Barnsley produced an outstanding performance to beat Bristol Rovers 3-0 at home on Tuesday evening.

Goals in the first quarter of an hour from Devante Cole and Jordan Williams put the dominant Reds in control then Josh Benson got another early in the second half.

The hosts were by far the better side throughout, creating plenty of chances and overwhelming their visitors who never threatened the home goal.

Michael Duff made two changes from the side that lost at Derby County on Saturday as Cole and Robbie Cundy came in for James Norwood and Conor McCarthy.

The Reds were excellent in the first half, dominating the ball, outmuscling their visitors and playing some fine football to create a stream of chances.

The hosts took the lead in the third minute when Callum Styles ran down the left wing into the box and played a clever pass for Cole who blasted a powerful shot from a tight angle past the goalkeeper and in. It was his first league goal since last October.

Cole almost got a second goal soon after when he latched onto a fine lofted pass by Benson but goalkeeper James Belshaw tackled him outside the box.

The second goal saw Williams shoot from about 35 yards and a deflection off a defender sent the ball into the bottom right corner. It was his first league goal for the club after netting in three cup competitions.

Benson then headed wide from Luca Connell’s right-wing corner before Cole was put in a very similar position to the one he scored from, after fine passes by Luke Thomas and Styles, but choose to cross and it was cleared.

Styles then let fly from 25 yards but his powerful effort was pushed away by the goalkeeper, then Cole dragged wide just inside the box.

Rovers made a triple change at the break and switched to a back three, but they conceded again when Benson chested the ball down 25 yards out and brilliantly found the bottom right corner for his third goal in as many games across six days.

Thomas almost got fourth when he was gifted the ball in the Rovers box and tried to round the goalkeeper who just got a hand to it.

Barnsley (4-2-3-1): Collins; Andersen, Cundy, Kitching; Williams (McCarthy 74mins), Connell, Benson, Styles; Thomas (Wolfe 74); Aitchison (Norwood 61), Cole (Marsh 83).

Unused: Wallton, Oduor, Hondermarck.

Goals: Cole 3, Williams 14, Benson 56.

Bristol Rovers (4-2-3-1): Belshaw; Anderson (Kilgour 84mins), Connolly, Hoole, Gordon (Gibson HT); Finley (Loft 67mins), Coutts (Whelan HT); Evans(Rossiter HT), Collins, Saunders; Marquis,.

Unused: Jaakkola, Lawrence.

Yellow cards: Coutts, Finley, Marquis, Connolly.

  • 7:50pm
    A couple of minutes in, nothing really to report but Barnsley have had most of the ball and look bright
  • 7:51pm
    Devante Cole opens the scoring in the third minute!
  • 7:52pm
    Nice pass down the left of the box from Styles and Cole blasts past the goalkeeper at his near post
  • 7:53pm
    Fantastic start for the Reds. And they had been the better team. Huge confidence booster for a striker to score for the first time this season
  • 7:54pm
    Cole now flicks on a long ball to Aitchison who shoots high and wide from 25 yards out. All Barnsley
  • 7:58pm
    Rovers' first attack sees. a Sam Finley shot blocked
  • 7:59pm
    11 Marquis shot from the right of the box is blocked to Harry Anderson who shoots wide from 20 yards
  • 8:01pm
    Jordan Williams gets his first Barnsley in the league. From miles out. Hit a defender, I think
  • 8:04pm
    Barnsley absolutely rampant. Now Benson heads wide from a right wing corner
  • 8:08pm
    Barnsley fans haven't seen many performances like this from their team for a long time at Oakwell. The Reds are all over their visitors who can't keep up with them. at the moment
  • 8:14pm
    27 Rovers free-kick on the right is caught by Collins
  • 8:17pm
    Fantastic move with great passes by Thomas then Styles. Cole in similar position to his goal but tries to cross and it's cleared
  • 8:21pm
    32 Williams crosses from the right low, Styles' mishit shot turns into a good pass for Cole whose shot is blocked.
  • 8:23pm
    A few wild challenges coming in by Rovers. Paul Coutts and Sam Finley both booked for late challenges on Benson then Thomas
  • 8:27pm
    John Marquis also booked
  • 8:30pm
    The game has quietened down a bit as we approach half-time but the Reds are still well on top
  • 8:31pm
    44 Rovers corner on the left. They play it short but it's cleared
  • 8:33pm
    45. Decent move by Rovers,they get in down the left of the area and cross low but Collins gathers
  • 8:35pm
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 2, Bristol Rovers 0. The Reds have been excellent, dominating the game and creating a stream of chances
  • 8:53pm
    Triple change for Rovers. Gibson, Whelan and Rossiter on for Gordon, Coutts and Evans
  • 8:53pm
  • 8:57pm
    Barnsley begin second half on top. Benson has shot blocked
  • 8:57pm
    The fans have really enjoyed this performance and are in good voice
  • 9:01pm
    A. more even spell at the moment. Rovers have switched to three at the back to match their hosts
  • 9:04pm
    Josh Benson smashes a superb 25-yard strike into the bottom right corner
  • 9:07pm
    Brilliant move by the Reds ended with the ball being cleared, chested it down and bang. Three goals in three games across six days
  • 9:07pm
    James Connolly the latest visitor booked, for a foul on Thomas
  • 9:09pm
    Norwood on for Aitchison
  • 9:10pm
    Nearly four. Thomas gifted the ball in the Rovers box and tries to round the goalkeeper who just gets a hand to it
  • 9:14pm
    Rovers take off Sam Finley for Ryan Loft
  • 9:16pm
    Halfway through the second half. Barnsley totally dominant. Rovers haven't had a chance yet
  • 9:17pm
    69 Connell's corner from the right is dangerous but goes through everyone in the six yard box and out
  • 9:22pm
    Wolfe and McCarthy on for Thomas and Williams who have both played very well.
  • 9:27pm
    78 Matty Wolfe wins a corner on the right
  • 9:28pm
    80 Connell's right-wing corner picks. out Benson on the edge of the box and he lofts the ball up into the six yard box but the goalkeeper catches
  • 9:29pm
    This has been such a dominant performance by the Reds. They. have looked like a high quality outfit a class above their visitors. Now it is a case of doing it more consistently against a string of potential promotion candidates they are due to face in the next few weeks
  • 9:31pm
    Devante Cole delights the crowd with a lovely turn past one defender then he nutmegs another. That's his last action as he is replaced by Aiden Marsh. Cole has been excellent
  • 9:34pm
    86 Connell corner on the right is headed out to Benson who tries to score again from 25 yards but totally scuffs. it
  • 9:36pm
    88 Rovers corner on. the left. Headed out by McCarthy
  • 9:38pm
    90 A cross from the left is volleyed by John Marquis and hits Cundy but it trickles to Collins who gathers easily
  • 9:38pm
    Attendance: 9,689 (444 away)
  • 9:41pm
    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 3, Bristol Rovers 0. The dominant Reds cruise to victory