Barnsley’s preparations ahead of the new campaign began with a 2-1 win at Worksop Town on Saturday afternoon.
Adam Phillips’ first half strike was cancelled out late on by Lewis Hall, but Oli Shaw’s neat finish soon after was enough to seal victory for the Reds at Sandy Lane.
As always in these pre-season outings, it’s an opportunity to get minutes into the legs of all the players, with the Reds’ squad getting valuable game time on a warm day in Nottinghamshire.
In a keenly contested opening exchanges, James Norwood blazed over from close range while Barry Cotter tested Adam Hayton – on loan at the Tigers from Barnsley – before crashing an effort into the side netting.
We eventually took the lead midway through the first half following fine link-up play between Harrison Nejman and Norwood, with the latter sliding a beautifully weighted pass into the path of Phillips who confidently slotted home.
With the wind in their favour, Worksop thought they had found a leveller moments before the break, but Liam Hughes' close range finish was ruled out for offside.
HALF-TIME: Worksop Town 0-1 Barnsley
There were nine changes to the side that ended the first half, with only Matty Doyle – introduced after 30 minutes for Alex Joof – and Harrison Nejman remaining on the pitch.
The new-look Reds line-up contained five members of our U18s’ squad that were crowned Professional Development League champions last term, providing the travelling Barnsley supporters with an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the future.
Chances were few and far between, but Worksop took full advantage of their opening as Hall rifled home into the top corner on the half-volley with eight minutes remaining.
Shortly after, however, Shaw latched onto a superb through ball from Josh McKay and casually dinked over the onrushing Hayton to restore our lead.
Excellent defending late on from Doyle preserved our one-goal cushion as he twice cleared off the line, while Paul Cooper produced a stunning save to thwart veteran striker James Hanson in a frantic finale.
FULL-TIME: Worksop Town 1-2 Barnsley
REDS XI (First Half): Searle (GK), Cotter, Joof (Doyle), Lopata, Kitching (C), Cadden, Nejman, Kane, Phillips, Norwood, Cole.
REDS XI (Second Half): Cooper (GK), McKay, Ackroyd (C), Doyle, Pickard, Winfield, Chapman, Nejman, Marsh, Dyer, Shaw.