Barnsley manager Danny Wilson knew pre-match his side would have to be on top of their game tonight against Championship leaders Leicester City, who were unbeaten in their previous 14 outings.
The fixture pitched together two teams with vastly differing priorities: with the Reds battling to avoid relegation.
Wilson sees Leicester as a Premier League team in-waiting but was looking to build on Saturday’s victory over Nottingham Forest.another high-flying team.
The Reds were forced to make an early change after skipper Cranie was injured with Mvoto coming on in the 10th minute.
Leicester took the lead in the 21st minute with former Stocksbridge Park Steels player Vardy scoring with a left foot shot from outside the area after a header from Nugent.
Barnsley attempted to hit back quickly with two Woods’ efforts ending off target either side of an O’Grady shot that was blocked.
After 53 minutes Barnsley had to make another change due to injury with Nyatanga replacing Ramage.
Just under the hour Barnsley’s task became more difficult as Leicester went two up, with former Reds player Drinkwater scoring.
Drinkwater, who had a loan spell with the Reds in 2011-12, scored on 58 minutes from a Vardy cross.
It soom became 3-0 with Vardy shooting home in the 62nd minute for his second goal of the game.
At least Barnsley wouldn’t have to worry any more about Vardy when he was replaced by Taylor-Fletcher in the 67th minute.
Barnsley: Steele, Hunt, Kennedy, Cranie (c), Ramage, Mellis, Dawson,
Woods, McCourt, Jennings, O’Grady. Subs: Turner, Nyatanga, Proschwitz, Mvoto, Lawrence, Cykwa, Noble-Lazarus.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Drinkwater, Morgan (c), James, Vardy,
Schlupp, Knockaert, Mahrez, Wasilewski, Nugent. Subs: Logan, Hammond, King, Moore, Taylor-Fletcher, Phillips, Wood.