Davies is Birmingham’s hero
Curtis Davies settled a thrilling Boxing Day contest 2-1 in
Birmingham’s favour against fellow Championship strugglers Barnsley
The centre-back nodded the visitors in front amid pouring rain
in the 35th minute, only for Jonathan Greening to equalise almost
immediately from long range with his first goal since joining on
loan from Nottingham Forest last month.
Barnsley were the better side and missed plenty of chances
against a Blues outfit who were disorganised defensively, with
Craig Davies, a boyhood Blues fan who scored four goals in
September’s 5-0 rout at St Andrew’s, blazing over a second-half
penalty after Steven Caldwell’s handball.
And the hosts were punished almost immediately as Curtis Davies,
unmarked from another set-piece, converted his fourth header in six
games to clinch matters in the 77th minute.
Barnsley enjoyed the better of proceedings early on, Jim O’Brien
seeing an effort blocked by Curtis Davies although the visitors did
force a succession of three corners in which they failed to
Luke Steele was still to be called upon as the half-hour mark
passed, with Barnsley much the stronger.
But, out of nowhere, Curtis Davies headed Birmingham in front.
Robert Hall delivered another excellent set-piece, Birmingham’s
main threat, which Davies nodded home unchallenged at the near
However, the lead did not last long as Birmingham’s frailties in
defence were fully exposed. Barnsley applied pressure almost
straight from kick-off with Dawson seeing a strike blocked and,
with the visitors struggling to fully clear their lines, the ball
broke for Greening, who converted low from distance.
The visitors’ defence was exposed again within a minute of the
restart but a swift move ended when Chris Dagnall could only slide
the ball behind.
John Stones saw an effort blocked by a late Blues tackle and,
with the game flowing from end to end, Barnsley were awarded a
spot-kick in the 73rd minute for a somewhat harsh handball decision
against Caldwell. But Craig Davies, who had only been on the pitch
five minutes, blazed his spot-kick high over the bar.
A superb stop from Jack Butland kept out a header from fellow
sub Matty Done before Curtis Davies then settled matters in the
77th minute via another inch-perfect delivery from Hall.