BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sport: Football
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Ian Brown
"Barnsley are one of the few teams never to play at Wembley"
 real 28k

Saturday, 13 May, 2000, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Brilliant Barnsley crush Blues
Neil Shipperley
Neil Shipperley celebrates his goal for Barnsley
Birmingham 0-4 Barnsley

An early goal from Barnsley striker Neil Shipperley and two second-half strikes from Bruce Dyer gave the Tykes a great chance of winning a Wembley date for the first time in their history.

The low drive from Shipperley stunned Birmingham keeper Thomas Myhre on 12 minutes and for the rest of the first-half, Birmingham, enjoying home advantage, were the more adventurous of the two sides.

But two goals in 12 minutes at the start of the second half for substitute Bruce Dyer put a massive dent in Birmingham's hopes of reaching the Premiership for another year.

Craig Hignett put the game - and maybe the overall result - well beyond the home side with a goal on 84 minutes.

Stan Lazaridis
Birmingham were unable to find a way through

Francis said: "It was a sickening result and terrible for the fans. I never thought it possible that any of my teams which have been built on a solid back four would concede four goals in such a vital game.

"It was an awful day, but how do you legislate for such a result?

"Unfortunately the pressure got to several Birmingham players who could not respond to the situation."

Barnsley manager Dave Bassett was delighted with the outcome but also surprised by the wide margin of the victory against what he rated a strong Birmingham defence.

He said: "It was an outstanding performance on the day as we had some early problems in losing Robbie Van Der Laan and Geoff Thomas.

Unfortunately the pressure got to several Birmingham players who could not respond to the situation

Birmingham manager Trevor Francis

But we battled well and in the end achieved an outstanding win."

He added: "But this is only half-time and football, as I know, is a funny old game when anything can happen but we are in the driving seat.

Barnsley suffered an immediate setback when they lost the services of Robbie Van der Laan in the opening minute with a leg injury.

He was replaced by Geoff Thomas and Barnsley's manager Dave Bassett immediately reorganised his team by pushing Craig Hignett into a forward role alongside Neil Shipperley.

Birmingham, keen to take full advantage of their home status, immediately launched a series of positive attacks.

But in the 12th minute it was Barnsley who took a shock lead.

Darren Purse pushed the ball across his penalty area when under pressure and Darren Barnard intercepted before quickly putting Shipperley in possession.

The Barnsley striker wasted no time in hammering a low 25-yard shot which hit the inside of the post and flew into the net to give the Tykes a vital lead.

Birmingham made strenuous efforts to get back on level terms but Barnsley's defence was in a dominant mood.

Hectic spell

There was one hectic spell when the two skippers, Barnsley's Nicky Eaden and Martin O'Connor were booked in successive minutes - Eaden impeded Stan Lazaridis, while O'Connor received a yellow card for a heavy tackle on Thomas.

Thomas continued after treatment but the substitute was far from fully fit and he was subsequently replaced by Bruce Dyer.

Birmingham continued to have most of the attacking play and only a brilliant save from Kevin Miller prevented Bryan Hughes from equalising with a pile-driver from just outside the area.

Barnsley doubled their advantage within just three minutes of the restart however, thanks to a goal from Bruce Dyer.

On 60 minutes Dyer bagged his brace and a fourth from Craig Hignett dashed Birmingham City's hopes and gave Barnsley an almost unassailable advantage going into next week's second leg at Oakwell on Thursday.

Birmingham:Myhre, Rowett, Purse, Holdsworth, O'Connor, Grainger, Hughes, M. Johnson, Lazaridis, A. Johnson, Furlong.
Subs: Adebola, Ndlovu, Bass, Gill, Marcelo.
Barnsley:Miller, Chettle, Brown, Morgan, Eaden, Barnard, Tinkler, Appleby, Hignett, Van Der Laan, Shipperley.
Subs: Sheron, Dyer, M. Bullock, Barker, Thomas.
Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Football Contents

See also:

09 May 00 | Football
End of season run-in
07 May 00 | Football
City ride luck on return
24 Apr 00 | Football
Charlton start title party