Josh Benson netted a 92nd-minute winner as Barnsley won 1-0 at Championship Middlesbrough in the first round of the EFL Cup.

The hosts just shaded the game in terms of chances, and were on top for most of the second half, but the Reds showed great spirit and netted an epic winner.

Michael Duff made seven changes from the side that beat Cheltenham in the league on Saturday.

Jordan Helliwell and Clarke Oduor got their first action of the season and were used at right wing-back and left wing-back respectively. Jack Aitchison played just behind strikers Devante Cole and Aiden Marsh.

The hosts should have taken the lead in the second minute when a simple long ball played in Duncan Watmore who outpaced both Robbie Cundy and Conor McCarthy but was denied one-on-one by a good block from Jack Walton. Caolan Boyd-Munce shot wide of the bottom left corner from just outside the box in the fourth minute.

Barnsley settled down after being on the back foot early and Luca Connell curled a free-kick just over the bar from 25 yards on 19 minutes.

Walton touched over an attempted cross by Marc Bola which almost went into the top left corner then, at the other end, home goalkeeper Liam Roberts parried away a powerful and swerving long-range effort by Mads Andersen out of the path of the lurking Devante Cole.

Marsh should have put the visitors in front on the half-hour mark when a terrible backpass by Watmore put him clean through but his shot six yards out was blocked by Roberts.

Aitchison then shot wide of the bottom left corner from 12 yards out after a good move involving Marsh and Callum Styles.

Boro were on top at the start of the second half, with Paddy McNair getting barely any contact on a header from a corner when unmarked about ten yards out.

At the other end, Marsh shot into the side netting after being set free on the left. That was his last action as he and Aitchison were replaced by Aaron Leya Iseka, making his first appearance of the season, and Luke Thomas.

Centre-back McCarthy was replaced by midfielder Benson with the Reds changing to a 4-3-3 for the final 20 minutes.

Fabio Jalo, 16, was brought on and became the sixth youngest player in the club’s history.

Boro had chances late on as Walton impressively pushed a Dael Fry header out of the top left corner then easily caught a tame headed effort by Chuba Akpom.

The winner came after a good move on the right ended with Benson shooting from the edge of the box straight at the goalkeeper who fumbled back to him to tap in from close range.

Barnsley (3-4-1-2): Walton; Andersen, McCarthy (Benson 68mins), Cundy; Helliwell, Styles (Hondermarck 78), Connell, Oduor; Aitchison (Thomas 60); Cole (Jalo 78), Marsh (Iseka 60). Unused: Collins, Kitching, Moon, Ackroyd,

Yellow cards: McCarthy, Oduor.

Goals: Benson 90+2.

Middlesbrough (3-5-2): Roberts; McNair (Bilongo 60), Dijksteel, Fry; Smith, Boyd-Munce, Hackney, Gibson, Bola; Watmore (Forss 60), Finch (Akpom 60).

Unused: Daniels, Dodds, Fletcher, Kavanagh, Conteh, Sivi.

