Barnsley ended their poor recent run with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Forest Green.

Devante Cole opened the scoring early on then substitute Josh Martin got a late second.

The Reds – who had not won or scored in four – dominated the match and missed a series of chances, while their lowly visitors barely threatened.

They moved up a place to eighth and cut the gap to the top six from five points to three.

Michael Duff made two changes from the side who lost at home to Lincoln City on Tuesday. Jordan Williams returned from injury and Luca Connell was back in the side, with Robbie Cundy and Jordan Martin dropping onto the bench.

The Reds changed formation from 3-4-3 to 3-5-2.

Connell joined Herbie Kane and Josh Benson in midfield, Cole was up front with James Norwood and Williams at right wing-back with Tom Edwards moving into the back three.

The first half was fairly dull but Barnsley were the better side as their visitors had no chances of note.

Norwood saw a goal ruled off for offside in the sixth minute after latching onto a pass by Williams, dinking the ball over the goalkeeper and tapping in.

Cole opened the scoring in the 15th minute, sending a fine header into the right side of the net from a lofted right-wing cross by Williams.

Kane had a difficult chance for 2-0 but volleyed just over the bar on the edge of the box after Norwood headed a good high Benson pass down.

Barnsley created more regular chances after the break.

Liam Kitching was played in on the left of the box and pulled the ball back for Benson whose weak ten-yard shot was easily saved but he believed he had been pulled back.

Kitching then headed a Nicky Cadden corner into the ground and over the bar eight yards out after doing well to get away from his marker.

Williams saw a volley from 12 yards out deflect just wide of the bottom left corner after Cadden sent in a fine cross following a good move. From the resulting corner, Kitching saw a shot cleared off the line.

Norwood blazed over just inside the box after a fine run down the left wing which saw him cut past a defender.

Cole nearly scored a similar goal to his opener but his close-range header from a Cadden cross was well-saved by Lewis Thomas diving down to his right. Kitching then headed a Williams cross just wide of the bottom right corner.

The most glaring miss came on 71 minutes when Norwood slid in five yards out to meet a fine Cadden cross but shot straight at the goalkeeper who also gathered after the rebound hit his own player.

Forest Green had their first chance of 76 minutes when Brad Collins’ punch from corner reached Armani Little who volleyed well wide 15 yards out.

The second goal saw Williams win the ball near halfway and set up a counter-attack featuring clever passes by Benson, Cadden then Slobodan Tedic who squared for Martin to fire in from close range. Tedic and Martin had come on minutes earlier as part of a quadruple change.

Tedic should have made it 3-0 when he robbed Baily Cargill of the ball and went clean through but was denied one-on-one.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Collins; Edwards, Andersen, Kitching; Williams, (Cundy 78mins), Kane (Phillips 78), Connell, Benson (Jalo 86) Cadden; Cole (Martin 78), Norwood (Tedic 78).

Unused: Walton, Larkeche.

Yellow cards: Kitching.

Goals: Cole 15, Martin 84.

Forest Green (3-5-2): Thomas; Bernard, Cargill, Marques; O’Keefe, Boyes (Fiabema 68), Hendry, Peart-Harris (Little 58mins), Bunker (McAllister 58); Wickham (Matt 68), March.

Unused: Burnett, Casey, Robertson.

