Barns­ley de­nied by late on­slaught af­ter But­ter­field’s top-class strike leaves Birm­ing­ham floun­der­ing

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - Football sport -

BARNS­LEY chief Keith Hill was sat­is­fied to take a point from a tricky away-day as­sign­ment.

“I was re­ally en­cour­aged by the per­for­mance at 1-0,” said Hill. “I didn’t think we were in any dan­ger un­til the last 10 min­utes, when there was an ob­vi­ous threat.

“I thought we should have been more com­fort­able when hold­ing the lead. I thought the per­for­mance mer­ited more goals. But I am en­cour­aged by the per­for­mance com­ing to Birm­ing­ham and com­pet­ing.

“At times we looked an ac­com­plished Cham­pi­onship side and had more than enough op­por­tu­ni­ties to have won.

“But be­fore the game ev­ery­one had writ­ten us off, so I am en­cour­aged by the per­for­mance and we keep our be­lief and con­fi­dence.”

Birm­ing­ham man­ager Chris Hughton was a re­lieved man af­ter see­ing his side stage a barn­storm­ing fin­ish at St An­drew’s.

The Blues got them­selves off the hook with an equaliser from Chris Burke four min­utes from time af­ter Barns­ley had ap­peared to head­ing for three un­ex­pected points.

The Tykes, who have been in­volved in four suc­ces­sive draws, dom­i­nated the first half and de­servedly took the lead through Ja­cob But­ter­field’s stun­ning strike, and Hughton ad­mit­ted his side had been hope­lessly out­classed in the open­ing 45 min­utes.

“It was re­lief in the end be­cause the first-half per­for­mance wasn’t good,” said Hughton.

“It was prob­a­bly as poor as we have been in the pe­riod of time I’ve been here.

“They are a team in re­ally good form and it showed. It was go­ing to be a case of hav­ing to match them be­cause we were not good enough on the ball.”

The hosts fell be­hind when But­ter­field ri­fled home a stun­ning shot from 35 yards af­ter Mar­lon King had lost pos­ses­sion, but Hughton felt the goal should never have been al­lowed due to a foul in the build-up.

“It was a won­der­ful strike for their goal but it was most def­i­nitely a foul, a bla­tant foul, lead­ing up to the shot,” said Hughton said. “I was very sur­prised in this day and age, and look­ing at the other book­ings, that he did not pull that one up as a foul.

“That aside, they de­servedly had the lead in the first half on the bal­ance of play.”

Barns­ley were de­nied only their fifth win in their last 25 league games when Burke’s 86th-minute strike bob­bled home from 20 yards.

The winger, a sum­mer sign­ing from Cardiff, picked the per­fect mo­ment to bag his first goal for the club, and it could have been even bet­ter for the home side as King saw his late shot re­bound off the in­side of a post.

But the Blues’ strong fin­ish masked what was a sloppy per­for­mance un­til the sec­ond­half in­tro­duc­tion of Nikola Zigic. Birm­ing­ham City: My­hill, Carr, Cald­well, Davies (Mur­phy 9), Ridgewell, Burke, Spec­tor (El­liott 56), Beause­jour, Red­mond, King, Wood (Zigic 65). Unused sub­sti­tutes: Doyle, Gomis. Barns­ley: Steele, Has­sell, Mc­Nulty, Foster, McEve­ley, Perkins, But­ter­field, Drinkwater, Done (Clark 29), O’Brien, Gray, Clark (Ad­di­son 72). Unused sub­sti­tutes: Preece, Wise­man, Rose. Ref­eree: D Phillips (West Sus­sex). Man of the match: Stephen Foster.

PIC­TURE: PA.

GOAL HERO: Barns­ley’s Ja­cob But­ter­field, left, cel­e­brates scor­ing against Birm­ing­ham City at in the Cham­pi­onship game at St An­drew’s.

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