Promotion-hopefuls land three more points: Barnsley 2-0 Scunthorpe
Barnsley shot up to second in the table as boss Daniel Stendel wrote his name into the history books after witnessing his side defeat Scunthorpe 2-0.
Stendel smashed a century-old record by remaining unbeaten in his first 15 home league matches in charge of the Tykes - a record set in 1914-15 when Percy Lewis was in charge - as Alex Mowatt and Cameron McGeehan struck to secure the points against the Iron.
With two changes to the side that drew 2-2 at Oxford in midweek, Kieffer Moore and Dani Pinillos came into the side for Kenny Dougall and Ben Williams - the latter of which missed out completely through injury.
It didn’t take long for Barnsley to get into the groove but an early goal was chalked off for offside. After sumptuous play from Mamdou Thiam, Pinillos crossed low from the left but Cauley Woodrow was denied by the flag as he stabbed home.
Barnsley’s number nine was in the thick of the action again but he failed to connect properly 15 yards out after being found by Dimitri Cavare from out wide.
The visitors wanted a penalty as former Red Adam Hammill went down under a challenge from Ethan Pinnock but the referee waved played on, with Barnsley scoring from the counter-attack.
It came on the stroke of 16 minutes thanks to another long-range strike from Mowatt. The midfielder picked up on a loose ball 30 yards out after Jacob Brown’s attack was thwarted, and the former Leeds man let fly with a wicked shot that caught out Jak Alnwick, who was blinded by the winter sun.
In the aftermath of the goal, Iron keeper Alnwick asked for a cap from one of Scunthorpe’s supporters and they obliged even though it was a minute too late.
Woodrow and McGeehan saw shots flash over and wide before the latter did double the lead four minutes before the break. Alnwick was again caught out, this time by a deflection off of Thiam’s shot, as it fell for McGeehan to head home against his former loan club.
Byron Webster should have done better with a header before half-time but it was straight at Adam Davies. Minutes later the Barnsley keeper was made to work harder as he denied Lee Novak from close range.
After the break a suspected reaction from Scunthorpe never came as Barnsley turned the screw. On 54 minutes Cavare’s cross was almost turned into his own net by Rory McArdle as Scunthorpe continued to look nervy at the back.
Confidence grew as the second half wore on, with Pinnock’s slide-rule pass picking out Cavare out on the right. The defender delivered for Woodrow who swept inches wide of the far post on 64 minutes.
Scunthorpe were struggling to cope with Barnsley’s quality in midfield, as McGeehan lashed a half-volley just wide as he searched for his second.
Having produced a stunner to rescue a point in the reverse fixture, Cavare almost produced another rocket from 30 yards but the full-back’s effort zipped just over.
There was no slowing the Reds down and an acrobatic attempt from Mike Bahre brought a good save from Alnwick and a chorus of ‘Just like watching Brazil’ from the home fans as they watched their team climb to second in the league.
Barnsley: Davies, Pinnock, Lindsay, McGeehan, Woodrow (Bahre 72), Cavare, Moore (Adeboyejo 83), Pinillos, Thiam (Hedges 67), Mowatt, Brown.
Subs: Walton, Fryers, Dougall, Green,.
Scunthorpe Utd: Alnwick, McMahon, Webster (Lund 72), Ojo, Perch (Sutton 46), Novak, Thomas, Burgess, McArdle, McGahey, Hammill (Van Veen 58).
Subs: Flatt, Lewis, Pearce, Olomola.
Attendance: 12,150 (980)
Referee: Andy Haines