The Barnsley side started brightly, Boro’s Riley McGinty blocking a volley from Callum Tingle, Harrison Manley fired straight at Boro keeper Kyle Cass, and Connor Burkinshaw’s surging run was halted by a terrific Alfie Pearce tackle, then at the other end, Amelio Cole set up Harry Southwick, who fired narrowly wide, writes Steve Adamson.
Church opened the scoring when Oliver Brain dinked a pass through to Jake Taylor, who slammed his shot past keeper Cass.
Southwick went on a mazy dribble before his shot was pushed round the post by Church keeper Alex Townend, but from the resulting corner by Finn Owers, Boro skipper Pearce headed home at the far post.
Within two minutes Boro went ahead, as Ben Simpson’s free-kick was saved by Townend, but McGinty fired in the rebound.
Southwick showed outstanding ball skills to set up Cole, who fired just over, before Church equalised when Harrison Manley hoisted the ball into the goalmouth from wide on the right, and it bounced under the bar into the net to make it 2-2.
The second half was equally exciting, and Boro restored their lead when the excellent McGinty set up Cole, who slotted home from the edge of the area, but just three minutes later Church were back level, when Charlie McNichols netted with a superb left foot strike into the top left corner.
The game was a great spectacle, with both sides passing the ball around, and star man Southwick, who excited the crowd with his dribbles, netted from close range, to the right of goal to out Boro 4-3 ahead on 57 minutes, and they then began to take control, adding a fifth goal in the 69th minute, when powerful striker Amelio Cole skilfully rounded the keeper and slotted home.
Cole then turned provider, as his cross was headed out towards McGinty, who drilled his shot inside the left-hand post to make it 6-3. Gibson then fired narrowly over for Boro, while a Jordan Smith shot was blocked by Southwick, but Smith manage a late consolation, chasing a long ball forward, and slotting past keeper Cass.
A good all-round performance from the Boro boys, with Southwick, McGinty, Pearce, Cole, and Harley Adams all outstanding, and Ryder Greening also showed some great touches.
The visitors contributed to a terrific game, especially impressive for them were hard working full-back Sam Sepehri, the skilful Jake Taylor, Charlie McNicholas and sub Sam Taylor.
BORO - Cass, Ward, Gibson, Pearce, Adams, Rouaeah (Greening 36), Simpson, Southwick, Calingelo-Cole, McGinty
PENISTONE CHURCH - Townend, Sepehri, Ryan, Sniegs-Sniedzins, McNicholas, Brain, Tingle (Smith 77), J.Taylor, Burkinshaw (Sleight 46), Manley (S.Taylor 64), Flowers
REFEREE - Kieran Kent
GOALS - BORO - Alfie Pearce 27, Riley McGinty 29, 73, Emilio Caligelo-Cole 51, 69, Harry Southwick 57; PENISTONE CHURCH - Jake Taylor 24, Harrison Manley 39, Charlie McNicholas 54, Jordan Smith 87
YELLOW CARDS - BORO - Harley Adams
PENISTONE CHURCH - Charlie McNicholas, Luca Flowers
BORO MAN OF MATCH - Harry Southwick