  • 3:04pm
    As expected Barnsley are in a 3-5-2 with Jordan Williams at right wing back and Tom Edwards on the right of the back three
  • 3:04pm
    2 Forest Green long throw headed out by Kitching
  • 3:07pm
    Reasonably bright start for the Reds. Cadden gets a cross in from the left but the goalkeeper catches
  • 3:10pm
    6 Norwood flagged offside as he latches onto a Williams passes. He lobs the goalkeeper and taps in but doesn't look too annoyed with the decision
  • 3:13pm
    10 Forest Green corner on the right. Harry Boyes takes. Edwards. heads out. Barnsley counter attack and Kane's cross is cleared
  • 3:15pm
    Barnsley look OK so far. They are pressing well at times and look up for the fight. No chances of note though
  • 3:17pm
    This 3-5-2 formation , with Connell holding and two attacking 'eights' in midfield , was what they started the campaign with at Plymouth before going to various other formations now back to this
  • 3:18pm
    Devante Cole heads the Reds in front!
  • 3:20pm
    He heads in a good cross by Williams. Big moment as the Reds desperately needed to take the lead today.
  • 3:22pm
    It was a great header back across the keeper. That seems to have settled everyone down here
  • 3:24pm
    Nearly a second, Williams heads down a cross in the box, Norwood touches it on to Cole who is. about to shoot from close range but it. is cleared off his toes
  • 3:25pm
    That's Barnsley's seventh headed goal in the league this season. Only Portsmouth had more going into this game, in League One. Big turnaround from last season
  • 3:27pm
    24 Forest Green corner on the right. Harry Boyes takes. Played short then the linesman puts his flag up as it goes into the box
  • 3:30pm
    Jordan Williams has made a big difference already. He sprints 40 yards up the right wing and crosses. It's headed out in the six yard box but a foul loss to be given against Devante Cole who was down injured but gets up
  • 3:33pm
    31 Chance for 2-0. Benson's clever lofted pass is headed down by Norwood to Kane who volleys over from just inside the box. Tough one
  • 3:36pm
    Liam Kitching is the first name in the book
  • 3:38pm
    Ten minutes before the break. This is far from a classic but the Reds have been the better side and lead
  • 3:43pm
    The game is drifting a bit with no real chances or attacks of note at either end. But Barnsley will probably take that and go into half time ahead
  • 3:48pm
    45 Connell takes a corner on the right. It's headed out then a foul is given
  • 3:48pm
    45 Connell takes a corner on the right. It's headed out then a foul is given
  • 3:49pm
    One added minute
  • 3:49pm
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 1, Forest Green 0. The Reds lead through Devante Cole’s header. The visitors are yet to create any chances.
  • 4:06pm
  • 4:09pm
    Forest Green look to have started this half with a bit more attacking intent. They have played a few balls into the box which have been easily cleared
  • 4:10pm
    48 Chance for 2-0. Kitching is released down the left of the box and pulls the ball back for Benson ten yards out whose weak shot is easily saved but he believes he was pulled down
  • 4:10pm
    Now Cole shoots well over from 25 yards
  • 4:12pm
    51 Cadden corner on the left headed into the ground and over by Kitching
  • 4:14pm
    A Forest Green effort from outside the box dribbles well wide and their fans ironically sign 'we've had a shot'
  • 4:14pm
    53 Benson corner on the right. Headed out
  • 4:18pm
    Forest Green are just starting to attack more. They have a couple of men over but Corey O’Keefe clearly fouls Mads Andersen
  • 4:20pm
    Forest Green. bring on Kyle McAllister and Armani Little for Harvey Bunker and
  • 4:22pm
    Chance for 2-0. Fine move down the left involving Benson , Cadden. puts a great cross in to Williams whose effort is deflected just wide of the bottom. left corner.
  • 4:22pm
    Close again! From the resulting corner, Kitching has a shot cleared off the line
  • 4:26pm
    Barnsley creating lots of chances now. Norwood does really well to run down the left wing and cut past a defender but he fires wide over 15 yards out
  • 4:27pm
    The Reds look much more threatening than in the first half. Can they kill the. game off while in control?
  • 4:28pm
    Nearly another headed goal by Cole. He meets a Cadden cross about seven yards out and nods towards the bottom left corner but the goalkeeper makes a good save
  • 4:29pm
    Now Kitching rises high at the back post to head Williams' cross back across goal and just wide.
  • 4:33pm
    70 That should be 2-0. Cadden puts in another wonderful cross from the left and a sliding Norwood looks sure to score but the goalkeeper denies him from point blank range then it hits a defender and goes straight back to the goalkeeper.
  • 4:35pm
    Barnsley have created half a dozen chances in this second half. Forest Green yet to have a chance. But the Reds will be keen to kill them off
  • 4:38pm
    76 Collins half punches away a right wing corner but Armani Little volleys horribly wide
  • 4:38pm
    Tedic and Phillips on for Norwood and Kane
  • 4:40pm
    Quadruple change. for the Reds. Martin and Cundy also on, for Cole and Williams
  • 4:44pm
    Josh Martin doubles the lead
  • 4:46pm
    Forest Green lose the ball near halfway then Benson plays in Cadden on the left. He slips in Tedic and he squares to Martin to tap in.
  • 4:47pm
    Martin's first goal for the club and it should secure three points
  • 4:47pm
    Now Jalo comes on for Benson
  • 4:48pm
    Massive chance for Tedic. He robs Cargill of the ball and goes clean through but is denied one on one
  • 4:51pm
    Six added minutes
  • 4:56pm
    The visitors have a goal ruled out for a clear foul on Collins
  • 4:57pm
    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 2, Forest Green 0. The Reds end a four-match winless run with a deserved victory.