Matty Wolfe struck twice as Barnsley U23s ran out 2-0 winners against Bristol City in their penultimate Professional Development League game of the campaign.
The young midfielder continued his recovery from injury in emphatic style at Oakwell as he casually slotted home from close range in the opening stages, before adding a penalty later in the half.
City, who rarely threatened before the interval, looked more dangerous after the break and forced Henry Kendrick into a few routine saves, but the Reds never looked in danger of conceding the lead.
It took just six minutes for Martin Devaney’s side to break the deadlock, and it all stemmed from Wolfe’s driving run through the centre of midfield. The 18-year-old burst past a host of Robins players before playing an intricate one-two with Harry Gagen and rounding the move off with a composed finish into the bottom corner.
The Reds were awarded a penalty midway through the first half, allegedly for hand ball. Wolfe stepped up to confidently convert into the same corner to double Barnsley’s lead, despite the best efforts of Jojo Wallcott in the City goal.
Will Calligan, who has impressed for the U18s this season, came close to adding a third moments later when his long-range free-kick whistled narrowly over the bar.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 2-0 Bristol City
The visitors started the second half brightly and had a chance to reduce the deficit, but Sam Pearson fired straight at Kendrick from a good position inside the area.
Chris Sang was then played through with an opportunity to put the game well and truly to bed, but his low drive fizzed just past the upright as Barnsley searched for a third goal.
Kendrick was on hand to deny Tom Richard’s powerful header from close range as City looked for a way back into the game, but they were unable to find the Midas touch in the final third.
Devaney brought Aiden Marsh and Sam Nicholson off the bench midway through the second half to take the total of U18s players involved in the match to six.
There was still time for Wolfe to try his luck for a hat-trick, but Wallcott was equal to his curling effort in the dying stages.
REDS XI: Kendrick, Gagen, Fielding (c), Pache (Nicholson, 82), Calligan, Bird, Wolfe, Mendes Gomes (Berkovits, 67), Oure, Simoes, Sang (Marsh, 69).
Not used: Aramburu, Feeney.
ROBINS XI: Wallcott, Pearson, Webb, Z. Smith, Low, H. Smith (c), Rees, Ali, Bell, Richards, Pearson.
Subs: Sainsbury, Day, Smith.