Nottingham Forest came from behind to win 3-1 at Barnsley with a strong second-half performance to give new head coach Steve Cooper his first victory.
The hosts led through Cauley Woodrow’s first-half penalty before goals from Philip Zinckernagel, Brennan Johnson and Lewis Grabban sealed it for Forest.
Johnson sent over an early low cross which was claimed by keeper Brad Collins as Joe Lolley waited to pounce.
There was a half-chance for the visitors when an attempted clearance from Collins fell to Lolley and with the keeper off his line, Lolley’s effort from distance drifted well wide of the target.
The breakthrough goal came when Woodrow was fouled in the area by Tobias Figueiredo and Woodrow (20) beat Brice Samba with the resulting penalty.
Lolley was involved again when he advanced into the left-hand side of the area and tried an angled shot that went beyond the far post.
James Garner put a long-range shot on target, but it was straight at Collins who gathered the ball comfortably.
Soon after the re-start, Woodrow’s shot on the turn from inside the area was blocked by Samba.
At the other end, Liam Kitching made a vital sliding challenge as Johnson threatened to find a way through the heart of the Barnsley rearguard.
Collins then came to his side’s rescue with a good save to keep out Zinckernagel’s shot after he had been set up by Lolley.
Forest head coach Steve Cooper made a change on the hour-mark with Figueiredo replaced by Grabban.
The equaliser came when Forest sprung the offside trap with Johnson squaring the ball unselfishly to Zinckernagel (61), who tapped into the unguarded net.
Barnsley boss Markus Schopp made a change in attack with Victor Adeboyejo taking over from Dominik Frieser.
The visitors took the lead when Zinckernagel put Johnson (68) through and he slotted the ball past Collins.
Zinckernagel saw his powerful shot saved by Collins before Forest went further ahead.
The third goal came when Alex Mighten did well to beat Jasper Moon on the left and sent over a low cross which was turned in by the unmarked Grabban (82) at the far post.
Barnsley substitute Aaron Leya Iseka went close to pulling a goal back late on with a powerful header which was turned wide by Samba.
Barnsley remain without a win in their last eight games and their players were booed off at the end by a section of the crowd.
What the managers said…
Barnsley’s Markus Schopp: “Really disappointing. I think we played well for 45 minutes. We came out very intense. We were really active and we were hungry to get a second goal. I’m really disappointed because we gave away three points today. The two goals were really big punches for the guys and the reaction was not good after that.
“We lost the ball too easy and our second and third line was not enough to counter-press. It is individual mistakes, especially for their first goal. When we lose the ball, it must be in a different way and not too easy. This is a tough one for all of us. We have to find better solutions. Right now, everything goes in a really, really hard direction so we have to be really careful. We know it is a tough situation, but we know can do better. Everybody wants more.”
Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper: “It was a game of two halves in terms of the scoreline, but I thought that we actually got into an equal amount of good positions in the first half – we just didn’t capitalise on it. We didn’t deserve to be one-nil down, but we didn’t deserve to be one-nil up either, but we could see where the game was there to be won, in behind and down the sides of Barnsley’s back line and we were doing that.
“Once you’ve got in behind you’ve got to finish it off and I think that was the difference between the first and the second half. We continued to get in behind, but we were more productive and scored three goals. I haven’t seen it [the penalty] back, but it seemed one of those that could go either way. The only thing on my mind now is Saturday.”