Birmingham City 0
The Reds 5 (Foster 50, Davies 54, 60, 65, 72)
Barnsley turned in a glorious performance to show the nation just what they’re capable of with the man of the hour, Craig Davies, hitting a remarkable four goals in the space of 18 second-half minutes to destroy his boyhood club.
It took just three minutes for the Reds to tear open City with Mellis being put through by Davies, the midfielder found Dagnall with a neat square ball four yards out but Butland managed to deflect the ball just wide. Just over a minute later Davies brought down Alnwick’s long ball before scuffing a half-volley wide from 20 yards.
Barnsley had started far brighter of the two teams as they carried their performance from Tuesday night into today.
It was still all Barnsley by the time the match had reached its quarter point, City had yet to register a shot at goal and Mellis drilled a fierce effort just wide on 23 minutes from 25 yards.
The hosts made a change after only 25 minutes with former Tykes loanee David Murphy being replaced by Darren Ambrose.
Patient build-up paly once again saw another shot registered in the Reds’ favour, Chris Dagnall hammered a swerving effort at goal which Butland thumped away. The shot came on 34 minutes after more good football from Hill’s men who are looking more confident as each game passes.
A first shot for the hosts did arrive on 36 minutes but it was an Ambrose free-kick thumped straight at the Barnsley wall.
A glorious opportunity arrived Barnsley’s way on 37 minutes when Dagnall was expertly put through by Mellis but Butland did well to smother the one-on-one. Dagnall should arguably have been on a hat-trick by the end of the first half.
An ironic cheer greeted Clark’s side’s first shot on target as Wade Elliott sent a shot straight down the throat of Alnwick on 43 minutes.
With only five minutes of the second half gone Barnsley deservedly took the lead. Jacob Mellis’ corner wasn;t exactly the best, but it somehow made its way to Foster at the far stick who slammed home in front of the 295 Tykes fans.
That elusive second goal came when Mellis robbed Ambrose in possession before teeing up Davies, and the boyhood Blues fan poked past the onrushing Butland for 2-0 just four minutes after the opener.
It was all Barnsley and Dagnall curled a beautiful strike onto the post thanks to Butland’s smart fingertip save after Golbourne’s marauding run straight down the centre.
But on the hour Davies had bagged a double. He turned the Birmingham defence inside out before tucking into the far corner. Mellis was the architect as he split open the defence to find Barnsley’s number nine to find his sixth of the season.
Butland then came to the rescue of his side when Mellis found a gap down the left-hand channel to deny Barnsley a fourth. Barnsley were all over the Blues like a red rash.
Number seven arrived for Davies, number four on the day for Barnsley. Cywka sent a sweet ball down the centre for Davies to pounce onto and he coolly slotted home to prove he’s a forced to be reckoned with this season.
City went down to ten me with Ibanez limping off and Barnsley capitalised with Davies adding a fifth and his fourth. Dagnall it was, who is looking like a completely different player to last season, sending in a cross which Davies met at the far stick with his head.
It was a wonderful scene as the 295 diehards danced away behind the net and their team were picking up their just reward.
The tempo was slowed down as Hill’s side were just happy to keep possession with a series of short passes in their own half. Dawson tried his hand from 30 yards on 83 minutes but the Irishman’s drive zipped over as the clock ticked down.
The hero of the hour Craig Davies was allowed a short rest as the four-goal man was replaced by Harewood for the final five minutes. Moments later Danny Rose went for a run-out, with the tremendous Dagnall receving a standing ovation for his outstanding performance.
In fairness to the home fans as well, they were in full voice backing their side despite suffering a drubbing. Barnsley had claimed their first away victory since January, and if their performance on the road continues like this, there will be many more to come.
Birmingham City: Butland, Murphy (Ambrose 25), Caldwell, Ibanez, Burke, Mullins (Redmond 55), King, Elliott, Fahey, Spector, Lita (Zigic 61).
Subs: Doyle, Davies, Lovenkrands, Morrison.
Reds: Alnwick, Kennedy, Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne, Cranie, Cywka, Mellis, Dawson, Dagnall (Rose 88), Davies (Harewood 85).
Subs: Steele, Perkins, Noble-Lazarus, Etuhu, Done.
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Att: 13,893 (295 away)