Rampant Reds kick off the Stendel era in style - Barnsley 4 Oxford United 0

Barnsley laid down an early marker of their promotion credentials with their biggest opening day triumph in more than 37 years.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 5th August 2018, 1:38 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th August 2018, 1:43 pm
Mamadou Thiam celebrates his second goal in Barnsley's emphatic win over Oxford United. Picture: Tony Johnson
Mamadou Thiam celebrates his second goal in Barnsley's emphatic win over Oxford United. Picture: Tony Johnson

The rampant Reds put four past a shell-shocked Oxford United to deliver the ideal start to Daniel Stendel's tenure in the Oakwell hotseat.

Mamadou Thiam struggled in the Championship last term, scoring once in just 28 appearances, but he hit the ground running with a first half brace.

Brad Potts put the game to bed in the second half, before Victor Adeboyejo completed the rout with a debut goal.

The Reds’ new pressing style was plain to see as the players worked their socks off.

Assistant manager Andreas Winkler took the post-match press duties and was insistent that it was just the start of a long journey for the Reds.

“It was a brilliant first game, we’re very happy, but it’s just the start," Winkler said.

“We didn’t expect the squad to be able to show that new style for the whole game so we’re very happy with that.

"We’re very happy for Mamadou. He came to a different country and it wasn’t easy for him last season. Nobody enjoyed it, nobody was happy, nobody was laughing.

“I’m really happy for everybody but especially him because I think now he is at Barnsley.”

Towering striker Kieffer Moore almost got the Reds off to a glorious start after two minutes when he flashed a header wide.

But the Oakwell faithful were bouncing 20 minutes in when Frenchmen Dmitri Cavare and Thiam combined with the latter smashing home from outside the box.

And less than 10 minutes later Thiam grabbed his second in similar fashion with a second sensational strike.

After the break, Sam Smith came close for the U’s by firing over before Jon Obika failed to take a clear-cut chance with Adam Davies and Ethan Pinnock snuffing out the danger.

Barnsley’s only summer signing Kenny Dougall was denied a breath-taking start to League One life with Simon Eastwood making up for his mistake. The keeper’s goalkick only went as far as the Australian who struck it first time from the halfway line, with Eastwood on hand to claw it away.

Captain Adam Davies produced a super stop to tip Rob Hall’s curling strike wide.

Potts completed a fantastic team move with the Reds’ third distance strike after 77 minutes.

And Adeboyejo put the finishing touches on a devastating display by diverting Cameron McGeehan’s cross past Eastwood just seven minutes after coming off the bench.

Barnsley: Davies, Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, Pinillos, Potts, Dougall, Mowatt (McGeehan, 78), Thiam (Moncur, 70), Moore (Adeboyejo, 82), Bradshaw. Unused subs: Walton, Jackson, Bird, Isgrove.

Oxford: Eastwood, McMahon, Dickie, Nelson, Garbutt, Ruffels, Brannagan, Mackie (Whyte, 82), Henry (Hall, 63), Carruthers (Smith, 21), Obika. Unused subs: Stephens, Raglan, Norman, Mousinho.

Referee: Ross Joyce.

Attendance: 12,820 (1,279 away)