Birmingham 0 Barnsley 5: Davies hits four as Tykes romp to first away win of the season
18:55 GMT, 22 September 2012
Craig Davies scored four goals as Barnsley produced a sensational second-half display against Birmingham to earn their first away points of the npower Championship season at St Andrew's.
After a dull first half in which the visitors dominated possession, a soft goal from Stephen Forster started the goal-rush just after half-time.
Davies then took centre-stage, grabbing four goals in 19 minutes to give Lee Clark's Blues an evening to forget and send the Tykes above their opponents in the table.
Awesome foursome: Craig Davies is grabbed by Stephen Dawson
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Barnsley, who had taken the lead in
their previous two fixtures only to be pegged back, started brightly
with a series of attacks which caused problems for the home defence.
Despite the away team's greater share
of possession and superior play going forward, the first half-hour
passed without either side having a shot on target.
However, Chris Dagnall did just that
for the visitors on 34 minutes, stinging Jack Butland's palms with a
long-range effort before latching onto a through-ball four minutes later
only to be thwarted by the Birmingham goalkeeper again.
Aside from a handful of misplaced
crosses and a speculative drives from Wade Elliott, Barnsley goalkeeper
Ben Alnwick was a spectator for much of the first half as the Blues
struggled to get into their stride.
The teams went in all square at the
interval. Barnsley boss Keith Hill would have been the happier of the
two managers by far, but his day was about to get a whole lot better.
Hill's men continued to dominate
after the break and Forster made the pressure count on 50 minutes as he
gave his side a deserved lead.
After a miscued clearance by Jonathan
Spector gave the Tykes a cheap corner, the resulting set-piece eluded
the whole of Birmingham's defence, allowing Forster to poke the ball in
at the far post.
Things went from bad to worse for
Clark's men four minutes later as Barnsley exposed gaping holes in the
hosts' defence and Davies nudged the ball home from close range to put
the Tykes two up.
In what was fast becoming a superb
day at the office for Barnsley, Davies extended his team's lead with a
tremendous solo effort. The Wales international received the ball on the
edge of the area before beating two Birmingham defenders and firing the
ball beyond a fully-stretched Butland.
Davies then claimed the matchball by
sealing an 11-minute hat-trick with a strike from inside the area,
before adding to Birmingham's misery by getting his head to a Chris
Dagnall cross to put his side 5-0 up with 15 minutes to play.
Marlon Harewood came on for Davies in
the 85th minute, the four-goal hero leaving the field to
richly-deserved standing ovation from the Barnsley faithful.