Barnsley 1 Birmingham 2: Davies at the double as Blues avenge 5-0 loss in September
21:42 GMT, 26 December 2012
There was a familiar ring to the name of the man who stole the show in this revenge re-match.
Only this time Birmingham’s Curtis Davies delivered the match-winning heroics to ease the pain of near-namesake Craig’s four-goal salvo in Barnsley’s astonishing 5-0 win at St Andrew’s in September.
But Barnsley striker Craig wasn’t entirely out of the spotlight, much as he would wish to have been on this occasion. For it was the Wales forward’s woeful penalty miss that turned the game and piled more pressure on his manager Keith Hill.
Head first: Curtis Davies scored both goals for Birmingham
Barnsley: Steele, Stones, Hassell, McNulty, Golbourne, O'Brien, Greening, Perkins (Done 68), Dawson, Tudgay, Dagnall (Davies 68).
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Wiseman, Harewood, Cywka, Sinclair.
Goals: Greening 38.
Birmingham: Butland, Robinson, Caldwell, Davies, Hancox, Hall (Gomis 85), Mullins, Reilly, Elliott, Zigic, Redmond (Burke 53).
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ibanez, Morrison, Jervis, Delfouneso.
Goals: Davies 35, 77.
Referee: Carl Boyeson
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Davies, just on as a substitute in a return from injury, had the chance to put Barnsley in front when Steven Caldwell handled Jim O’Brien’s second-half corner with the score at 1-1.
But the hosts’ top marksman contrived to miss by an extraordinary distance – perhaps 30 yards high and 20 yards wide.
His embarrassment was compounded four
minutes later when Birmingham centre back Davies was allowed a free
header from Robert Hall’s free-kick.
That restored the lead he had given
his side from another set-piece, a near-post header from a corner also
delivered by Hall in the first half.
Jonathan Greening cracked a fine 20-yard equaliser, his first goal for Barnsley since arriving on loan from Nottingham Forest.
Birmingham manager Lee Clark felt his
continued reliance on youngsters – there were seven teenagers in the
side last weekend and five here – could be a ‘watershed’ for the club.
Warning that experienced players
might be frozen out, he said: ‘Those out will have to bide their time.
Age doesn’t matter to me. The young lads are showing great spirit and I
can guarantee passion when we go to Bolton on Saturday.’
Oakwell’s match sponsors delivered
another slap in the face to Hill – whose customary notes were peculiarly
absent from the programme – by naming David Perkins as Barnsley’s man
of the match.
Points in the bag: Davies celebrates his brace
Perkins had been substituted to a storm of boos directed at the bench in the 67th minute.
Hill said: ‘I can understand the
supporters and David was man of the match, no question. But he’s had
recurring injuries and I feel I made the right decision for David and
The beleaguered manager, who was also
betrayed by a remarkable miss by Chris Dagnall, accused his players of
switching their marking duties against his wishes for Birmingham’s
Hill appears to be daring his board
to sack him and this was his parting shot last night: ‘If we don’t stick
together we’ll go down.’