Barnsley gained more valuable minutes in a pre-season friendly at home to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday afternoon.
Around 200 supporters watched on from the stands at our Showcase academy pitch as 22 members of the Reds’ squad got a run out in the sweltering South Yorkshire heat.
Unfortunately, the onlookers weren’t treated to any goals, but results aren’t the priority at this stage of the campaign as our backroom staff aim to get players up to match fitness ahead of the opening day at Plymouth Argyle in three weeks time.
Barnsley largely dominated possession throughout the first half and came close to opening the scoring with 20 minutes on the clock as Callum Brittain looped a deep cross into the box. Robbie Cundy nodded it into the path of Mads Andersen, but our Danish centre back was unable to steer home from close range.
It appeared as though the Reds would make the breakthrough shortly before half-time as Luke Thomas intercepted a wayward pass in the centre circle and broke at pace, but the Alex defence were able to hack clear just as Devante Cole was about to pull the trigger.
Moments later, Liam Kitching threaded a fine pass into the path of Aaron Leya Iseka, who swivelled and forced a good save low at the near post.
From the resulting corner, Andersen won a flick on and Kitching headed narrowly over at the far post as Barnsley ended the half strongly.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Crewe Alexandra
Michael Duff made three changes at the interval, with Brad Collins replacing Jack Walton between the sticks, while Tomas Kalinauskas and Matty Wolfe entered the fray in place of Callum Styles and Herbie Kane, respectively.
Having weathered a bit of Crewe pressure from a flurry of set-pieces, the Reds regained control of the encounter and, through Wolfe’s probing runs down the left channel, began to create some openings.
The midfielder galloped into the box and picked out fellow substitute Jack Aitchison just after the hour mark, but the Scotsman couldn’t keep his effort down.
A succession of corners floated in by Joe Ackroyd threatened to cause chaos in the Crewe area, but no-one in green could get any real purchase as the visitors cleared their lines.
Eventually, the referee called time on another valuable 90 minutes for the Reds, who next face Nottingham Forest at Oakwell on Open Day in seven days time.
FULL-TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Crewe Alexandra
REDS XI: Walton (GK) (Collins (GK), 46), Brittain (Helliwell, 60), Andersen (McCarthy, 60), Cundy (Moon, 60), Kitching (Sraha, 60), Styles (Kalinauskas, 46), Thomas (Hondermarck, 60), Kane (Wolfe, 46), Connell (Ackroyd, 60), Cole (Aitchison, 60), Leya Iseka (Trialist, 60).