Barnsley 1-0 Birmingham City

Football truly is a funny old game.

Work meant I only just got into the ground for the second half of yesterdays surely lose game.

Most people myself included had thrown in the towel and started getting out the route planner for return trips to Gresty Road, the new Keepmoat Stadium and Vale Park after the woeful 5-1 hammering at Ipswich on Saturday.

The team, management and fans seemed lost, completely lost.

A visit to Oakwell of 3rd placed big spending Birmingham just 2 days later was probably the worst fixture to have.

But Barnsley's frustrating aspect resurfaced as the team turned in a performance to remember.

Apparently we hammed them in the first half, well in the second, we showed true resilience to keep out a team who has the players, fans and stadium designed to be in the Premiership.

Did this team really concede 5 at Portman Road just 2 days previous including 3 in the final 10 minutes?

Lewin Nyatanga was again magnificent at the back, we can only hope Derby go up, sign a top class defender and let us keep him because he is miles better than anything else we have got at this club.

Sam Togwell even put a shift in (again I'm only basing things on the second half) he tackled and more often than not won the ball! It's amazing what can happen when a player actually goes into the tackle and doesn't stand there with the arms waving.

But upfront is where we really excelled and step forward the man for the big occasion Daniel Nardiello.

His stunning free-kick at Ipswich turned out to be mere consolation that day but his superb solo curling effort yesterday was the match-winner.

Nardiello has bags of ability which every Reds fan will attest to but his work-rate and ability to go missing in games is the reason why many want to see him sitting on the bench. Yesterday though he ran himself into the ground and forced experienced defenders like Martin Taylor and Radhi Jaidi (who was impressing at Bolton last season) into frequent mistakes.

Don't get me wrong we did get lucky at times. Antony Kay produced some of his comical kicks whilst Nick Colgan, when finally leaving his line did more bad than good.

One dropped cross was fired back towards goal by Nicklas Bendtner and I still don't know how it flicked off Martin Devaney's heels and hit the post.

Paul Heckingbottom was again at his poorest after a recent break from being totally cack and who knows what might have happened if Andy Cole had been on the pitch given his knack of scoring against The Reds.

This victory was vital! Why they couldn't perform like this on Saturday is anybody's guess but with Leeds, Hull and Luton all losing it has at least plunged fresh life into our survival bid.

Saturday's trip to Southend is truly a six pointer.

Please lads don't throw all that hard work away again!

Second Half Ratings:

Nick Colgan- 5

Paul Heckingbottom - 3

Antony Kay - 6

Lewin Nyatanga - 9

Bobby Hassell - 8

Kyel Reid - 7

Brian Howard - 6

Sam Togwell - 7

Martin Devaney - 7

Istvan Ferenczi - 5

Daniel Nardiello - 8

Subs:

Grant McCann - 6

Peter Rajczi - 7

* I know Heckingbottom was a sub but he was already on the pitch when I arrived (unfortunately....)