Barnsley gained a huge result in their promotion push as recorded a superb 3-0 home victory over second-placed Plymouth Argyle at Oakwell.

Adam Phillips opened the scoring just after the hour-mark with a fine long-range strike then captain Mads Andersen doubled the lead before Nicky Cadden curled in a 90th-minute free-kick.

The Reds deserved the win as they were the better side overall, creating more chances than their rattled visitors who lost the ball regularly although they did miss one golden opportunity to take the lead.

Barnsley remain fourth in League One, nine points clear in the top six and eight behind Plymouth, who are in the lower of the automatic promotion places, with two games in hand on the Devon side.

Barnsley kept the same starting 11 and bench from Tuesday’s win over Portsmouth.

The hosts were the better side in the first half, often winning the ball in Plymouth territory but usually unable to make the right choice or produce the killer final pass or finish.

The Reds had the ball in the net after three minutes when Herbie Kane lashed home a powerful shot from just inside the box. But the flag was up, apparently for offside against James Norwood when Adam Phillips’ cross went into the box and was cleared.

Norwood then volleyed a tough chance over from the right of the box before Phillips robbed a defender on the edge of the area but Devante Cole could not return the ball to him.

Plymouth’s first chance saw Mickel Miller hit the side netting from a very tight angle on the left of the six-yard box after Harry Isted dropped a cross and Mads Andersen made a good block.

Finn Azaz smashed a 20-yard shot well off-target then, at the other end, Cole led a counter-attack but did not pass to his team-mates in space and lost the ball. Cole did so again soon after much to the frustration of his team-mates and coaches.

Cole was replaced by Max Watters at half-time.

The visitors should have scored 15 seconds after the break when an Andersen error put Ryan Hardie clean through but Isted made a fine one-on-one save.

Kane crosses then led to a Phillips header over and a flicked header by Norwood which forced the first save for the Plymouth goalkeeper diving to his left to catch easily. Kane then volleyed a tough chance too close top the goalkeeper after Phillips headed to him.

Luca Connell then missed a golden chance, firing wide when totally unmarked in the box after Nigel Lonwijk lost the ball to Phillips just outside the box. He missed the bottom right corner when he looked certain to net.

Phillips broke the deadlock on 61 minutes when he found the bottom left corner with a shot from outside the box.

The visitors seemed stunned by that goal and conceded again on 79 minutes when the impressive Bobby Thomas crossed from the right and Andersen headed in his first league goal of the season from close range.

Isted pushed away a powerful volley from Ben Waine on the right of the box.

Cadden capped the win with a free-kick into the top right corner for his second goal of the week.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Isted; B Thomas, Andersen, Kitching; Williams, Phillips (Benson 73mins), Connell (Russell 90), Kane (L Thomas 83), Cadden; Norwood (Tedic 73), Cole (Watters HT).

Unused: Searle, Larkeche.

Goals: Phillips 61, Andersen 79, Cadden 90.

Plymouth (3-4-2-1): Burton; Gillesphey, Wilson (Mayor 65mins), Lonwijk; Miller, Matete (Houghton 75), Butcher, Mumba; Wright, Azaz (Waine 75); Hardie (Enniss 65).

Unused: Parkes, Bolton, Edwards.

Yellow cards: Matete.

