Huddersfield Town's hopes of a fourth straight win were thwarted by a Barnsley side who did the basics well to claim their first league victory of the season.

The Reds blended power with some neat passing and clinical finishing, and deserved a derby triumph which would have been by a two-goal margin had Jean-Yves M’voto not shot wide of an unguarded in stoppage time.

The big French defender was furious with himself for failing to finish off a counter-attack with keeper Alex Smithies up in the home penalty area for a corner as Mark Robins’ men pushed desperately for an equaliser.

But the close-season signing from Oldham was a huge factor in Town’s downfall, providing a physical barrier as part of a three-man central backline and working hard to contain James Vaughan.

He wasn’t always successful, because the Town striker really got into the game in the second half, when he halved Barnsley’s advantage with a well-taken eighth goal of the season from Adam Clayton’s fine pass.

And Vaughan came close both before and after his strike as Town at last came to life, even if they didn’t find the fluency which had helped bring wins over Millwall and Bournemouth in the Championship and Charlton in the Capital One Cup.

The damage was done in the first half as a slow start and some apparent defensive confusion between Peter Clarke and Anthony Gerrard was punished by Chris O’Grady’s well-struck early opener.

O’Grady proved a handful, although Town, with Sean Scannell starting in place of Martin Paterson, seemed to be getting back into the contest before Barnsley claimed their second.

 

This time Joel Lynch was the centre-back caught out as Norwegian frontman Marcus Pedersen, a loan capture from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, met Tom Kennedy’s cross with a neat piece of control and a smart finish past Alex Smithies.

Clayton was catching the eye, with fellow midfielders Ollie Norwood and Jonathan Hogg working hard in support, but wing-backs Adam Hammill, like manager Robins back on familiar territory, and Jake Carroll weren’t as effective as in previous matches.

Vaughan was kept on a tight leash up to the break, while Scannell showed flashes of inspiration, but struggled to really make an impact, and was brought off soon after the break.

Town went 4-3-3 for a spell, with skipper Clarke, who had taken a nasty whack in the nose in a first-minute collision with Pedersen, at right-back and substitute Danny Ward and Hammill pushing high up the field.

But by the end, with frontmen Paterson, and finally, Jon Stead introduced, it was back to three in defence and Ward and Hammill operating as wing-backs as Robins reshuffled in a vain bid to prise open a tiring home side for a second time.

It’s a real shame Town couldn’t force a point, because they have to wait a fortnight before the chance to get this disappointing display out of the system, with Doncaster, the visitors on Saturday week, hopefully feeling the backlash.

But overall, seven points from the first 15 available still provides a platform.