Barnsley U23s continued their positive preparations for the upcoming Professional Development League campaign with an impressive 4-0 victory over Hemsworth Miners Welfare on Tuesday evening.
Tommy Willard and Romal Palmer both scored twice for the young Reds at the MDC Stadium as Martin Devaney racked up their goal tally to 23 in four pre-season outings.
The Northern Counties East League Premier Division outfit looked good value in the opening exchanges, with Sidney Santos and Nash Connelly both coming close but seeing their efforts flash narrowly past Henry Kendrick’s upright.
Barnsley, too, looked dangerous on the counter attack, with the pace of Elliot Simoes proving to be a particular thorn in the hosts’ side, while the industry of Willard and on-trial Keziah Martin caused numerous problems in the final third.
Moments before opening the scoring, Willard saw an effort cleared off the line but he would not be denied at the next attempt as his low shot squirmed under the body of goalkeeper Jordan Greaves and into the net.
It was a sucker punch for the Wells five minutes before half-time, but they almost pulled level immediately as Connolly unleashed a fierce drive that Kendrick was able to palm safely away.
HALF-TIME: Hemsworth 0-1 Barnsley
After a relatively even first half, the Reds moved through the gears and doubled their lead 10 minutes after the restart as Palmer – one of five substitutions at the interval – fired in off the far post following a fine team move.
Two shortly became three when Palmer reacted quickest to the rebound to prod home when Chris Sang’s effort came back off the woodwork, after he had shown excellent composure to round the onrushing Greaves.
The game was effectively over as a contest when Willard netted his second, turning in a lovely first-time finish at the near post from Harry Gagen’s driven low cross.
There were opportunities to add more goals to the tally as the game wore on, with Alex Wollerton and Sang both coming close to extending Barnsley’s lead in the closing stages.
However, it was yet another encouraging performance from Devaney’s young side and a second consecutive clean sheet will provide a solid platform to build on ahead of the new season.
HEMSWORTH XI: Greaves, Wildblood, Wilson, Parker, Danville (c), Cass, Connolly, Paylor, Ripley, Yates, Santos.
Subs: Davis, Knight, Higgins, Leach, Hughes, Wakefield.
REDS XI: Kendrick (Zeller, 70), Nield, Fielding, Moon (Gagen, 46), Barnett (Mole, 65), Timmins (Palmer, 46), Martin (Wollerton, 46), Helliwell (Ward, 46), Willard, Fleming (Sang, 46), Simoes (Weiss, 65).