Blues pegged back by Tykes despite early Cresswell strike
Town were held to a 1-1 draw with Barnsley at Oakwell, with Aaron Cresswell netting for Blues.
The left-back drilled home a free-kick after just six minutes, before a second-half strike from Stephen Dawson pegged Town back.
Paul Jewell made three changes to the side that lost to Charlton last time out, with Luke Hyam and Guirane N’Daw replacing Massimo Luongo and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas in midfield, whilst Danny Higginbotham made his full debut in defence in place of Tommy Smith.
Town were out of the blocks quickly and made the perfect start to the game by breaking the deadlock after just six minutes.
Lee Martin was fouled on the edge of the box and a neatly worked free-kick saw the midfielder run over the ball, whilst Andy Drury knocked it sideways for Cresswell to drill home from 25 yards out.
Blues were knocking the ball about well and a neat passing move saw Daryl Murphy create enough space to fire in a shot, but his effort was easily held by Ben Alnwick after 18 minutes.
Two minutes later and Scott Loach was called into action for the first time, keeping out a tame Chris Dagnall effort.
Lee Martin was looking lively with his direct running at the Barnsley defence and the midfielder was unlucky to see an effort fly over the crossbar.
Craig Davies, who netted four times against Birmingham last time out, saw an effort sail well wide of Loach’s goal just before the half hour mark.
That proved to be the last meaningful action of the half as Town went in ahead at the break.
Blues again started the half the brighter of the two sides and Higginbotham was close to doubling Town’s lead. Luke Chambers saw his goal-bound header pushed away by Alnwick into the path of Higginbotham, but the defender could only steer his effort into the side-netting.
Davies was proving to be the home side’s most attacking threat and he was unlucky to see a rising effort sail over the top of the goal after 54 minutes.
However Town almost doubled their advantage in spectacular style just before the hour mark, as Martin connected with a Drury centre with a bicycle effort that went just wide of the target with Tykes ‘keeper Alnwick rooted to his spot.
However the hosts came close to equalising after 64 minutes, as Dagnall saw his effort come back off the inside of the post after breaking clear in the box, before Higginbotham cleared the danger.
But Keith Hill’s side were soon back on level terms, as Dawson scored a goal of real beauty after 74 minutes. A sweeping ball across the pitch found the former Bury man, who controlled the ball superbly before volleying over Loach and into the far top corner.
Town substitute Nathan Ellington was then presented with a great chance to put Town back in front, after rising well at the back-post to meet Martin’s corner but failed to keep his header down.
But Town had to be grateful to a fine stop from Loach late on, as he pushed away Davies’ well-struck volley, before then keeping out a Dawson drive shortly after.
Both sides pushed for a winner, with Davies seeing a late shot saved by Loach in the Town goal, before the referee called time on the game and both sides had to settle for a draw.
Barnsley: Alnwick, Kennedy (Stones 52), Wiseman, Foster, Golbourne, Cranie, Dawson, Cywka, Mellis, Davies, Dagnall (Rose 70). Subs not used: Steele, Perkins, Etuhu, Harewood, Done.
Town: Loach, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, N'Daw (Ainsley 50), Hyam (Luongo 46), Drury, Martin, Murphy, Scotland (Ellington 66). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Smith, Emmanuel-Thomas, Murray.
Booked: N’Daw, Cresswell, Martin, Chambers, Luongo