Shadow Scholarship | Barnsley 3-4 Everton

The Barnsley FC Shadow Scholarship began their campaign in the National Football Youth League with a narrow defeat to Everton.

Early goals from Dom Claxton and Jack Bennett had appeared to have put the Reds in control but Everton responded to lead 3-2 at the break.

Bennett was on the scoresheet again in the second half after the Toffees had extended their advantage but Mark Tinker’s side couldn’t find the crucial equaliser late on.

Barnsley couldn’t have wished for a better start as Claxton got on the end of Jimmy Pursell’s teasing corner to fire in for an early lead.

The Reds were soon celebrating again as Bennett collected a through ball and sent a half-volley into the bottom corner to double the lead.

Everton were given a lifeline shortly afterwards however as their number 10 was brought down in the box before picking himself up to beat Lewis French from the penalty spot.

Barnsley threatened a third goal from the restart as Mason Butcher worked the ball well to Essa N’Dow, who saw his powerful shot blocked.

Fearn pulled off a couple of important interceptions but there was nothing he or the other defenders could do shortly afterwards as Everton’s number nine fired an equaliser into the top corner.

The visitors’ resurgence continued just over five minutes later as the impressive front two combined for another goal to move in front before the break.

HT: Barnsley 2-3 Everton

Jack Tinker fired inches over the bar from Bailey Oates’ cross as Barnsley looked to start the second half how they began the first.

Claxton then got up first to meet another pinpoint Pursell corner however he couldn’t direct his header on target.

With the Reds pushing forward and searching for an equaliser, gaps began to appear in the defence and Everton capitalised through a fine finish into the bottom corner to open up a two-goal buffer.

Mark Tinker threw Aidan Hargreaves and Callum Spragg on to try and turn the tide, switching to a more offensive 4-3-3 formation.

Pursell’s set-piece delivery continued to cause problems for the away defence as Claxton saw his header cleared off the line before Bennett fired in the rebound for his second goal with 10 minutes remaining.

Hargreaves sent a volley wide of the mark after Everton had hit the woodwork at the other end but the visitors held on to claim the three points.

Barnsley XI: Lewis French, Jack Tinker, Mason Butcher (Aidan Hargeaves), Brandon Fearn, Dom Claxton, Bailey Oates (Callum Spragg), Jimmy Pursell, Todd Calvert, Jake Vigrass, Essa N’Dow, Jack Bennett.

Unused substitutions: Regan Millard, Kye Cockburn, Joe Mellor.