Spurs scored three goals between the 20th and 28th minutes then another two in quick succession midway through the second half.
Manager Chris Hamilton said: “We competed with a Super League team who are doing well in that league. “We can definitely learn from them, the way they move the ball and come out of defence. It gives you something to aim for and aspire to for the future.”
Captain Lucy Turner added: “They were an even better standard than we expected. They are a quality, professional team. The gap is massive and the training regime is totally different. That’s what it came down to. But we didn’t give up."
Barnsley’s Amy Woodruff had the first shot of the game but fired narrowly over from just outside the box then Reds goalkeeper Bethan Davies turned a long-range shot wide.
The hosts took the lead when Davies again parried a long-range shot and Rianna Dean tapped in the rebound. Kit Graham then headed a corner wide from two yards out when she looked certain to make it 2-0. The second goal came from a stunning 20-yard free-kick from Siri Worm. The next goal was a penalty by Dean after a controversial decision against Rebecca Hornsey who was judged to have committed a foul in the box. Hamilton said: “We didn’t think it was a penalty. We think the girl jumped upwards. But it’s a test of how you react and the girls reacted really well.”
Goalkeeper Davies then made a fine one-one-save from Graham, who headed narrowly over. Woodruff then shot over from long range after a run past two defenders then, at the other end, Davies made two more good one-on-one saves both from Rosella Ayane. Davies was beaten early in the second half but Darcie Greene made an excellent block on the line. Laura Bartup then had Barnsley’s first shot on target from the edge of the box but the goalkeeper pushed it out of the bottom right corner.
Davison made it 4-0 with a 25-yard strike into the bottom left corner just before the hour-mark. Substitute Elisha Sulola added a fifth seconds after coming on as she bulldozed through the Reds defence. Barnsley’s Lissa Woodhouse had a shot saved from the right of the box then Woodruff hit the side netting from a tight angle.