Barnsley 3 Luton Town 2: Reds cannot keep promotion credentials quiet

Cameron McGeehan celebrates his goal in the win over Luton. Picture: Scott Merrylees
Cameron McGeehan celebrates his goal in the win over Luton. Picture: Scott Merrylees

If Barnsley were keen on going under the radar this season then they might just have blown it in the last two weeks.

The Reds let everyone know exactly how strong they are under Daniel Stendel when they thumped high-flying Peterborough 4-0 in their own backyard last weekend and they followed it up with a pulsating 3-2 success against in-form Luton in front of the television cameras.

Those viewers wanting their football fix in the international break on Saturday lunchtime will have seen exactly what Stendel is creating at Oakwell as the Reds put in a performance, in the first half especially, that was of far greater quality than the League One level it is gracing.

Brad Potts and Cameron McGeehan put them 2-0 up before the half-hour, with Mamadou Thiam scoring the goal of the game in the second half.

To Luton's credit they stayed in the match thanks to James Collins' double but their five-game unbeaten run was deservedly ended in South Yorkshire.

To make it even more satisfying for Barnsley was the fact it was done without three key players as Adam Davies and Kenny Dougall were away on international duty while Kieffer Moore was injured.

The win extends Barnsley's unbeaten home record this season, but they have far from had it all their own way at Oakwell and this was a good response to the laboured draw with Plymouth 10 days ago.

“It was a good answer from the squad, today it was a good performance,” Stendel said.

“We went 2-0 up early, but it was also a close game, I can't really describe why.

“The performance from Luton was also good but we are pleased to win the game.

"We saw that we played with different players and we can still win.”

The football on show was a pleasure to watch, with Potts getting the ball rolling with a low fifth-minute shot before Hatters old boy McGeehan finished off a fine team move by finding the bottom corner after brilliant work by George Moncur.

Luton stayed in the game when Collins converted a penalty before the break, but substitute Thiam lit up the afternoon when he fired a thumping effort into the top corner with 11 minutes remaining.

Collins' second, a close-range finish, threatened an unlikely comeback in the final 10 minutes but the Reds held on for a deserved win.

And make no mistake, their secret is out. They are strong promotion contenders.

Barnsley: Walton, Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, Williams (Pinillos 73), Potts, Mowatt, McGeehan, Bahre (Thiam 68), Moncur (Hedges 83), Brown

Unused subs: Kendrick, Bird, Jackson, Adeboyejo

Luton: Shea, Stacey, Pearson, Bradley, Potts, Rea (Hylton 79), Ruddock, Justin, Grant McCormack 58), Collins, Cornick (LuaLua 72)

Unused subs: Isted, Shinnie, Jarvis, Sheehan

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 12,688