Peterborough 0 Barnsley 2: Boss Paul Heckingbottom pleased with final Reds workout

Josh Scowen
Josh Scowen
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Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom was impressed by the performance of his side as they ended their pre-season friendlies with a 2-0 victory over Peterborough United.

Headers from Josh Scowen and summer signing Stefan Payne either side of the break did the damage for the Reds at London Road.

Stefan Payne

Stefan Payne

It was the final chance for the players to make a bid for starting places for the opening day of the new season, with Andy Yiadom coming in for James Bree and Liverpool loanee Ryan Kent starting ahead of Marley Watkins.

Nick Townsend was given a second successive start after Adam Davies picked up a slight injury in training as Elliot Lee returned to the bench after recovering from a calf strain.

Heckingbottom was delighted with the final run-out for his squad before a tough trip to Portman Road to face Ipswich on Saturday.

“There were two things that really pleased me. One was how competitive the game was,” said the 38-year-old Barnsley boss.

“It was good to be stretched and there was a real edge to the game. It worked out perfectly for us that Peterborough had a real go.

“The second thing was the clean sheet. They had a right go at us and we stuck in and managed to keep a clean sheet.

“We wanted to progress pre-season and get some real tests, and then put a League One team in who we thought would be as close as we can get to a Championship team.

“We were coming here trying to win the game and obviously Peterborough did the same.

“It made it a really competitive game.

“Josh’s eyes lit up this week when I said he could go up for set-pieces. He had a cheeky grin after the goal.

“The second was a good ball from Yids.

“We’ve been speaking to our full-backs and wide men about deliveries into the box.

“They all have to contribute, not just the wide men. Our full-backs are big attacking weapons for us.”

The Reds came charging out of the blocks with real intent.

Latest addition Ryan Kent showed his blistering pace as he beat two defenders down the right with Sam Winnall unable to get on the end of the cross.

It took just seven minutes for the visitors to break the deadlock as Scowen leapt highest to head home Adam Hammill’s pinpoint free-kick.

Jonathan Edwards produced a superb save from Townsend as he prevented the midfielder’s effort from nestling in the top corner.

Yiadom and Kent linked up well down the flank as the latter found captain Conor Hourihane just outside the box, with Ben Alnwick keeping Hourihane’s thunderous shot at bay.

The hosts’ best chance of an equaliser came three minutes before the interval.

Striker Paul Taylor picked up the ball after a well-worked short corner before his curling shot rattled the post.

Posh looked to level proceedings, with Marcus Maddinson firing a free-kick straight at shot-stopper Townsend.

Shaquile Coulthirst then had Townsend sprawling to tip his belting 30-yard strike around the post.

Winnall’s best chance came and went as he struck the ball wide after latching on to Hammill’s cross.

Tom Nichols brought another good stop from Townsend before Kent grazed the crossbar with his effort down the other end.

Substitute striker Payne pounced on Yiadom’s cross to head home his fifth goal in pre-season late on.

Peterborough: Alnwick, White, Hughes, Tafazolli, Baldwin, Forrester, J Anderson (Da Silva Lopes 69), Edwards, Maddison, Coulthirst (Nichols 69), P Taylor. Subs: Bostwick, Nabi, Chettle.

Barnsley: Townsend, White, Roberts, Mawson, Yiadom, Hammill (Lee 87), Scowen, Hourihane, Kent (Payne 77), Winnall (D’Almeida 73), Bradshaw (Watkins 61). Subs: Moncur, Lee, Nyatanga, Tuton, Walton.

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