On loan Barnsley striker Ike Ugbo bagged a brace as the Reds continued their pre-season campaign with a 2-0 win at Rochdale.
Supersub Ugbo, on Chelsea’s books, netted his first goals since joining the club. Head coach Paul Heckingbottom is happy the youngster is up and running, especially after his side scored just 13 goals in their last 14 games last season.
The gaffer is still working to add options up front to help share the burden with Welshman Tom Bradshaw, who scored eight times last term.
And if Ugbo can keep finding the back of the net with the sort of regularity he did in the Stamford Bridge youth set-up then Heckingbottom will be a happy man.
Early on it was the hosts, led by former Barnsley boss Keith Hill, who had the bulk of the chances as second choice stopper Nick Townsend made good saves to deny both Brad Inman and Callum Camps.
New centre-back Liam Lindsay came off just before half time as a precaution after taking a knock.
Bradshaw fired over in the Reds only real chance, with Townsend on hand once again to superbly keep Inman at bay.
Four changes were the cause of action at the midway stage before Rochdale had a goal disallowed for offside in minute 50.
Two minutes later matchwinner Ugbo was denied by a last-ditch goal-line clearance after some understanding between him and fellow forward Bradshaw.
Bradshaw then forced a top stop from Dale ‘keeper Josh Lillis as the Reds piled on the pressure.
But Ugbo was not to be denied as he broke the deadlock with 23 minutes left. He pounced on the rebound after Bradshaw’s header was saved. Three minutes later Alex Mowatt was twice kept out by Lillis.
Dale missed numerous chances e inside the box, before Ugbo sealed the match by rounding the ‘keeper and firing home at the end.
Meanwhile, one striker who Heckingbottom would love back at the club is West Ham man Ashley Fletcher.
The Reds have enquired about the forward, who looks unlikely to get a chance in the top flight due to the arrival of Javier Hernandez. Any deal to see Fletcher return is understood to be via a loan, with the Hammers adamant the player has a future with them. However, Leeds United have also put feelers out.
Rochdale: Lillis, Canavan, Brown, Andrew, Camps, Williams, Inman, Keane, Allen, Henderson, Trialist.
Subs: Wade, McNulty, Rathbone, Adshead, Cannon, Morley, Kitching, Gillam.
Barnsley: Townsend, McCarthy, Jackson, Lindsay, Fryers, Hammill, D’Almeida, Williams, Isgrove, Brown, Bradshaw.
Subs: Davies, Yiadom, MacDonald, Pinnock, Moncur, Mowatt, Mallan, Ugbo, Payne.
Star man: Ike Ugbo (Barnsley)