scramble the ball clear.
The only downside of a stellar opening ten minutes for Barnsley was the injury sustained to captain Will Smith, who left the field clutching his hamstring.
Crewe began to look for a foothold in the game and were awarded a penalty after Lewis Reilly was brought down in the area. The Alex striker assumed responsibility himself, but saw his spot-kick brilliantly saved by Trialist in the Barnsley net.
But the visitors soon found a way back into the contest when Lynch’s cross from the left eluded the Reds’ defence and found its way into the far corner.
In the blink of an eye, Alex Morris’ side had further reduced the arrears as Finney took aim from 20-yards and unleased an unstoppable volley that crashed in off the underside of the bar.
Chisholm had a fine opportunity to restore Barnsley’s two-goal cushion ten minutes before the interval, but he uncharacteristically dragged wide after bursting into the area from deep.
Barnsley made a bright start to the second half and added their fourth of the afternoon when Trialist played a pinpoint cross for the on-rushing Chisholm to prod home from inside the six-yard box.
The visitors almost pulled another goal back moments later as Billy Sass-Davies rose highest, but his header bounced off the top of the crossbar and behind for a goal kick.
Feeney then came close to adding to his tally when he was played in by Amir Berkovits, but the Railwaymen’s stopper was equal to his effort and palmed it behind for a corner. However, the young Reds’ forward was injured in the collision and was eventually withdrawn five minutes later.
Despite a late Crewe rally, Barnsley held on for another victory which sees them climb above Alex in the Professional Development League table.
REDS XI: Trialist, Williams, Trialist, Smith (Fielding, 10), Trialist (Trialist, 46), Barnett, Wardle, Trialist, Chisholm, Walsh (Berkovits, 73), Feeney
Not used: Greatorex, Helliwell
CREWE XI: Trialist, Sass-Davies, Offord, Trialist, Ludstram, Trialist, Johnson, Finney (Heath, 46), Reilly, Linton (Fenton, 63), Lynch
Not used: Booth, Robbins