Barnsley U23s returned to winning ways with a resounding 4-1 victory over ten-man Burnley in the Professional Development League on Friday afternoon.
Goals from Damola Sotana, Dylan Mottley-Henry, Jack Chambers and Aiden Marsh secured all three points for the young Reds at the Oakwell Training Ground, while the Clarets netted a late consolation through Rob Harker.
In a frenetic start, Barnsley perhaps should have been awarded a penalty in the opening minute when on-trial Sotana was bundled over in the area.
But when Jordan Barnett’s corner was met by the head of Keaton Ward, visiting defender Joel Senior blocked the effort on the line with his arm and the referee duly pointed to the spot.
Senior was dismissed, leaving Burnley to play the remaining 83 minutes a man short. However, Barnett’s resulting penalty was well-saved down to his left by Lukas Jenson.
It didn’t take Barnsley long to take the lead, though, as Barnett – a menace throughout – burst down the flank and fizzed a low cross into the box. Tommy Willard saw his shot blocked, but the ball fell to Sotana who had the simple task of tapping into an empty net.
There were plenty of chances to double the advantage before the break, with Sam Fielding coming close and Alex Wollerton seeing a header cleared off the line, while Willard also had a couple more attempts blocked by a scrambling visiting defence.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 1-0 Burnley
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with the Reds dominating possession and stretching the play, and within nine minutes Dylan Mottley-Henry slalomed through and confidently slotted into the bottom corner.
It was a goal that his explosive and tireless performance deserved as he continuously threatened down the wing from right-back.
Barnsley attacked with confidence at every given opportunity and the third goal eventually arrived when trialist Chambers took aim from distance. His low drive took a slight deflection on the way through as it nestled in Jenson’s bottom corner to virtually seal all three points.
But Martin Devaney’s side weren’t done there. The introduction of U16s striker Lloyd Smith and U18s duo Charlie Winfield and Marsh injected even more energy into a spirited Reds’ team and, just minutes after coming off the bench, Marsh added his name to the scoresheet.
Barnett whipped in a delightful free-kick that found Sam Fielding, who nodded it across goal for the young striker to stoop and head into the roof of the net.
The Clarets scored a consolation goal with two minutes remaining as Harker crashed home off the underside of the bar after being picked out by Ali Koiki, but it did little to take the shine off what was a very impressive performance by Barnsley.
REDS XI: Greatorex, Mottley-Henry, Fielding, Omar, Barnett, Ward, Wollerton, Martin (Winfield, 72), Chambers, Willard (Marsh, 79), Sotana (Smith, 65).
Not used: Brown, Lancaster.
BURNLEY XI: Jenson, Senior, Armstrong, Brennan, Thomas, Chima, Koika, Goodridge, Harker, Harris, Tucker.
Not used: Calderbank-Park, Thompson, Hugill, Connolly, Mellon.