Goals from Lloyd Smith, Josiah Dyer, and Theo Chapman handed Barnsley U18s a comfortable pre-season victory over Athersley Rec at a sun-drenched Sheerien Park.
Smith slotted in from close range midway through the first half to give the young Reds the lead, before the result was capped after the break through Dyer’s turn-and-finish from a similar distance and Chapman’s penalty.
It was a thoroughly deserved victory for Tom Harban’s side, who looked sharp ahead of the new season, and the Head Coach was able to hand chances to every member of his squad throughout the encounter.
Barnsley started as they meant to go on, with much of their attack routed down the flank through Ben Hall, and the right-back put in some testing crosses early on that were well claimed.
Mylan Benjamin and Blake Goucher’s attempts also forced the home stopper into saves, before Smith broke the deadlock in the 26th minute when he converted Hall’s low cross.
The hosts did have a chance to level shortly before the break, but Reds goalkeeper Archie Brown saw a cross from the left narrowly put the wrong side of his back post.
HALF-TIME: Athersley Rec 0-1 Barnsley U18s
Harban made wholesale changes to his side at the break, but it hardly resulted in any let-up in the young Reds’ intensity, with the mostly new line-up continuing where their peers had left off.
It took only 17 minutes for the visitors to double their lead, as Dyer collected skipper Keegan Hartley’s low ball into the box, fooled the home goalkeeper with a spin, and finished neatly into an open net.
Chapman then put gloss on the result less than five minutes later, as he picked himself up after being felled in the box to fire his penalty low to the keeper’s right.
Josh McKay almost made it four late on, seeing his effort from the right side of the box graze the top of the crossbar, but Harban and his young Reds can be thoroughly satisfied with a job well done.
FULL TIME: Athersley 0-3 Barnsley U18s