Barnsley 2-1 Nottm Forest - 15-Aug-2017 : Match Report
Ryan Hedges' stunning second-half strike gave Barnsley their first league victory of the season as they halted Nottingham Forest's three-game winning run with an entertaining 2-1 success at Oakwell.
Matty Pearson's early header gave the Tykes the lead, but Daryl Murphy restored parity in the 26th minute after the hosts had wasted a host of chances to increase their advantage.
Hedges brilliantly fired Barnsley back ahead after 50 minutes and, despite the odd scare or two, the home side held on to claim the points.
The Tykes could not have wished for a better start, taking a fourth-minute lead. George Moncur swung over a free-kick from the left and Pearson got up highest to loop a header back across goal and into the far corner, with Tom Bradshaw following up just to make sure.
Forest almost levelled within 60 seconds as they broke from the kick-off, with Tendayi Darikwa's persistence handing a chance to Murphy near the byline but the former Newcastle striker slammed a fierce effort from an acute angle against a post.
Bradshaw fired Adam Hammill's cross straight at Jordan Smith before Barnsley keeper Adam Davies tipped Murphy's grass cutter past his left-hand upright in a frenetic opening 10 minutes.
Bradshaw then headed Hammill's delivery inches over, Smith saved from Moncur, Hedges headed Jason McCarthy's cross back across goal when it looked easier to score, and Moncur curled an effort just wide as Barnsley laid siege to Forest's goal.
There's an old adage in football which says you must take your chances while on top, but Barnsley did not heed the warning and were hit by a sucker punch as Forest levelled.
Barrie McKay had just fired an effort over the top as the visitors finally stemmed the tide, but the Scot showed much more composure when whipping over a delightful cross for the diving Murphy to head home.
McKay and Ben Osborn both drove shots just wide, with Murphy having a shot blocked by Joe Williams, but then Smith had to be alert at the other end to tip over Bradshaw's well-hit drive on the stroke of half-time.
Just like the first half, Forest were caught napping at the start of the second period as Hedges drove forward into space and unleashed a stunning 20-yarder into the bottom corner to put Barnsley back in the driving seat.
Darikwa surged forward from the back again and forced Davies into a save with his legs, Andreas Bouchalakis had an effort comfortably saved by the home keeper and Osborn's shot fizzed across the area as Forest upped the ante.
Davies saved Murphy's close-range effort as the big frontman tried to turn in Matt Mills' header, before Brad Potts fired narrowly over in a rare Barnsley attack.
Dowell wasted a glorious late chance for Forest, tamely hitting sub Muzzy Carayol's pass straight at Davies, while right at the death, the Barnsley custodian did just enough to turn Darikwa's shot behind and with it the visitors' hopes were dashed.