There is to be no FA Cup run for the Brewers this season as League One side Barnsley showed a ruthless efficiency at Oakwell to run out 5-0 winners on a Cup day to forget for Albion. Former Albion loanee Sam Winnall was the destroyer in chief with a hat-trick with Conor Hourihane and Devante Cole rounding off an ultimately comfortable victory for Danny Wilson's men. The final scoreline was perhaps harsh on the Brewers but there was no denying that Barnsley were more than worth their place in the second round.
The last time Wilson had managed against the Brewers he had come out on the losing side when his Sheffield United side were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Gary Rowett in his first game in permanent charge of the Brewers and perhaps more wary of Albion's ginatkilling abilities he ensured that this time, in charge of the Tykes, there was to be no repeat.
For his second and probably final match in charge of first team affairs caretaker boss Mike Whitlow opted to leave things unchanged following the vibrant performance against Plymouth Argyle the week before.
The bench had a youthful look about it with three of Whitlow's Academy graduates, Liam Slade, Joe Doyle and Marcus Harness all amongst the substitutes although the latest to be given a squad number, Mark Shelton, missed out on the final eighteen. At the request of the players Burton Albion lined up wearing black armbands as a mark of respect for Burton Albion Ladies player Lydia Bennett who died earlier in the week.
On a slick pitch, following a morning of heavy rain, both sides showed an early desire to get the ball down and play some attacking football. Lucas Akins began brightly on the right for Burton but his first testing cross was easy for Tykes keeper Ross Turnbull. Barnsley then showed their attacking bite with a move involving new loan striker Marcello Trotta who fed Winnall. He slid the ball across the six yard box where Ian Sharps had to complete a hasty clearance. Trotta then latched onto a corner and drilled a low shot towards the bottom corner, Dean Lyness getting enough on the ball to deny him an opening goal in Barnsley colours.
Trotta,again looked to be the man likely to cause the Brewers defence some damage and when he got the ball inside the penalty area on 18 minutes Lyness and the Brewers back four were all pleased to see his eventual shot end up wide of the post.
Having soaked up a period of home pressure Albion were close to snatching the lead when Alex MacDonald probed down the left and when the ball was eventually switched to the opposite flank, Akins wasable to cut inside and fire a left foot effort wide of the far upright.
Things continued to look bright for Whitlow's charges when Stuart Beavon led a charge through the middle on 25 minutes but with few options he went alone and watched as a low shot went just wide of Turnbull's left hand post.
Barnsley showed their speed on the counter with Ryan Williams leading a swift break after Damien McCrory was caught out of position but his eventual cross was blocked away or a corner. From there Albion showed their own speed at brkeaing away as Beavon picked out the overlapping Robbie Weir down the right and his low shot was tipped just the wrong side of the post by the fingertips of Turnbull. The former Chelsea keeper was then in the right spot to deny Shane Cansdell-Sherriff a first goal in Albion colours dropping down smartly to smother the defender's header from MacDonald's corner.
The homeside finally broke the deadlock five minutes from half time. Barnsley were appealing for a penalty when Luke Berry went tumbling to the ground just inside the area but referee David Webb allowed play to go on. Ryan Williams kept the ball alive on the touchline and picked out Trotta who saw his shot to the near post saved by Lyness. However Albion hesitated in trying to clear and WINNALL was on hand to poke home from close range.
Two minutes later and the ex-Wolves striker had bagged a second. Lee Bell was caught in possession midway on the edge of the centre circle and suddenly Albion were exposed as Berry picked out WINNALL to his right, the striker making no mistake from fifteen yards to find the bottom corner of the net.
MacDonald was within a whisker of halving the deficit on the stroke of half time. Beavon was upended just outside the box and when the in-form midfielder crashed in the freekick from the angle of the box it had Turnbull completely beaten as he watched the ball come back out off the face of the crossbar.
Half time: Barnsley 2-0 Burton Albion
Dominic Knowles came on for the second half as Lee Bell failed to re-appear after the break as Albion, Knowles dropping into a role just off Stuart Beavon.
After a fairly tepid start to the second period Knowles managed to break forwards on 54 minutes before firing wide of the target on his left foot.
Former Plymouth skipper Conor Hourihane managed to get into a good shooting position on 56 minutes but Lyness was equal to his shot beating it away strongly but less than a minute later the midfielder had his goal as Winnall failed to connect with a low cross in from the right and HOURIHANE was left in plenty of space to easily find the back of the net.
Albion madeasecond change on 59 minutes and with pretty much all hopes of progress in the Cup gone. Beavon it was who came off to make way for Marcus Harness who came on to the right with Akins pushing into a more advanced role in attack.
Barnsley were not content to settle for three and continued to look potent in attack. Berry was guilty of a poor finish half way through thesecond half as a sweeping move found him free on the right but his final delivery was neither a shot nor a cross and it dropped harmlessly over.
Burton made their third change quickly after with Adam McGurk pressed into the attack at the expense of Alex MacDonald. The Irishman almost got himself a goal early on when Harness swung over a deep cross to the back post and after winning the ball he poked a shot, at full stretch comfortably into the arms of Turnbull.
McGurk picked up an injury in the process and with all Albion's subs having been used it left them three goals down and a man down. Soon after it got worse for Albion as WINNALL completed his hat-trick. Inside a crowded eighteen yard box he picked up the ball and danced around the Brewers defence leaving himself one on one with Lyness. He really ought to have finished the chance first time but could only find the inside of the far post. Fortunately for him the ball came straight back to him and he was able to tuck home the rebound.
It was the last action for Barnsley's hat-trick hero who was immediately replaced by Leroy Lita in the Tykes attack. Trotta also took his leave after a strong showing in the Barnsley attack and his place was taken by Devante Cole, another loanee this time from Manchester City. The son of Andy Cole, the striker showed all the family instincts within four minutes of coming on linking with Lita on the edge of the box before evading Ian Sharps' last ditch challenge to slide the ball calmly home with seven minutes to play.
Cole had the ball in the back of the net for a second time shortly afterwards as Barnsley chopped through the Burton defence once more but this time the striker had strayed offside and the assistant referee's flag came to Burton's rescue.