It was a disappointing game from our point of view; everything we'd worked on and discussed about Barnsley during the week we didn't put into practice.Paul Robinson
The visitors raced into a 2-0 lead by the interval from attacks which both originated in their own half, Jack Birks and Newton Sila-Conde applying the finishing touches to well-worked team moves.
Birks doubled his personal tally in the second period, poking the ball home after Blues failed to clear their lines following a short corner-kick routine.
It was only then that Paul Robinson's side started to make more of a fight of it, reducing the deficit on 73 minutes through Kyle Hurst as he followed up to score his fifth goal of the season having seen his own penalty saved by the keeper.
Blues came close to narrowing the scoreline further almost immediately, but any hopes of rescuing anything from the game went up in smoke when Barnsley scored again from a corner. The ball floated over everyone else in a packed penalty area and landed at the feet of sub Will Lancaster who was given the time and space to control and fire a shot into the bottom corner.
Josh Dugmore's curling effort from just inside the Barnsley box four minutes into stoppage-time was scant consolation for a poor day at the office for Robinson's boys.
“It was a disappointing game from our point of view; everything we'd worked on and discussed about Barnsley during the week we didn't put into practice. We didn't pay attention to what we knew we should be doing," said Robinson.
“We played a little bit better in the second-half but the standards that we expect of them is very high and we can't keep getting pushed over as easily as we have been."
Robinson was left frustrated by the ease in which his side was dissected for the first two Barnsley goals and then their lack of determination to close down their opponents inside the area for the visitors' second-half strikes.
“We were cut open too easily for our liking,” he added. “We work on set-pieces as well – we know our jobs; we know our responsibilities – and I think the fourth goal summed up our day; how their player can chest the ball down and score.
“It became a pretty open game towards the end, with both teams having chances to score, but it was the silly goals that we conceded which cost us in the end.
"It's all learning for them and with it being reflection week there is no game this weekend, so they've got a lot of time to look back and see what they've got to improve upon."
Blues: Bradley-Hurst, Kinina (Hall 60), Djurovic, Chang (Walker h/t), Nguepissi, Craig, Miller, Dugmore, Traore (Zohore h/t), Williams, Hurst.
Subs (not used): Sullivan, Rouse (GK)