Barnsley started pre-season just 31 days after the dramatic culmination of their 2019-2020 season with a 2-0 win at Crewe Alexandra.
The Alex are fresh from winning promotion to League One via a points per game basis which means they play in the third tier for the first time since 2016 (they were relegated from League One in the same season that Barnsley won that division’s play-offs) and were the first host for the Reds in this delayed 2020-2021 campaign.
Barnsley opened the scoring just four minutes in when Callum Styles low left footed corner was turned home right footed by unmarked centre-back Mads Andersen.
The Reds enjoyed the lion’s share of possession with Jack Walton and in the second half Brad Collins rarely troubled however Barnsley struggled to create many clear-cut chances before sealing the game on 71 minutes. After a neat passing exchange between Victor Adeboyejo, Marcel Ritzmaier and Clarke Oduor, last season’s last gasp survival clincher Oduor whipped in a left footed cross which was met (again unmarked) by the head of Chaplin who sent a looping header over the Alex goalkeeper and into the net.
There were no substitutions during the match from Barnsley with Gerhard Struber fielding a completely different 11 for each half which also gave rare and valuable game time to the likes of Adeboyejo who did not feature for the Reds in 2019-2020 and George Miller who did not play after the EFL Cup exit to Carlisle in August 2019. New signing Dominik Frieser also made his debut, playing the full second 45 minutes.
Barnsley have only one other scheduled friendly before the season kicks off with an EFL Cup First Round tie against Nottingham Forest on the 5th September – they travel to the North East to take on Premier League Newcastle United next Saturday at 3pm at the club’s training ground with the match, of course, being played behind closed doors.