A first half header from Dave Edwards and a Joey van den Berg rocket were followed by a late header from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson as Reading swept Barnsley aside to coast to a comfortable home victory this evening
- Edwards heads home at the near post to score his first Madejski Stadium goal
- Van den Berg drives a wonderful effort into the top left corner from distance for 2-0
- Moore arrows a right-footed effort from distance against the post late on
- Barnes hammers a late shot against the woodwork before Moore hacks it clear
- Bodvarsson adds a third with a header after Popa had struck the woodwork
Jaap Stam named the same eleven for the first time this season, starting with the same personnel that earned a goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend. The only change to the sqaud saw Adrian Popa included on the substitutes' bench, with young Omar Richards making way for the Romanian international.
The home side began patiently building from then back and a slick series of passes in the centre circle allowed Liam Kelly to feed Mo Barrown down the left. His cross was headed behind at the near post, but a half-cleared corner kick was rejuvenated by Aluko who arrowed just over from the edge of the box after beating his man.
With ten minutes played, Barrow was supplying another good ball into the box - this time low from the right side and Edwards raced in to try to hook it goalwards at the near post with his right boot, but he couldn't connect cleanly and Barnsley cleared their lines.
Kelly saw a shot charged down on the edge of the Tykes' box and then his hooked ball back into the area couldn't be brought down by an onside Kermorgant before it bounced behind for a goal kick.
And it was fully deserved when the Royals took the lead with the game less than 20 minutes old. Kelly swept in a corner from the left and Edwards rose at the near post to glance a header into the top right corner, despite goalkeeper Adam Davies' flailing efforts to claw it off his goalline.
Nine minutes later and it was 2-0. Joey van den Berg was allowed to travel with the ball and he accepted the invitation to shoot from 25 yards out, rifling high past Davies and picking out the top left corner to score a wonderful effort.
Paul Heckingbottom's side looked to repond immediately and a low Fryers cross was turned behind by the toe of McShane. But the Royals were in command and Barrow nearly picked out the run of Edwards with a reverse pass into the box at the other end moments later.
The visitors had very little in response to Reading's possession play and it was Reading who were looking the more likely to score a third as the first half drew near a close.
A sweeping move from back to front almost produced a wonderful third. Barrow held the ball up well in midfield after a flick from Kermorgant and he found Kermorgant bursting down the left into space. The Frenchman supplied an early crossfield ball for Bacuna who wound up a volley that sizzled wide of the left upright.
The with the last kick of the half Kermorgant looked to get on the end of a floated cross to the back post, but the offside flag was raised against the Royals striker as he stabbed it central for Bacuna.
Half time | Reading 2-0 Barnsley
Barnsley made a triple change at the break, bringing on Tom Bradshaw, Matty Pearson and Mamadou Thiam. But the Royals continued to boss matters - Barrow winning a corner with a low cross with his left foot that had to be cut out by a Tykes leg.
Another Barnsley block did enough to cut out a Bacuna cross from the right after a superb crossfield pass from Kelly triggered a counter attack which culminated in the deflection falling kindly into the arms of Davies.
On the hour a misplaced pass at the back almost allowed Thiam a route through to goal, but the brilliant Van den Berg slid in to dispossess him on the edge of the penalty area. And a break was launched through Barrow down the left - his cut back for Aluko was prodded inches wide of the bottom right corner.
That was to be Aluko's last action of the game - he was replaced by Adi Popa with 25 minutes left.
Harvey Barnes scurried in from the left flank to take aim soon after but his effort from the edge of the box skidded harmlessly wide of the right post.
And Vito Mannone had a save to make, diving low to his left to stop a well-struck effort from Brad Potts with a quarter of an hour still left.
But the home side came close to another spectacular effort. Moore bullied his way onto the ball on midfield, powered purposefully through the midfield and took aim with a low right-footed drive that beat Davies and struck the inside of the left post.
Liam Lindsay did well to stop Barrow darting onto a Bodvarsson flick on that dropped dangerously in the Barnsley box. But the visitors struck the woodwork with six minutes remaining - Barnes in space inside the Royals box driving low past Mannone but against the base of the right post. The ball ricocheted off Moore but the defender did well to slide in and clear it before it dribbled over his goalline.
The lead still looked comfortable and it became even more so when Popa swept a sweetly-struck right footed effort against the crossbar and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson headed the rebound home to make it 3-0.
Full time | Reading 3-0 Barnsley
Reading: Mannone, Bacuna, Gunter, McShane (c), Moore, Van den Berg, Edwards, Kelly (Ilori 81), Aluko (Popa 67), Barrow, Kermorgant (Bodvarsson 56).
Subs: Jaakkola, Blackett, Clement, Beerens.
Goals: Edwards 20, Van den Berg 29, Bodvarsson 88
Barnsley: Davies, Yiadom, MacDonald (c) (Thiam HT), Fryers, Potts, Barnes, Ugbo (Bradshaw HT), Moncur, Williams, Gardner (Pearson HT), Lindsay.
Subs: Townsend, McCarthy, McGeehan, Hedges.
Referee : Mr D Bond
Att: 13,317 (336 away)