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23:47 21st February 2012


Barnsley 1 (Davies 19)
Birmingham 3 (Edwards OG 8, Fahey 27, Redmond 76)

The Reds were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline at Oakwell against Premier League-bound Birmingham City. It wasn't for the lack of trying or creativity but the absence of lady luck held them back.

Craig Davies struck the bar and Matty Done had a goal ruled out for offside in a match that was tightly contested over the 90. Barnsley fans also had a good look at Academy product Paul Digby - still a first-year pro and only 17 - as the midfielder played the whole 90 minutes on his home debut.

Inside the sixth minute Korey Smith took aim from 20 yards, and had Myhill stranded, only to see his strike curl just wide on six minutes. At the other end, a shot for the visitors resulted in the opener after a cruel deflection off Edwards.

Chris Burke found space inside the area and hammered his shot off Edwards and into the top corner. It was another deflected goal against Barnsley, having conceded a cruel late strike at St Andrews' earlier in the season.

The goal was a shock but had by no means rocked the Reds - who responded in the 21st minutes through Davies, bagging his first since New Years' Eve and against the side he supported as a boy. Cotterill was the architect, rewarded for his persistence by teeing up the strike from six yards.

But again, another strike resulted in a goal. As Smith cleared Keith Fahey barely had time to think as he let fly from 22 yards, drilling his effort in off the post on 27 minutes.

Still the spirit of Hill's men wasn't dampened and the soldiered on, only to be halted by the flag. Matty Done burst past his man and found himself one-on-one with Myhill, tucking past the 'keeper. Flag up. No goal. It was so cruel on the Reds and replays showed the forward was clearly onside.

After the interval Barnsley kept plugging away but were finding it difficult against a Blues defence that had tightened up.

Smith, the sub O'Brien and Davies all tried their luck but to no avail and the match was all but over on 76 minutes when substitute Redmond squeezed home for the visitors.

The City youngster seemed to be going nowhere until he latched onto a loose ball into the box and lashed home from a tight angle.

Overall Barnsley certainly matched their opponents who are more than equipped for the big time once more. And the Reds fans were delighted to see a great effort from their side, as well as a glimpse of a star midfielder of the future in Academy first-year Paul Digby.

David Cotterill also gained some match time under his belt, as well as a welcome return to action for Michael Tonge who came off the bench.

As the team and squad builds under the guidance of Hill, time will only help the Reds become a cohesive unit that progresses as each game passes.


Reds: Steele, McEveley (Golbourne 73), Edwards, Davies, Done, Dagnall, Wiseman, McNulty, Smith (Tonge 73), Cotterill (O'Brien 61), Digby.
Subs: Preece, Gray.

Birmingham: Myhill, Murphy, Caldwell, Burke, King (Rooney 73), Mutch, Gomis (Redmond 73), Elliott, Fahey, Spector (Ibanez 90), Davies.
Subs: Doyle, Jervis.

Referee: Carl Boyeson
Assistant Referees: Richard Bartlett & Martin Coy
Fourth Official: David Storrie

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.