Cardiff City extended their unbeaten league run to nine games with a 2-1 win over Barnsley at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Goals from Callum Paterson and Marko Grujić either side of half-time were enough to see off the South Yorkshire side, despite Oli McBurnie’s second half strike.
The Bluebirds made four changes to the side that were victorious over Bristol City last weekend, as Kadeem Harris, Kenneth Zohore, Grujić and Craig Bryson all came into the starting eleven.
City started the stronger side and created their first opening after eight minutes. A quick exchange of passes between Bryson and Zohore in the centre of the park eventually released Harris down the left-hand side. His quick footwork opened up the Barnsley defence, but the 24-year-old could only curl his shot into the side netting.
The visitors shaped a few half-chances of their own a few minutes later though. A corner from the right-hand side eventually dropped to Joseph Williams who fired wide, before Brad Potts took aim with a tame shot which was straight at Neil Etheridge.
Zohore was flowing with confidence, testing Nick Townsend from the edge of the penalty area once again, this time seeing his right-footed effort held by the Barnsley stopper on the half hour mark.
Two minutes later Paterson gave City a deserved lead with Zohore again involved. A lovely piece of control from the Dane freed Hoilett and his first time cross was cleared into the path of the Scot, who swept his effort into the bottom corner.
Paterson thought he’d got his second of the night as the first half came to a close, planting another Hoilett cross into the back of the net only to see his effort ruled out for offside.
The second of the evening did come just a minute after the half time interval however, courtesy of Grujić. Zohore skilfully chested down Paterson’s high cross, before teeing up the Liverpool loanee to emphatically dispatch his first goal in City colours.
With half an hour left to play, the Tykes pulled one back. A low cross from Andy Yiadom was scuffed into the path of Oli McBurnie, who poked the ball home from four yards out.
The Bluebirds produced a resolute defensive display through much of the second half, with blocks from Bruno Manga and Sol Bamba keeping City’s precious lead intact.
Bryson was inches away from scoring a third for the Bluebirds in stoppage time after pinching the ball from Yiadom on the edge of the Barnsley area, but could only fizz his shot wide.
Replacement Nathaniel Mendez-Laing curled an effort against the post deep into injury time, as City secured their fifth win in a row, and moved just three points off Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Cardiff City: Etheridge, Bennett, Ecuele Manga, Zohore, Harris (Mendez-Laing 70), Bamba, Connolly, Paterson (Damour 62), Bryson, Grujić (Halford 57), Hoilett.
Subs not used: Murphy, Feeney, Pilkington, Wildschut.
Barnsley: Townsend, Fryers, Williams, Lindsay, McBurnie, Pinnock, Yiadom, Moore, Potts (Bradshaw 87), Gardner (Knasmüllner 45), Thiam, (Hedges 75).
Subs not used: Davies, Cavaré, Mahoney, Pearson.