Our U18s overcame an early setback and produced a dominant display to beat Hull City 5-1 on Saturday afternoon.
First half goals from Alex Anaman and Theo Chapman were added to by Leo Farrell’s brace and Mylan Benjamin in the second half to cancel out Jaedyn Chibanga’s first minute opener and propel the Reds to victory.
It's a result that sees our youngsters further extend their lead at the top of the Professional Development League following Sheffield United’s 1-0 defeat against Crewe Alexandra.
They had to work hard for it, however, after falling behind with the game barely underway when Chibanga found time and space in the area before firing home.
That lead wouldn’t last for long, though, as Anaman restored parity by driving at a retreating Tigers defence and curling in a fierce drive to level just three minutes later.
The Reds were in the ascendancy, and Anaman saw a looping header tipped over the bar by George Wilson, while Charlie Hickingbottom was unable to convert from the resulting corner.
Barnsley would eventually strike gold in their pursuit for the lead with 10 minutes of the first half remaining as Benjamin’s low cross was met by Chapman, who lashed home in a crowded area to edge his side ahead.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 2-1 Hull City
The young Reds began the second half in similar vein to how they ended the first, with the introduction of Jean Claude Makiessi adding another important attacking threat.
As the game wore on, Farrell was gradually beginning to make his presence known to the visiting backline. The forward saw a number of his efforts expertly saved by Wilson, but he remained persistent and was rewarded for his endeavours after latching onto Benjamin’s fine cross to steer home a richly deserved goal.
Moments later, our U18s surged forward and formed another attack. Yet again, Farrell was in position and with an outstretched leg, as he diverted the ball past Wilson and into the back of the net to complete a quickfire double.
As the game approached its dying embers, Barnsley were still looking to add to their lead and they added a fifth through the ever-dangerous Benjamin, who embarked on a marauding run down the left flank before unleashing an unstoppable strike beyond Wilson.
The celebrations emitted both joy and relief, as the fullback capped off an immensely dominant display in style as our U18s stamped their authority all over the division.
FULL-TIME: Barnsley 5-1 Hull City
REDS XI: Carter-Rogers (GK), McKay, Benjamin, Joof, Hickingbottom, Pickard, Yoganathan, Bland (C), Farrell, Chapman, Anaman.
Subs: Ravenhill (GK), Makiessi, Monteiro, Reid, Graham.