Barnsley went out of the EFL Trophy after a 2-1 loss at fellow League One club Port Vale on Wednesday night.

The hosts were on top for most of the game, scoring two goals in the first half an hour and missing some other fine chances.

Barnsley substitute Tom Edwards pulled one back late on but they were extremely disappointing overall.

Liam Kitching, Adam Phillips and Jack Aitchison were the only players who started Saturday’s league win over MK Dons and the midweek cup tie.

Young striker Fabio Jalo missed out through illness, with Jack Butterfill starting up front alongside Aitchison. Full debutant Harrison Nejman played in holding midfield with Josh Martin used at right wing-back.

In the first ten minutes, Aitchison glanced a header wide from Kitching’s cross then Martin shot over from 20 yards after a free-kick was punched out.

The hosts took the lead in the 15th minute when Dennis Politic was played clean through by a clever pass and blasted into the top left corner.

Vale were then well on top and doubled the lead ten minutes later when a good passing move on the left totally opened up the flat-footed Reds and Politic’s low cross was swept in at the back post by the unmarked David Worrall.

Moon gifted James Wilson the ball deep in his half and he sent in a cross from which Worrall looked set to score an almost identical goal by Jack Walton made an excellent save at his near post.

The hosts dominated the first half as they opened up the visiting defence on several occasions, while Barnsley’s midfield could not gain control or their forwards keep hold of the ball.

Barnsley brought on Herbie Kane and Tom Edwards at half-time with the Reds changing to a 4-4-2 with Martin and Nejman on the wing.

Politic should have made it 3-0 midway through the second half when substitute Mipo Odubeko set him up unmarked in the box but he blazed over ten yards out.

But it was Barnsley who scored next as, after a fine pass by Martin, Edwards smashed a superb 25-yard effort in for his first Barnsley goal. But they could not create a chance for a leveller, despite throwing centre-back Robbie Cundy up front.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Walton; Moon, Cundy, Kitching (Edwards HT); Martin, Benson, Nejman, Phillips (Kane HT), Larkeche; Aitchison, Butterfill.

Unused: Collins, Andersen, Cadden, Cole, Connell.

Yellow cards: Kitching.

Goals: Edwards 75.

Port Vale (3-4-3): Stevens; Cass, Hall, Smith, Worrall (Jones 89mins); Garrity (Conlon HT), Pett, Benning; Politic (Charsley 86mins), Holden (Massey 57), Wilson (Odubeko 57).

Unused: Stone, Jones, Butterworth.

Goals: Politic 15, Worrall 26.

