Barnsley U18s were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Burnley at the Oakwell Training Ground on Saturday morning.
A Will Harris goal early in the second half proved to be the difference as the visitors claimed all three points.
It was a disappointing result for Adam Murray and Tom Harban’s side, who created a couple of great chances in a game that could easily have gone either way.
Playing for the first time in two weeks, it took Barnsley, as well as their opponents, a while to get up to speed. This resulted in some cagey opening scenes, with neither side having much to shout about in the first half.
Dan McBeam and Kieran Feeney both showed good footwork and link-up play as they looked to hit Burnley on the counter just after the half hour mark, showing a glimpse of what might be to come after the interval.
Shortly after, Kian Yari whipped a menacing ball into the area which was headed over, as the away side looked to break the deadlock. Clarets defender Richard Taylor appeared to be hurt following a collision whilst rising for the header but was fortunately able to get back to his feet after receiving medical attention.
For the remainder of the half both defences held firm and the game was goalless heading into the break.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Burnley
Burnley upped the tempo from the restart and put the Reds under pressure, who had Henry Kendrick to thank for doing well to deny Ethan Kershaw on 50 minutes.
Just moments later, though, the ball was in the back of the net when a through ball was met by Harris, who tucked it into the bottom corner.
Things then almost went from bad to worse when Terry Mupariwa hit the woodwork, something which appeared to spring the hosts into life.
Barnsley then went agonisingly close to levelling proceedings, first through Will Calligan as he fired what looked to be a cross into the area, which clipped the frame of the goal. The rebound fell to Harry Gagen, whose shot was blocked before another goal-bound effort was made, a goal-line clearance required to keep the Reds at bay.
The hosts continued to attack and some more great play and fantastic work by Tommy Willard saw him race in on goal. He unselfishly opted to pass across goal to Feeney but the forward was marked in the middle.
From a game of little action and minimal chances, the match had now exploded into life with both teams creating chances late on. Substitute Aiden Marsh almost grabbed a point for the Reds when he used his pace and neat footwork to cut inside and get a shot off only for Harry Allen to have it covered in the Burnley goal.
It was a disappointing result but an encouraging performance against a side in good form. Murray and Harban’s side will hope to be on the right end of the score line next week when they travel to face Crewe Alexandra, a side they beat 7-1 back in October.
REDS XI: Kendrick, Gagen, Walmsley, Pache, Nicholson, Calligan, Lancaster, Ackroyd, Willard, Feeney, McBeam.
Subs: Widdop, Hassan-Smith, Winfield, Binns, Marsh
BURNLEY XI: Allen, Woods, Rain, Yari, Taylor, Moss, George, Mupawira, Harris, Kershaw, Smith
Subs: Pruti, Richardson, Conn-Clarke, Major, Patterson