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Match Report


Posted Sat 31 Dec 16 at 17:00 PM

Report: Barnsley 2 Blues 2

Gianfranco Zola picked up his first point as Blues boss after seeing his side fight back from 2-0 down at Oakwell.

The hosts scored twice in four first-half minutes before Blues rallied and claimed a point thanks to goals from Jacques Maghoma and a second-half penalty from Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Both sides started the game brightly and within the first two minutes both Sam Winnall and Che Adams had sights of the opposition goal.

Blues then saw the best of the opening chances fall their way.

Firstly Jonathan Grounds fired over the top from close range, then Michael Morrison couldn't direct his header from a Greg Stewart corner on target.

What followed was a disasterous four minutes for Zola's side, which saw them staring down the barrel of a third defeat in a row.

Tom Bradshaw opened the scoring after 24 minutes and Sam Winnall - who scored two headers at St. Andrew's earlier in the month - headed home again after 28 minutes.

Five minuites later was the turning point. After a goalmouth scramble which saw Tomasz Kuszczak make a fine save to deny the hosts a third, Blues broke up the other end of the pitch and pulled one back through Maghoma.

Blues were back in the game and got in at half-time trailing 2-1.

Zola brought on David Cotterill and Lukas Jutkiewicz and the impact was almost instant. The latter playing in Adams who was bundled down by Marc Roberts. Penalty to Blues and a red card for Roberts. Up stepped Jutkiewicz who rifled Blues level.

Blues were then on the front foot in what was a hugely entertaining second-half.

Jonathan Spector and Sam Winnall both could have won the match for either side. Spector, played through by Adams, couldn't beat Adam Davies at his near post, where as Winnall forced a great save from Kuszczak to keep out the striker's looping header.

Winnall then had an even better chance. Finding himself unmarked at the far post, he couldn't direct his header on target.

Cotterill saw two free-kicks flash narrowly wide and Jacques Maghoma had the chance to bag his second and win the match for Blues late on but somehow his header managed to stay out of the Tykes' net.

A resilient performance from Zola's men who recovered well after four damaging first-half minutes.

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