Sean O’Driscoll’s Nottingham Forest side moved to within a point of the Championship play-off positions after coming from behind to brush aside Barnsley on Saturday.
The Reds had some early chances but it was the home side that opened the scoring through former Forest frontman Marlon Harewood midway through the first half.
However, the Oakwell fans’ delight soon turned to disappointment as Forest struck three times within ten minutes to head into the interval with a two goal advantage.
Centre-back Greg Halford’s deflected shot deceived Tykes’ keeper Ben Alnwick to put the scores level before Simon Cox added a second and Chris Cohen struck a superb long-range effort on the stroke of half time.
And in the second period Forest sealed all three points when Tottenham Hotspur loanee Jermaine Jenas scored a wonderful chipped goal to complete the scoring.
The visitors started well and had a few early chances – Andy Reid had an opportunity to score when a Cohen shot was blocked before falling loose to the winger who fired just wide.
And on loan striker Billy Sharp should have done better when Reid found room down the left before crossing for the striker who looped his header wide of the target.
Yet, it was Barnsley who took a surprise lead against the run of play – Nottingham-born midfielder Jacob Mellis played a ball through the Forest defence to Harewood who bolted forward before rounding Camp to score his first goal for Barnsley.
The hosts threatened to score again moments later but some good work from full-back Dan Harding ensured Forest got out of jail. The defender cleared the ball off the line well ahead of Tykes’ winger Matt Done.
However, the Reds soon levelled the scores courtesy of a deflected Halford strike. The defender strolled into the 18-yard box before hitting a shot with the outside of his boot that struck Barnsley defender Scott Wiseman to trickle past Alnwick.
Moments later Forest were ahead as Cohen sprung down the right with strength before finding a cross to Sharp. The Southampton loanee hit a powerful drive that was parried away by Alnwick only as far as Cox who slotted home from close range.
Three minutes later the away side took the lead as Cohen turned goal scorer – the midfielder picked up the ball in the centre from Reid before unleashing a stunning 25-yard effort that sailed into the top-left corner of the goal.
The Reds began the second half as they had ended the first, on the front foot. Republic of Ireland international Cox came close to grabbing a second following a Reid cross from the left – the striker was only inches away from scoring with an overhead effort.
At the other end of the pitch Barnsley had their chances to get back in the game. Left-back Tom Kennedy troubled Camp into making a diving save with his free-kick before Kelvin Etuhu fired straight at the keeper.
But Forest continued to dominate and Sharp had two chances to score in quick succession - firstly latching on to Harding’s long ball to sweep a shot wide of the goal before Alnwick made a good save to deny the striker from a header.
However, it was a former Forest favourite that netted the final goal in style, Jenas back at his former side on a loan spell got on the end of a Cox through ball to lob coolly past Alnwick. The midfielder’s loan period has now come to an end and O’Driscoll must decide whether to extend it.
Forest now move to 7th position in the Championship table and are just one point off the play-off positions and four points from the automatic promotion spots. They play Millwall next at the City Ground on Saturday 3rd November. Kick-off is at 3pm.
Barnsley: Alnwick, Stones, Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne, Dawson (Dagnall, 54), Perkins, Done (Kennedy, 51), Cywka (Etuhu, 51), Harewood, Mellis
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Halford (Ward, 78), Moloney, Collins (c), Harding, Gillett, Cohen, Majewski (Jenas, 69), Reid (Coppinger, 80), Cox, Sharp
Man of the match: Chris Cohen
Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 10,186 (Away 2,217)