Report: Blues Under-23s 1 Barnsley Under-23s 2

Blues Under-23s fell to a narrow defeat to Barnsley Under-23s.


Blues came up just short after a stirring second-half performance in this PDL2 match at Solihull.

Corey O'Keefe sidefooted Blues goal in the 65th minute after they put the visitors firmly on the back foot after the break.

But despite exerting huge pressure - Blues had goals by Olly McCoy and Beryly Lubala disallowed for offside - and a glorious stoppage-time chance to equalise fluffed, they couldn't get through again.

Blues were the better side in the first-half as well before two goals in nine minutes put them up against it.

Louis Rowe nipped through as Blues looked for offside, kept his footing as he stumbled past Jake Weaver before netting (31 minutes).

Then Blues were rocked again when Rowe played Jerome Slew into the right of the area and he managed to squeeze his shot past Weaver despite the challenge of Paul Robinson.

Ultimately such clinical finishing in front of goal undid Blues, who dominated possession and caused mayhem down the left in the second-half through Lubala and Cohen Bramall, after the former was switched from a central forward's role to wide.

In the third minute of added-time it seemed certain that their efforts would be rewarded with an equaliser but Steve Seddon glanced wide from close range after another excellent combination and tee-up near the left byline.

After Slew blasted wide from a great position in the 21st minute, Blues should have then opened the scoring themselves when O'Keeffe robbed Adam Lund and put Lubala away down the inside right channel, only for his shot to be driven over the bar from the edge of the area.

Before Blues knew it, they were twice hit by Barnsley goals and it took them until the second period to regroup and step things up again.

McCoy came on for Caolan Boyd-Munce and then Tommy Anderson was added to the fray, with Kyle McFarlane switched to down the middle in attack.

Blues ramped matters up and with Lubala proving a real thorn in the Tykes side, it was pretty much one-way traffic.

Blues goal came when Lubala went on a blistering run and pulled the ball back to the centre of the area, O'Keeffe came charging in to plant it past Christoper Dilo.

Moments before McCoy had a goal disallowed for offside (McFarlane judged to be just behind the defensive line when he crossed from the right).

And Blues were not best pleased when a good move saw McFarlane run the ball in from a few yards in the 85th minute from McCoy's delivery to the far post only for the flag to go up again - tight.

Blues piled on the pressure right to the finish, with Seddon having that great chance and a hanging Bramall cross being tipped away under his own bar by the 'keeper, who was amid a crowd of bodies.

Blues: Weaver, Dacres-Cogley, Bramall, Seddon, Robinson, Lakin, O’Keeffe, Boyd-Munce (McCoy ht), Hutton (Anderson 60), Lubala, McFarlane.

Not used: Siviter, Timms, Martin