Barnsley U18s made it back-to-back wins with an emphatic victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Kieran Feeney put the Reds ahead after just four minutes in a lightening quick start for Adam Murray’s side. The Eagles, though, did threaten to spoil the party when Sean Robertson converted a penalty.
A fabulous finish by Tommy Willard allowed the hosts to regain their advantage by the end of the first half, before captain Will Calligan put the game to bed and rounded off an impressive performance by sealing a deserved three points.
After a 4-0 win away at Coventry last week, the young Reds looked hungry for more as they looked to take control from the off. Incidentally, they did exactly that, when a curling free-kick hit the post and rebounded back into the centre of the box, leading to a goalmouth scramble from which Feeney prevailed, tucking the ball home from close range.
Despite their slow start, Palace managed to settle themselves down and were presented with an opportunity to get back into the game when Harry Gagen was judged to have fouled Tetteh Quay Addy in the area. Henry Kendrick dived the right way but Robertson took full advantage, making no mistake from the spot.
With five minutes of the first half remaining, Willard picked the ball up on the edge of the area, swivelled and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner to restore Barnsley’s lead.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 2-1 Crystal Palace
There were worrying signs for the hosts when Feeney appeared to pick up a knock at the start of the second half. Fortunately, their stride was not broken as Calligan, who had looked a threat on the flank, broke through the visitor’s defence and went close, dragging his shot narrowly wide.
At the other end, the south Londoners almost levelled the scores in style. Brendon Aveiro connected well on the volley from a looping cross into the area but Kendrick was able to match it.
In the 80th minute, Calligan, got his goal, hitting the target for the Red’s third of the game and cooling some nerves in the final stages.
Much like the first team and U23s, Murray’s side are hitting a fine run of form towards the end of the Professional Development League campaign and this victory over Palace sees them climb to sixth in the table.
REDS XI: Kendrick, Gagen, Pache, Walmsley, Moon (Ackroyd), Calligan, Binns (McBeam), Lancaster, Winfield, Willard, Feeney (Marsh).