  • 3:03pm
    Plymouth try to break down the left but Williams puts in a big sliding tackle which delights the home crowd
  • 3:05pm
    Kane smashes the ball in the back of the net but it's ruled out for offside
  • 3:06pm
    A Phillips cross from the right is headed out to Kane who smashes home from just inside the box
  • 3:07pm
    Good positive start from the Reds though. They just need to keep it going
  • 3:09pm
    8 Norwood played in on the right by a bouncing ball but volleys a tough chance well over from a tight angle
  • 3:11pm
    The game has settled down a bit now after Barnsley were on top at the start. Decent noise in here
  • 3:12pm
    Phillips wins the ball on the edge of the Plymouth box but Cole cannot get it back to him and it's cleared
  • 3:14pm
    12 Half chance for Plymouth. Isted drops a powerful cross, Andersen makes a big block. and Mickel Miller fires into the side netting from a very tight angle
  • 3:17pm
    Pl;ymouth are playing out from the back every time. it could lead to a chance for Barnsley who are closing them down or the visitors who, when they get it right, suddenly have numbers in attack
  • 3:18pm
    Isted spills another cross. It is easily cleared but he's looked nervous
  • 3:20pm
    Plymouth looking to play long balls over the Reds back line or get crosses in the box. So far the hosts have dealt with it well
  • 3:21pm
    Decent chance for the Reds after good passing by Norwood then Kane, but Cadden overhits a cross on the left of the box
  • 3:22pm
    21 Barnsley free-kick 35 yards out, towards the right.
  • 3:22pm
    21 Free-kick by Connell headed out
  • 3:25pm
    23 Willliams' low cross just evades sliding Cole
  • 3:28pm
    Connell currently down needing treatment
  • 3:29pm
    Connell hobbling off to the side. I think he will continue
  • 3:29pm
    Yes Connell is back on and the game re-starts
  • 3:31pm
    29 Free kick on left by Connell headed by Phillips outside the box, well high and wide
  • 3:33pm
    Bobby Thomas makes a really good sliding tackle on Hardie on the edge of the box then scrambles away the loose ball
  • 3:33pm
    32 Plymouth take a corner short then Azaz blasts wide from 20 yards
  • 3:35pm
    Barnsley break and have men over but Cole donees't pass to his right and is tackled
  • 3:36pm
    34 Plymouth corner on the left. Again played short, eventually Cadden tackles for a throw
  • 3:39pm
    There have been quite a few times today when Barnsley have had promising situations in the Argyle half but could made the right choice or had the killer quality
  • 3:42pm
    Another chance as Barnsley win the ball, Cole drives forward with players in space but loses it
  • 3:44pm
    Jay Matete first name in the book for a foul just inside the Barnsley half
  • 3:47pm
    Two added minutes
  • 3:49pm
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0, Plymouth 0.
  • 4:05pm
    Watters for Cole at half-time
  • 4:07pm
    Massive chance for Plymouth after 15 seconds of second half. Hardie through after Andersen error but Isted denies him one on one.
  • 4:09pm
    48 Phillips heads over a Cadden cross about ten yards out. Tough chance
  • 4:11pm
    50 Cadden wins corner after good work by Watters
  • 4:11pm
    51 Kane cross flicked by Norwood's head, caught by goalkeeper diving to left. First shot on target for Barnsley
  • 4:15pm
    55 Kane has a volleyed chance about 15 yards out after Phillips heads it to him. It's a good effort but lacks the power to beat the goalkeeper who catches
  • 4:16pm
    Massive chance missed by Connell. Nigel Lonwijk loses the ball to Phillips just outside the box and Connell shoots wide of the gaping goal about 15 yards out
  • 4:18pm
    Loads of chances now. Callum Wright goes through on the left of the box and aims for the bottom right corner but Isted saves easily
  • 4:19pm
    Now Matt Butcher shoots from 25 yards but again Isted saves easily
  • 4:20pm
    Adam Phillips breaks the deadlock
  • 4:21pm
    Fine strike from about 25 yards into the bottom left corner
  • 4:23pm
    it's the midfielder's ninth goal of the season
  • 4:26pm
    Double Plymouth change. Danny Mayor and Niall Ennis replace Ryan Hardie and James Wilson
  • 4:31pm
    Tedic and Benson about to come on
  • 4:31pm
    Big chance now for Barnsley to see out what would be a huge win in their promotion push. Not any chances since goal
  • 4:32pm
    Benson for Phillips and Tedic and Norwood
  • 4:34pm
    Plymouth bring on Ben Waine for Finn Azaz
  • 4:34pm
    Jordan Houghton on for Jay Matete
  • 4:37pm
    Into the final 15 minutes now. it's Barnsley who are pushing for another goal
  • 4:37pm
    Mads Andersen doubles the lead!
  • 4:39pm
    First league goal of the season. What a time for the captain to get it. Bobby Thomas somehow turns a horribly bobbling ball into a wonderful cross from the right and the Dane heads in from close range
  • 4:43pm
    Just eight minutes left out. Nothing silly and Barnsley get a massive win
  • 4:43pm
    Just eight minutes left out. Nothing silly and Barnsley get a massive win
  • 4:44pm
    Luke Thomas replaces Herbie Kane
  • 4:47pm
    Chance for Plymouth. Ben Waine's powerful volley from the right is pushed out by Isted
  • 4:50pm
    I thought it was a penalty for Barnsley but a free-kicks has been given for a foul on Thomas just outside the box. Great run by Kitching and pass to play him in. Russell coming on for Connell
  • 4:52pm
    Nicky Cadden makes it three with a free-kick
  • 4:55pm
    Excellent way to round off a superb afternoon. He finds the top right corner for his second goal of the week
  • 4:56pm
    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 3, Plymouth 0. A fantastic win for the Reds and a huge boost for their promotion ambitions