Our U18s secured three crucial points in the hunt for a play-off place after beating Ipswich Town 1-0 in Suffolk on Saturday.
Theo Chapman’s 13th minute strike was enough to seal the victory for the Reds in what is now four wins on the bounce for our youngsters.
Barnsley came into this one off the back of a 10-day training camp in Italy, playing three games against older players and in hot conditions, making it a tough physical test for the squad ahead our visit to East Anglia on Saturday.
The hosts suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Cardiff City in their last outing, leaving the Tractor Boys third in the Southern section Professional Development League.
Our young Reds began brightly in the game, with Chapman firing narrowly over the crossbar after Fabio Jalo cut the ball back from the byline in the seventh minute.
Chapman made no mistake just six minutes later as he gave the Reds the lead. Alex Joof played a cutting pass through the thirds which found Jalo, who in turn found Chapman, and the young midfielder ran through one on one with the goalkeeper and dinked the ball above Woody Williamson in the Ipswich goal.
After the goal, our U18s continued to control the affair, with the majority of the play being played in the Town half.
Just before the break, Joof had a powerful header flash narrowly wide of the post after a driven corner delivery from Luis Lacey.
HALF-TIME: Ipswich Town 0-1 Barnsley
Lacey very nearly doubled the Reds’ lead just after the restart. From the right-hand side Chapman cut the ball back, and Lacey came onto the ball and curled a powerful effort onto the post.
Five minutes later, Chapman was provider once again. A turnover in the middle of the pitch allowed him to drive with the ball and slip Josiah Dyer in, however his effort was always rising over the crossbar.
With 20 minutes to play, the hosts began to grow into the game. Kieren Flavell was tested from range a couple of times, but the Reds’ ‘keeper was equal to it.
Whilst the home side were pushing for an equaliser, the Reds began to look dangerous on the counter-attack. With five minutes to go, Jalo was played through and drove into the area, but his effort was tipped over by Williamson.
The young Reds remained resolute in the final exchanges and gained three big points in the Professional Development League picture.
FULL-TIME: Ipswich Town 0-1 Barnsley
REDS XI: Flavell (GK), Anaman, Lacey, Hickingbottom, D. Benson, Joof, Nejman, Makiessi, Dyer, T. Chapman, Jalo.
Subs: Ravenhill (GK), McKay, Bland, Farrell, Benjamin.