  • 7:46pm
    1 Huge chance for the hosts in the first minute as Duncan Watmore goes clean through and is denied one on one by Jack Walton
  • 7:47pm
    Just a simple long ball over the top and Watmore got ahead of Cundy and McCarthy. Good save
  • 7:48pm
    4 Now Caolan Boyd-Munce shoots just wide of the bottom left corner from just outside the box. The home side have started well
  • 7:52pm
    Barnsley haven't really settled down yet or had any time on the ball. Luca Connell just smashed the ball out of play when he had time to get it under control
  • 7:57pm
    Paddy McNair tumbles to the floor looking for a free-kick. The only issue is he was tripped by his own team-mate Duncan Watmore
  • 7:57pm
    The game has settled down a little bit now after Boro started well on top. Barnsley have had the ball in attacking areas a couple of times without creating a chance
  • 8:01pm
    17 Watmore bursts into the box and goes down after contact with Styles who has tracked him. It's clearly not a penalty.
  • 8:03pm
    Great flick by Connell into Aitchison who is fouled by Hackney. Free-kick about 25 yards out
  • 8:03pm
    19 Luca Connell curls a 25-yard free-kick just over the bar. The closest the Reds have come so far
  • 8:06pm
    22 Marc Bola's attempted cross is touched over by Walton. it was going in the top right corner
  • 8:08pm
    23 Barnsley's first shot on target and it's a powerful 25-yard strike by Mads Andersen that is l ow and seems to swerve in front of goalkeeper Liam Roberts who does well to parry but not straight to the lurking Devante Cole
  • 8:12pm
    We're approaching the half hour mark and it's an even contest now. Boro have had the best chance but the Reds are now holding their own against their Championship opponents
  • 8:14pm
    30 Big chance for Aiden Marsh. A defensive error plays him clean through and his shot six yards out is blocked by the goalkeeper
  • 8:18pm
    Barnsley are the better team now. They are forcing the hosts into a couple of errors defensively and looking more and more confident going forward
  • 8:18pm
    Connell is down hurt after a tough tackle by Tommy Smith
  • 8:19pm
    Connell now up and will re enter the fray
  • 8:22pm
    The game has gone pretty quiet after the injury stoppage. Eight minutes until the interval
  • 8:24pm
    40 Decent move from the Reds involving Styles then Aitchison then Marsh who gives it back to Aitchison but he shoots wide from about ten yards out
  • 8:26pm
    42 Connell's free-kick from deep on the left wing is headed clear
  • 8:30pm
    Two added minutes before half-time
  • 8:32pm
    HALF-TIME: Middlesbrough 0, Barnsley 0. The Reds started slowly but have come back into the game and probably had the better chances overall against their Championship hosts
  • 8:46pm
  • 8:50pm
    A quiet first few minutes after the break
  • 8:51pm
    50 Joe Gibson flashes the ball across the face of goal from the right of the six-yard box
  • 8:53pm
    52 Boro win a corner on the right. The Reds have had to defend a lot so far this half
  • 8:54pm
    53 Corner from the right headed out by Andersen who also nods the second cross away. He's been very solid tonight
  • 8:56pm
    McCarthy makes a fine block from Watmore on the left of the box. The following corner is cleared
  • 8:57pm
    56 Boro win another corner. This time on the left
  • 8:58pm
    57 Good chance for the hosts. Paddy McNair is free from a left-wing corner by Hayden Hackney but gets barely any contact on it and it goes well wide of the right post
  • 9:00pm
    Iseka and Thomas coming on for Marsh (who just shot into the side netting after being played through on the left) and Aitchison
  • 9:06pm
    64 Boyd-Munce's free-kick from the. left hits Bilongo at the back post and goes harmlessly wide
  • 9:07pm
    Conor McCarthy into the book for dragging down Akpom who was about to turn him on the halfway line
  • 9:09pm
    Josh Benson coming on for McCarthy
  • 9:13pm
    Looks like 4-3-3 Helliwell, Andersen, Cundy, Oduor Benson, Connell, Styles Thomas, Cole, Iseka
  • 9:19pm
    Fabio Jalo replaces Devante Cole for his debut. The 16-year-old is Barnsley's sixth youngest player ever and youngest ever striker, I'm reliably informed. Born in 2005! Hondermarck on for Styles
  • 9:21pm
    Robbie Cundy has made a couple of excellent last-ditch tackles recently. A much better performance than his debut
  • 9:22pm
    Clarke Oduor booked
  • 9:23pm
    82 Walton pushes Fry's powerful header out of the top left corner from a cross by Boyd-Munce.
  • 9:30pm
    88 Middlesbrough win a free-kick on the right wing
  • 9:30pm
    They take the free-kick short and bassi t around then Isaac Fletcher has a shot just deflected wide
  • 9:31pm
    90 Connell heads away a corner
  • 9:32pm
    90+1 Bursting run from Hondermarck down the left and Barnsley have a. corner
  • 9:35pm
    Josh Benson scores in the 92nd minute!
  • 9:36pm
    A decent move on the right sees the ball run for him for Benson on the edge of the box. He shoots straight at the goalkeeper but it's fumbled back to him and he taps into the empty net