Barnsley U23s were beaten 3-0 by Professional Development League leaders Nottingham Forest on Friday afternoon.
Two goals from Brennan Johnson in either half and one from Yassine En-Neyah secured a comfortable victory for the visitors at the Oakwell Training Ground.
The Reds had a strong claim for a penalty in the opening minute after Dylan Mottley-Henry appeared to be bundled over in the area, but they soon found themselves behind when Johnson scrambled in from close range after the hosts failed to clear a free-kick.
Tommy Willard came close to levelling the scores shortly after, but his half-volley fizzed over the bar as Martin Devaney’s side searched for an immediate response.
But when En-Neyah was played through by Toby Edser, he got to the ball just ahead of the diving Jake Greatorex and sliding Rudi Pache to dink home and double Forest’s advantage.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-2 Nottingham Forest
Aiden Marsh and Charlie Winfield were introduced at the interval and the latter almost reduced the arrears within moments but he fired over the bar from close range.
The young midfielder then saw a glancing header flash across the goal after being picked out by Mottley-Henry as Barnsley tried in vain to find a way back into the game.
But the visitors still posed a threat and towering defender Ethan Stewart crashed a header off the upright just before the hour mark.
Forest soon added a third as Johnson was left unmarked to sweep home Keith Asare’s low free-kick and effectively end the tie as a contest.
The young Reds host Burnley in their next fixture on Friday 17 January.
REDS XI: Greatorex, Helliwell (Marsh, 46), Pache, Fielding, Barnett, Palmer, Wollerton (Martin, 69), Price, Styles (Winfield, 46), Mottley-Henry, Willard.
Not used: Brown, Nicholson.
FOREST XI: Siampanis, Rama, Preston, Fornah, Stewart, Barnes, Asare, Edser, Hayes, Johnson, En-Neyah.
Subs: Statuam, Spooner, Sole, Back, Walsh.