2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Tom Bradshaw (2')
  • Ezekiel Fryers (68')

Barnsley 2-0 Birmingham City

Harvey Barnes shone again for Barnsley as they continued their improved form by beating struggling Birmingham 2-0 at Oakwell.
The Tykes headed into the game on the back of a morale-boosting midweek victory over Burton, and Tom Bradshaw struck early on after good work from Barnes to pick up where they had left off.
The visitors rarely posed a serious threat and Zeki Fryers condemned them to their second 2-0 defeat in four days, after a loss to Brentford on Wednesday, with a well-taken free-kick.
Barnsley's convincing win moves them up to 16th place in the Sky Bet Championship. The outcome leaves Birmingham still without an away win since the final game of last season, without a goal in their last four games, and sitting in the relegation zone.
The Blues started brightly when former Barnsley captain Marc Roberts glanced his header into Adam Davies' hands from a David Cotterill free-kick inside the first two minutes.
From that free-kick, the goalkeeper launched a counter-attack and set the in-form Barnes away. The Leicester loanee delivered a low cross from the left and Barnsley's top scorer Bradshaw slotted into the roof of the net to put the home side in front.
Joe Williams attempted another wonder goal, after his goal of the season contender in midweek, but this time he could only steer his drive at Birmingham goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
The home side went close to doubling the lead twice after captain Angus McDonald headed Barnes' deep cross just wide and Jonathan Grounds' well-timed block denied Lloyd Isgrove his second goal of the week.
Birmingham created a rare chance in the second half as Cotterill broke and played Jota into the box. The Spaniard could not manage to find the target though, as summer signing Liam Lindsay made a vital sliding interception.
Barnsley doubled their lead in the 68th minute as Fryers scored his first goal for the club since arriving in the summer from Crystal Palace. The left-back hit a low free-kick from the edge of the penalty area that found the far bottom corner.
George Moncur saw two similar bending efforts drift just wide, before Jota sent one ambitious shot straight into Davies' arms and then fired another well off target.
Kuszczak managed to keep the scoreline respectable, with a tremendous double save at the death. Brad Potts broke free and squared it to a free Bradshaw but Kuszczak rushed out to deny the Welshman a second, then jumped up to pounce on Andy Yiadom's drive from the rebound.

English League Championship Standings

1 Leeds United 27 +18 54
2 Sheffield United 27 +18 50
3 Norwich City 27 +14 50
4 West Bromwich Albion 27 +20 47
5 Middlesbrough 27 +11 46
6 Derby County 27 +4 43
7 Bristol City 27 +5 41
8 Birmingham City 27 +9 39
9 Nottingham Forest 27 +8 39
10 Hull City 27 +6 39
11 Queens Park Rangers 27 -2 39
12 Aston Villa 27 +6 38
13 Swansea City 27 +4 37
14 Blackburn Rovers 27 -6 37
15 Stoke City 27 -3 35
16 Sheffield Wednesday 27 -13 32
17 Brentford 27 +2 31
18 Preston North End 27 -5 30
19 Wigan Athletic 27 -12 29
20 Millwall 27 -10 28
21 Rotherham United 27 -17 25
22 Reading 27 -11 23
23 Bolton Wanderers 27 -22 22
24 Ipswich Town 27 -24 18