Game Report: Birmingham City 2-1 Barnsley
The winless streak ends
Amid much turmoil, the Blues finally won a game 2-1 over cellar-dwelling Barnsley, although it wasn’t without some difficulty.
Despite Birmingham City having much of the early possession and a very good chance in the second minute that saw Gary Gardner’s attempt bounce off the line, Barnsley forced three big saves from Neil Etheridge before Birmingham’s Onel Hernandez (recently acquired on loan from Norwich City of the EPL) broke the deadlock in the 34th minute.
Scott Hogan doubled the lead 5 minutes into the second half with an easy strike from a corner that made its way through several inattentive Barnsley defenders. The Blues then sat on that lead for much of the remainder of the match. They had a scare when Michal Helik’s scissor kick attempt hit the post and then things got nervy when Victor Adeboyejo halved the lead after 87 minutes. Birmingham then survived 8 minutes of stoppage time to log its first win since late November.
In addition to his goal, Hernandez was a breath of fresh air for the struggling Birmingham side, which has had more than its share of troubles lately. On top of that there was the excellent goalkeeping from Etheridge and also some strong play from 17-year-old Jordan James who had three shots in the game.
The win sees the Blues remain in 18th place on 31 points. Their next game is against Peterborough Tuesday January 25 at 1:45pm CST (not on ESPN+). Peterborough are also in the relegation zone in 22nd place, so this will be an opportunity to further solidify the club’s league position.
The day also had its events off the pitch. Blues fans are increasingly frustrated and angry with the club’s Hong Kong-based ownership, not just for results on the pitch but also for various other reasons, not least of which is the speed of repairs to crumbling St Andrew’s Stadium. The game was proceeded by a protest march through the city, and fans also took advantage of a lengthy delay due to a Marc Roberts injury to stage a protest in front of the directors’ seats inside the stadium, as well as repeated anti-ownership chants throughout the game.