Two second half Sheffield United strikes sunk the Reds at Bramall Lane in Sky Bet Championship action this lunchtime.
Goals from Sander Berge and Morgan Gibbs-White in the second half were enough to see us off in Sheffield, despite an impressive first half performance from the Reds.
The early stages were even, relative to the cagey nature of a South Yorkshire derby, with neither side being able to assert control on the affair.
The first shot of the game came from the Reds on 13 minutes, after Claudio Gomes found himself with space in a central area just outside of the box, but his driven effort went wide of Wes Foderingham’s goal.
We began to grow into the game after this effort, with the boys in green beginning to apply increasing pressure to the Blades’ backline. Carlton Morris drove into the box down the left-hand side and after some good trickery won a corner.
The resulting corner nearly saw the Reds take the lead, with Matty Wolfe poking the ball goalwards inside the area, but a smart stop from Foderingham prevented a first senior goal for the young midfielder after 19 minutes.
It was Wolfe who had the next best chance in the game, after the Reds won back possession on halfway. Amine Bassi was presented with the ball after the turnover, and slipped in Wolfe who was advancing ahead of him on the left, but his touch escaped him and the midfielder could only slice into the side netting.
A warning sign came from the home side however just on the stroke of half time, after Ben Osborn came inside onto his left foot and curled just over the top of Brad Collins’ goal.
Half time: Sheffield United 0-0 Barnsley
Domingos Quina had been lively in the sun in Sheffield all afternoon, and he nearly got his just reward shortly after the break, but his deflected volley ricocheted narrowly over the top.
Against the run of play the home side then took the lead. A clever quick free-kick from the Blades allowed former Red Conor Hourihane to cross the ball across the front of the Reds’ goal where Berge was there to sweep home on the goal line.
Poya turned to his bench in the 74th minute, with Callum Styles and Wolfe being replaced by Romal Palmer and Aaron Leya Iseka.
The Blades doubled their advantage with just under 15 minutes to play via Gibbs-White. The England U17 World Cup winner rounded Collins to slot home into an empty net.
Morris came close to giving us a glimmer of hope in the search of salvaging something from the game, as a floated cross found the front-man in the box, but his header clipped the top of the crossbar and went behind for a goal kick.
In one final roll of the dice, Devante Cole was introduced in replacement of Gomes in additional time.
Despite the attacking intent from the Reds, the Blades did well to nullify any threat and saw out the game as comfortable winners in the final South Yorkshire derby of the season.
Full time: Sheffield United 2-0 Barnsley
Collins, Brittain, Helik, Andersen, Vita, Gomes (Cole), Wolfe (Leya Iseka), Bassi, Quina, Styles (Palmer), Morris.
Unused: Walton, Halme, Kitching, Oduor.