Barnsley 2 Nottingham Forest 1: Reds seize first points of the season

Ryan Hedges. Picture: Chris Etchells
Ryan Hedges. Picture: Chris Etchells

Barnsley’s Championship campaign is up and running after they bagged their first win of the season at Forest’s expense.

Ryan Hedges was the hero, smashing home the winner from distance - his third of the season already - just after half-time. The Reds claimed their first points against a Forest side who had won their opening two matches.

It was a cracking first half, one which the Reds dominated before letting Forest grab themselves a foothold.

Paul Heckingbottom’s side went in front after four minutes. George Moncur’s free-kick was met by defender Matty Pearson, and his far-post header looped over goalkeeper Jordan Smith.

Forest responded almost immediately with Daryl Murphy crashing a shot against a post from an acute angle, but back came the Reds with Tom Bradshaw seeing a smart snapshot saved by Smith.

The frantic opening continued with Murphy then forcing an excellent stop from Reds’ ‘keeper Adam Davies.

The hosts were on top i but couldn’t find a second goal they had deserved. Adam Hammill was particularly lively down the flank.

He whipped in a terrific cross for Bradshaw, but his header cleared the crossbar. Missed chances were punished by Forest in the 26th minute. Barrie McKay whipped in a cross for Murphy, and the front-man headed powerfully past Davies.

The Reds came close to regaining their lead seconds before the interval when Smith again denied Bradshaw.

However, they wrestled back the lead five minutes after the restart. And what a strike it was as Hedges lashed into the corner of the net from just outside the box.

The game was still wide open, and Reds’ ‘keeper Davies was called back into action minutes later to brilliantly keep out a powerful effort from Tendayi Darikwa.

The end-to-end theme continued into the final quarter, and this time it was Brad Potts who almost made it 3-1 to the Reds in the 68th minute when he fired narrowly over the top.

Forest’s best chance to level late in the game fell to Darikwa, who saw his effort breath-takingly beaten away by the ever-alert Davies.

Barnsley (4-1-4-1): Davies; McCarthy, Jackson, MacDonald, Pearson; Williams; Hammill (Barnes, 90), Potts, Moncur (Bird, 66), Hedges; Bradshaw.

Subs not used: Townsend, Pinnock, Payne, Mowatt, Ugbo.

Nott’m Forest (3-4-1-2): Smith; Worrall, Mills, Mancienne (Traore, 46); Darikwa, Bouchalakis, Vaughan (Carayol, 70), Osborn; Dowell; McKay (Cummings, 78), Murphy.

Subs not used: Evtimov, Lichaj, Clough, Brereton.

Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland).

Att: 13,883

Star man: Ryan Hedges.