Barnsley in seventh heaven after beating Birmingham

Queens Park Rangers v Barnsley – Sky Bet Championship – Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Barnsley made it seven straight Sky Bet Championships wins with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham at Oakwell.

A second-half Daryl Dike rocket saw the Reds climb into the top six while the Blues continue to teeter precariously above the drop zone.

Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael made two changes from the side which beat QPR on Tuesday night. Dominik Frieser replaced Conor Chaplin and Michael Sollbauer was preferred to Toby Sibbick.

Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka made four changes from the team that drew with Huddersfield in midweek. Yan Valery, Gary Gardner, Scott Hogan and George Friend replaced Maxime Colin, Ivan Sanchez, Jeremie Bela and Alen Halilovic.

Blues’ Harlee Dean had the first chance of the game. Meeting a Gardner free-kick, the captain could only steer his header wide in the opening exchanges.

Cauley Woodrow followed with the Tykes’ first effort of the afternoon. Firing low past the post, the forward failed to find the target with a quarter of an hour gone.

The visitors were next to try their hand at an opener. Heading over the crossbar mid-way through the first half, Dean could not convert from Gardner’s cross.

A Woodrow attempt ensued as the Reds striker volleyed into the empty stands shortly after the half-hour mark.

Woodrow concluded the opening half with a tame shot from the edge of the area as Neil Etheridge made a comfortable stop.

Ismael made a double substitution at the interval. Jordan Williams and Carlton Morris replaced Callum Styles and Frieser.

Dike flew out of the blocks at Oakwell. The forward forced Etheridge into a straightforward save as he connected with Woodrow in the final third.

Dike then broke the deadlock in the 49th minute. Latching onto Morris’ pass down the right, the American fired a thunderbolt past Etheridge at his near post from 22 yards.

Mowatt almost sealed the points for Barnsley but the midfielder’s left-footed shot could not beat Etheridge from 35 yards out.

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