Barnsley continued their fine form as they cruised to a 4-0 win at Michael Duff’s former club Cheltenham Town – their biggest winning margin of the season.

The Reds were 2-0 up after 15 minutes thanks to James Norwood’s finish following an excellent team move and a Herbie Kane long-range stunner. Adam Phillips curled in a tremendous free-kick before half-time then Jordan Williams added another after the break.

The Reds were dominant throughout and recorded a fifth win from their last six games.

They remain sixth, three points clear of the sides outside the play-off places.

Nicky Cadden’s partner had gone into labour so he was not involved. Ziyad Larkeche made his second league start at left wing-back.

Phillips came in for Jon Russell and Luke Thomas was back on the bench after four months out with a broken leg.

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The Reds were well on top from the start and took the lead in the eighth minute through a superb team move. After a long spell of possession, Kane sent a superb pass from the left wing over to Jordan Williams on the right and he pulled it back Phillips just inside the box who set up Norwood for a close-range finish.

Seven minutes later, it was 2-0 as Luca Connell’s corner was headed out to Kane who lashed a fantastic shot into the top left corner from outside the box.

The third goal was another magnificent long-range strike as Phillips’ free-kick nestled in the top left corner for his seventh of the season.

Norwood was then released down the left but his shot from a tight angle went across goal and wide, before Phillips skied a volleyed chance over on the right of the box.

In the second half, Slobodan Tedic came on and almost got his first Barnsley goal when he headed wide from close range after meeting a Larkeche cross.

The fourth goal saw Kane play Williams in on the right of the box and he impressively smashed a shot from a tight angle in on off the crossbar for his fifth of the season.

Luke Thomas then came off the bench to a big cheer from the raucous away end.

The hosts had their first shot on target in the 85th minute when Ryan Broom’s powerful low effort from just inside the box was saved by Harry Isted diving to his left, before the rebound was sliced over.

Home goalkeeper Luke Southwood then dived to his left to keep out Connell’s low long-range shot and also blocked from Tedic on the rebound at a tight angle.

Barnsley (3-5-2); Isted; B Thomas, Andersen, Kitching; J Williams (Cotter 75mins), Kane, Connell, Phillips (Thomas 75), Larkeche; Cole (Tedic 58), Norwood (Shaw 67).

Unused: Searle,Russell, Martin.

Goals: Norwood 8, Kane 15, Phillips 36, Williams 74.

Cheltenham (3-5-2): Southwood; Long, Taylor, Baggott (Raglan 72mins); Jackson (Olayinka 72), Bonds (Barkers 72), Perry, Sercombe (Ferry 62), Broom; May, Brown (Keena 62). Unused: MacDonald, Norton.

