Oxford United 1 Barnsley 2: Thomas and Cadden on target in Tykes win

NICKY Cadden broke his Barnsley duck as he fired the club to their first ever win at the Kassam Stadium.

Thomas opened the scoring before Cadden secured a first away win at Oxford since 1991 in the first meeting between the two sides since 2019.

Elliott Moore provided a late scare with his header, but Michael Duff’s side held on as the opened up a five-point cushion over the play-off chasing pack.

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Devante Cole replaced the departed Jack Aitchison in the starting line-up with new signings Oli Shaw and Harry Isted named on the bench.

OXFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Nicky Cadden of Barnsley celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Sky Bet League One between Oxford United and Barnsley at Kassam Stadium on February 01, 2023 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)OXFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Nicky Cadden of Barnsley celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Sky Bet League One between Oxford United and Barnsley at Kassam Stadium on February 01, 2023 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
OXFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Nicky Cadden of Barnsley celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Sky Bet League One between Oxford United and Barnsley at Kassam Stadium on February 01, 2023 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The hosts made a fast start as Billy Bodin fired just wide of the mark early on.

Barnsley were quick to show down the other end as James Norwood saw his effort cleared off the line.

Thomas headed the visitors in front on the half-hour mark as he met Adam Phillips’ fine cross and looped a header home.

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Kyle Joseph twice squandered good chances for the hosts as he missed the target from inside the box.

Barnsley's Herbie Kane (right) and Oxford United's Luca Connell battle for the ball during the Sky Bet League One match at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford. Picture date: Wednesday February 1, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Oxford. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.Barnsley's Herbie Kane (right) and Oxford United's Luca Connell battle for the ball during the Sky Bet League One match at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford. Picture date: Wednesday February 1, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Oxford. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Barnsley's Herbie Kane (right) and Oxford United's Luca Connell battle for the ball during the Sky Bet League One match at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford. Picture date: Wednesday February 1, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Oxford. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Cadden made it two just before the hour. Striker Cole did well as he powered down the right wing to set up the move and Cadden finished the job when he found the bottom corner from Herbie Kane’s pass.

Norwood had a brilliant opportunity to put the game to bed, but Simon Eastwood produced a great save with his foot to deny a third.

The U’s got themselves back into the contest with 20 minutes to go as Moore headed home Bodin’s dangerous right-wing corner.

The Tykes had to withstand a barrage to hang on at the end.

OXFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Michael Duff, Manager of Barnsley, celebrates following the team's victory after the Sky Bet League One between Oxford United and Barnsley at Kassam Stadium on February 01, 2023 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)OXFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Michael Duff, Manager of Barnsley, celebrates following the team's victory after the Sky Bet League One between Oxford United and Barnsley at Kassam Stadium on February 01, 2023 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
OXFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Michael Duff, Manager of Barnsley, celebrates following the team's victory after the Sky Bet League One between Oxford United and Barnsley at Kassam Stadium on February 01, 2023 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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Another corner almost did for the visitors as Ciaron Brown hit the bar after Moore’s header was only half cleared.

Oxford: Eastwood, Anderson (Goodrham, 62), Moore, Long, Brown, Bate (O'Donkor, 82), Brannagan (McGuane, 24), Joseph, Konate (Smith, 62), Wildschut, Bodin. Unused substitutes: McGinty, Fleming, Flindley.

Barnsley: Collins, Williams, Thomas, Andersen, Kitching, Cadden, Phillips, Connell, Kane, Cole (Watters, 73), Norwood (Martin, 89). Unused substitutes: Isted, Pache, Oduor, Larkeche, Shaw.

Referee: L Swabey (Devon)