  • 7:31pm
    It looks like full debutant Nejman will be the holding midfielder with Phillips and Benson given the more attacking roles
  • 7:32pm
    3 Benson's left wing poor is poor but cleared for another
  • 7:33pm
    It will be a third corner in a row as Benson's second went all the way through and cleared at the b ack post
  • 7:34pm
    4 Benson's next corner cleared then Kitching's cross is headed by Aitchison but it's a glancing effort and wide
  • 7:37pm
    Valke's goalkeeper kicks straight to Benson just inside the Reds half, he tries to find Aitchison but it's intercepted. the goalkeeper was well off his line
  • 7:38pm
    Vale's back three are all six foot plus so they tower above Aitchison and Butterfill, who will need the ball on the floor
  • 7:39pm
    10 Benson's right wing free-kick is punched out by the goalkeeper then Martin shoots well over from about 20 yards
  • 7:41pm
    12 Vale corner on the left, headed out by Cundy then Nejman concedes a free-kick on the left wing
  • 7:42pm
    13 Dennis Politic's free-kick from the left is easily caught by the goalkeeper
  • 7:43pm
    Dennis Politic opens the scoring for the hosts
  • 7:45pm
    The striker is played clean through on the left and finds the top left corner.
  • 7:47pm
    Disappointing for the Reds who had edged a quiet start to the game
  • 7:49pm
    Vale have had a couple more attacks since the goal, with crosses from the left being cleared then the second caught by Walton
  • 7:50pm
    21 Vale in again on the left, good low cross and Kitching puts it behind for a corner
  • 7:52pm
    Barnsley have barely got on the ball since the goal and, when they have, they have played a poor pass or been outmuscled
  • 7:54pm
    24 Vale corner on the right. It is flicked on at the near post and Walton comes off his line and lands on it as it bobbles in the six yard box
  • 7:56pm
    David Worrall doubles the hosts' lead
  • 7:58pm
    Barnsley totally opened up by a good passing move on the left and Politic's low cross is swept in at the back post by the unmarked Worrall
  • 8:00pm
    Barnsley were fairly good for ten minutes but have been dominated in the last 20 and deserve to be 2-0 down
  • 8:02pm
    Should be 3-0. Moon gives the ball to James Wilson and his cross looks sure to be turned in by Worrall in a very similar goal to the one he just scored by Walton makes a fine save to somehow keep it out
  • 8:04pm
    I can't remember seeing Barnsley as dominated as this this season. But it is a secondary competition with a much changed team
  • 8:07pm
    Barnsley have their first attack for a long time, but Aitchison cannot quite bring down a good long ball in the box
  • 8:08pm
    The first noticeable cheer from the away end as Cundy impressively pirouettes past a home striker who tried to press him
  • 8:11pm
    Barnsley have been slightly more lively in the last few minutes, venturing forward more, but are yet to trouble the home defence
  • 8:12pm
    43 Butterfill does well to win a corner on the right
  • 8:12pm
    43 Barnsley takes the corner short, Benson's cross comes off a defender then Benson and goes out for a goal kick
  • 8:16pm
    Liam Kitching booked for a heavy tackle on Wilson
  • 8:17pm
    Martin no longer playing RWB, Phillips has been in there more recently
  • 8:18pm
    HALF-TIME: Port Vale 2, Barnsley 0. The Reds have been easily second best and could be further behind if not for a fine Walton save
  • 8:33pm
    Kane and Edwards and Phillips and Kitching
  • 8:33pm
    Vale bring on Tom Colon for Ben Garrity
  • 8:37pm
    Looks like a back four now for Barnsley. Edwards, Moon, Cundy, Larkeche. Nejman, Benson, Kane, Martin across midfield
  • 8:41pm
    Not much has happened so far in this half with both sides settling down
  • 8:42pm
    Jack Walton slices another clearance. He's done it about four times tonight, this one wasn't really his fault as Cundy played a poor pass to him
  • 8:43pm
    55 Port Vale corner on the left. It's cleared and so is the follow up
  • 8:44pm
    A second home change. Wilson replaced by Mipo Odubeko
  • 8:45pm
    Gavin Massey replaces Rory Holden
  • 8:48pm
    An hour gone now. Basically nothing of note has happened after the break. The Reds look more solid in 4-4-2 but don't really look like scoring
  • 8:51pm
    Barnsley have Devante Cole, their top-scorer on the bench but playing him would surely just be a risk since he is the only regular scorer and one of just a few fit strikers at the club
  • 8:55pm
    Huge chance for 3-0. Mipo Odubeko. plays in Politic and he is in yards of space in the Reds box but blazes over ten yards out
  • 8:59pm
    A period of a couple of minutes in which the Reds continually lose the ball in their half, Duff marches out from between the dugouts and screams at his team
  • 9:02pm
    Tom Edwards pulls one back with a long range stunner
  • 9:04pm
    Great pass from left to right by Martin. Edwards' first touch is well in front of him then he smashes a fine strike in from about 25 yards
  • 9:06pm
    It's Tom Edwards' first goal since April 2019.
  • 9:06pm
    That should make the last ten minutes more interesting
  • 9:10pm
    81 Worrall free-kick on left missed at near post by Larkeche but cleared at the back post
  • 9:11pm
    82 Another Worrall free-kick, headed out as is the follow up
  • 9:12pm
    Barnsley haven't managed to attack much since scoring
  • 9:12pm
    85 Barnsley win a free-kick 25 yards out on the left
  • 9:12pm
    Vale take off Politic for Harry Charsley
  • 9:13pm
    86 Benson free-kick straight into wall and cleared
  • 9:16pm
    88 Herbie Kane plays a long ball forward to Martin but the goalkeeper gets it
  • 9:17pm
    Port Vale send Dan Jones on for scorer Worrall
  • 9:19pm
    Four added minutes
  • 9:20pm
    90+2 Moon concedes a free-kick for a high foot
  • 9:21pm
    Robbie Cundy is now up front
  • 9:23pm
    FULL-TIME: Port Vale 2, Barnsley 1. The Reds are out of the EFL Trophy.