AS IT HAPPENED
  • GAME UNDERWAY
  • 3:03pm
    The ball has been ion the air for much of the opening couple of minutes
  • 3:03pm
    3 Decent Barnsley move. Thomas does really well to skip around a home man then pass to Phillips who tries to play in Norwood but just overhits the throughball
  • 3:05pm
    4 Norwood does well to close down a home defender then eventually fouls him to get the ball, he still lobs the. goalkeeper to score but whistle has gone
  • 3:06pm
    Barnsley playing well. Come sprints down the left of the box and squares to Norwood but he tries to turn deep n the box and loses the ball
  • 3:07pm
    Both teams playing 3-5-2 today, Duff's favourite system
  • 3:08pm
    GOAL!
    James Norwood converts a fine team goal
  • 3:10pm
    Great move. After lots of passes in the middle, Kane plays a tremendous Crossfield pass to the right to Williams who pulls iit back to Phillips. who nudges it on in the box to Norwood for an easy finish.
  • 3:10pm
    Cheltenham corner cleared
  • 3:12pm
    That's Norwood's seventh goal of the season in the league which draws him level with Devante Cole as top-scorer
  • 3:12pm
    That's Norwood's seventh goal of the season in the league which draws him level with Devante Cole as top-scorer
  • 3:13pm
    Cheltenham slice a clearance behind for a corner
  • 3:14pm
    14 Connell corner on the left flicked on by Phillips but over everyone
  • 3:15pm
    GOAL!
    Herbie Kane with a sensational screamer from outside the box
  • 3:16pm
    Connell's corner from the left falls to Kane on the edge of the box and he thumps a spectacular goal into the top left corner.
  • 3:17pm
    A fantastic start for the Reds who have scored two excellent goals in different ways and are all over their hosts
  • 3:19pm
    A shoe goes onto the pitch from the away end. 'we want our shoe back!' Kitching chucks it back to a big cheer
  • 3:23pm
    Barnsley think they should have a penalty on Norwood after he goes down in the box chasing a Phillips pass but it is not given
  • 3:26pm
    25 minutes in and Barnsley are totally on top. The hosts have not had any chances and the visitors have scored two wonderful goals. A long way to go but it looks comfortable at the moment
  • 3:27pm
    27 Ryan Jackson's long throw is headed behind by Andersen for a corner
  • 3:28pm
    28 Home corner on the right. Played short and kicked straight out for a goal kick to moans by the home crowd and big cheers in the away end
  • 3:30pm
    29 Half chance for the hosts. Ryan Broom nutmegs Phillips to get into the left of the box but his low strike hits the side netting from a very tight angle
  • 3:32pm
    The game has calmed down a bit now but Barnsley look very comfortable
  • 3:34pm
    Barnsley look more up for it,. they are first to most of the loose balls and rattling their hosts
  • 3:35pm
    Larkeche wins a free-kick about 25 yards out
  • 3:37pm
    GOAL!
    Adam Phillips scores a wonderful free-kick
  • 3:39pm
    25-yard free-kick. Norwood shapes to take out then runs away and Phillips curls into the top left corner for his seventh goal of the season.
  • 3:41pm
    41 Norwood close to a second, he's released down the left and tries to clip the ball across the goalkeeper from a tight angle but it goes wide of the bottom right corner
  • 3:43pm
    43 Phillips skies a shot well over from the back post. Difficult high ball
  • 3:45pm
    Long throw from Bobby Thomas is eventually headed out
  • 3:48pm
    HALF-TIME: Cheltenham 0, Barnsley 3. The Reds have scored three fantastic goals in a marvellous performance
  • 4:05pm
    Cheltenham free-kick on the left. Punched away by Isted then the follow-up cross is cleared
  • 4:06pm
    47 A very long throw by Ryan Jackson is cleared by Thomas for a corner which is played short then the cross goes over everyone
  • 4:07pm
    Cheltenham have started this half pretty well, putting a lot of high balls into the Barnsley box but the Reds have dealt with them well
  • 4:09pm
    The game re starts with a drop ball. Barnsley were not happy about an incident which saw Bobby Thomas floored
  • 4:13pm
    Barnsley haven't had much of the ball in the second half. They have not got quite back in their first half rhythm. But the hosts haven't threatened either
  • 4:16pm
    Tedic about to come on
  • 4:16pm
    Tedic on for Cole
  • 4:18pm
    A scrambler in the home box almost sees Tedic go through but a foul is given against him
  • 4:19pm
    61 Liam Sercombe smashes a 25-yard shot well over the bar
  • 4:19pm
    Sercombe is now taken off for Will Ferry
  • 4:20pm
    Aidan Keena for Charlie Brown
  • 4:22pm
    This has been a very sedate second half so far. Barnsley seem happy with their lead and the hosts don't seem to have enough to reduce it
  • 4:24pm
    Norwood puts Elkan Baggott under pressure and he concedes a corner on the left
  • 4:24pm
    65 Connell corner from the left played short to Kane then Larkeche crosses for Tedic who heads wide. Good chance
  • 4:25pm
    Oli Shaw replaces Norwood
  • 4:31pm
    Triple change for the hosts. James Olayinka, Dylan Barkers and Charlie Raglan replace Ryan Jackson, Elliott Bonds and Elkan Baggott
  • 4:33pm
    GOAL!
    Jordan Williams adds another
  • 4:34pm
    Kane played him in on the right and he smashed a ten-yard effort in off the bar
  • 4:35pm
    Williams now has five goals this season from right wing back. Impressive
  • 4:35pm
    Luke Thomas is back on the pitch for Barnsley. Phillips off Also Cotter for Williams
  • 4:41pm
    Great work by Thomas and Larkeche on the bench. The latter crosses but it is just behind Tedic
  • 4:43pm
    First shot on target for the hosts. Ryan Broom hits a powerful shot from just inside the box and Isted dives to his left to save then the rebound is sliced over
  • 4:44pm
    85 Connell's low shot is saved by the goalkeeper as is Tedic's follow-up from a tight angle
  • 4:49pm
    Three added minutes
  • 4:53pm
    FULL-TIME: Cheltenham 0, Barnsley 4. Michael Duff enjoyed a very successful return to his old club