Barnsley secured a third consecutive Sky Bet League One victory and fourth in all competitions with a routine 3-1 triumph over MK Dons.
Goals from Jordan Williams, Adam Phillips and Herbie Kane – his first for the club – ensured we claimed all three points and climbed to fifth in the table.
Perhaps the most pleasing aspect on a rainy afternoon in South Yorkshire was the performance, as the Reds virtually controlled possession from the first whistle.
We made a bright start to the encounter, once proceedings got underway following repairs to a broken net, and made it our mission to inflict more damage on that particular set of goalposts with a flurry of attacks in the opening stages.
First, Phillips skewed narrowly wide from close range before both he and Williams saw efforts blocked by sprawling visiting defenders as Barnsley swarmed forward in numbers.
Nicky Cadden then delivered a sensational ball for Devante Cole, but the striker’s stooping header looped over the bar with only a few minutes on the clock at Oakwell.
Eventually, the deadlock was broken courtesy of a flowing counter-attack as Cole linked up well with Aitchison on halfway, drove towards goal and slipped in Kane. He in turn picked out Williams at the far post who exquisitely volleyed beyond Jamie Cumming to give us a deserved lead.
The Reds were playing with a swagger and almost had a second moments later when Cole flashed a shot across the face of goal that narrowly evaded the onrushing Cadden.
However, despite our dominance, we were hit with a sucker punch five minutes before the interval as Mohamed Eisa rounded off a swift break for the Dons.
Looking to re-establish our advantage, Williams took aim with a stinging half-volley that fizzed past the post as we headed in at half-time level.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 1-1 MK Dons
Much like the first, we made a blistering start to the second period and regained the lead when Phillips expertly steered home Cadden’s sublime cross with his head from eight-yards.
Phillips, Luca Connell and Kane then all tried their luck from range before substitute James Norwood made a nuisance of himself from a corner while the visiting defence hacked the ball away in a blind panic.
Our third goal finally came midway through the half when the referee waved play on as Williams was sent tumbling, but Kane took full advantage by swivelling and firing low into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Norwood again came close in the dying embers, glancing the ever-dangerous Cadden’s header just past the upright as we searched for the icing on the cake, while Fabio Jalo was denied what appeared to be a stonewall penalty in injury time.
When the final whistle blew, it was to rapturous applause from three sides of Oakwell following a fine display from the Reds.
FULL-TIME: Barnsley 3-1 MK Dons
REDS XI: Collins (GK), Williams, Edwards, Andersen (C), Kitching, Cadden, Phillips (Benson, 76), Connell, Kane, Aitchison (Norwood, 63), Cole (Jalo, 83).
Subs: Walton (GK), Cundy, Larkeche, Martin.
DONS XI: Cumming (GK), Watson (Grigg, 81), Lewington (C), O’Hora, McEachran (Devoy, 69), Eisa, Holland, Johnson, Barry (Burns, 68), Lawrence, Jules.
Subs: Ravizzoli (GK), Tucker, Oyegoke, Grant.