Barnsley U23s came from behind to beat Birmingham City 2-1 at the Oakwell Training Ground on Tuesday afternoon.
In a proverbial game of two halves, Dan Bramall and on-trial Cameron Thompson struck midway through the second period to cancel out Oriel Soldevila’s opener.
The game was cagey for large parts of the first half, with neither side really creating any clear-cut goal scoring opportunities.
City’s direct approach always looked likely to cause problems, particularly with the physicality of Josh Andrews and, when the striker burst through on goal, Ali Omar produced a magnificent recovery tackle to prevent him getting a shot away.
Just after the half hour mark, however, the Blues found a way through when a loose ball fell kindly for Soldevila and the Spanish midfielder rifled home, unmarked, from close range to give the visitors a deserved lead.
Shortly after, Andrews was bundled to the ground inside the area and he confidently stepped up to take the resulting spot kick but was denied by a tremendous Henry Kendrick save as the young goalkeeper flung himself down to his right to parry the ball away.
That seemed to spark the Reds into life and, with the last action of the half, Bramall narrowly headed wide from Will Calligan’s inswinging corner as Martin Devaney’s side pushed for an equaliser.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-1 Birmingham City
City looked keen to add to their tally after the restart and had shouts for a second penalty waved away by the referee after Kyle Hurst went to ground when Kendrick raced off his line.
But with a seven-game unbeaten firmly in their sights, Barnsley slowly began to creep through the gears and Elliot Simoes almost levelled the scores when he flew down the right flank but fizzed his shot wide of the near post.
The Reds wouldn’t be denied for much longer, though, and when Brad Binns played the ball to Simoes, he drove at the Birmingham backline before feeding Bramall, who cut inside and drilled a low shot beyond Elias Rouse.
It was no less than the hosts deserved and within moments were almost ahead when Thompson, introduced as a substitute a few minutes earlier, flicked the ball beyond the onrushing Rouse but couldn’t muster an effort on target.
Barnsley were very much in the ascendancy now and Binns took aim on the half-volley from 25-yards but Rouse produced a fine save to claw the ball away.
But, from the resulting corner, Thompson converted from inside the six-yard box to turn the game on its head and put the Reds on course of a fourth successive victory.
City rallied and threw everything at Kendrick’s goal, but Barnsley held on for three points and climbed to third in the Professional Development League.
FULL-TIME: Barnsley 2-1 Birmingham City
REDS XI: Kendrick (GK), Helliwell, Pache, Omar (c), Winfield, Calligan (Thompson, 61), Binns (Lancaster, 82), Christie-Davies, Simoes, Simpson, Bramall.
Not used: Brown (GK), Nicholson, Cerulli.
CITY XI: Rouse (GK), Gordon, Roberts, Stirk, Campbell, Redmond (c), Soldevila, Thompson-Somers, Andrews, Concannon, Hurst.
Subs: Djvrovic, Brooks, Sun, Fernandez, Dugmore.