Shadow Scholarship | Barnsley FC 4-1 Sunderland

The Barnsley FC Shadow Scholars scored two goals in each half to complete a comprehensive victory over Sunderland Shildon’s Scholars in the National Football Youth League.

Mark Tinker’s side, who had sealed their place in the NFYL Cup final a week earlier with a home win over the same opposition, leapfrogged their visitors into fourth in the table following their eighth win of the league campaign.

Keen to avenge their semi-final defeat, Sunderland started strongly and forced Lewis French into a strong early save down to his left.

The pressure continued shortly afterwards with Brandon Murillo and Brandon Fearn pulling off important blocks to deny the visitors a goal.

Barnsley began to play some slick football midway through the half with Dom Claxton and Fabian Tykfer combining well before Jack Bennett shot just wide of the mark.

Essa N’Dow was then denied by the ‘keeper and saw an effort of his own fall inches wide as the Reds continued to grow into the game.

Sunderland were reduced to 10-men with just over half an hour played, their centre back receiving a red card after taking out Bennett when he was clean through on goal.

It took just four minutes for the Reds to take advantage of the extra man, with Tykfer curling a sublime effort into the top corner from the edge of the box.

To their credit, the Black Cats responded well and, despite French pulling off a stunning save moments earlier, equalised five minutes before the break courtesy of a close-range volley from the resulting corner.

Barnsley did go into the break with the lead however as Bennett poked in a rebound after N’Dow’s shot was blocked.

HT: 2-1

The half time break did little to disturb the Reds’ momentum with Sam Awty bringing the visiting ‘keeper into action early in the second period.

After Bennett had been brought down on the edge of the box, Mason Butcher nodded in from Regan Millard’s free-kick to extend the lead.

Millard nearly had a second assist with just under 20 minutes remaining after N’Dow got up well to meet his corner but the looping header bounced off the crossbar and was cleared to safety.

The lively Tykfer continued to threaten, being denied from inside the box after a one-two from N’Dow.

It wasn’t all one way traffic however as the 10-men continued to push for a way back into the game, Murillo in the right place at the right time once again with five minutes remaining.

Butcher stepped up and slammed a penalty into the roof of the net after Bennett had been brought down to round-off a professional performance and another three points for the Reds late on.

Barnsley XI: Lewis French, Sam Awty, Brandon Murillo, Brandon Fearn, Dom Claxton, Jack Tinker, Mason Butcher, Regan Millard, Fabian Tykfer, Essa N’Dow, Jack Bennett.

Substitute: Fabio Vieria.