Barnsley denied by late onslaught after Butterfield’s top-class strike leaves Birmingham floundering
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.
GOAL HERO: Barnsley’s Jacob Butterfield, left, celebrates scoring against Birmingham City at in the Championship game at St Andrew’s.