Hughton relief after salvage job

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Football News

Birmingham manager Chris Hughton was a relieved man after seeing his side stage a barnstorming finish to salvage a face-saving 1-1 draw against Barnsley at St Andrew's.

Blues got themselves off the hook with an equaliser from Chris Burke four minutes from time after Barnsley had appeared to heading for three unexpected npower Championship points.

"It was relief in the end because the first-half performance wasn't good," said Hughton. "It was probably as poor as we have been in the period of time I've been here. They are a team in really good form and it showed. It was going to be a case of having to match them because we were not good enough on the ball."

The hosts fell behind when Jacob Butterfield rifled home a stunning shot from 35 yards after Marlon King had lost possession, but Hughton felt the goal should never have been allowed due to a foul in the build-up.

"It was a wonderful strike for their goal but it was most definitely a foul, a blatant foul, leading up to the shot," Hughton said. "I was very surprised in this day and age, and looking at the other bookings, that he did not pull that one up as a foul.

"That aside, they deservedly had the lead in the first half on the balance of play."

Barnsley were denied only their fifth win in their last 25 league games when Burke's 86th-minute strike bobbled home from 20 yards, but Barnsley boss Keith Hill was nevertheless satisfied to take a point from a tricky away-day assignment.

"I was really encouraged by the performance at 1-0," said Hill. "I didn't think we were in any danger until the last 10 minutes, when there was an obvious threat.

"I thought we should have been more comfortable when holding the lead. I thought the performance merited more goals. But I am encouraged by the performance coming to Birmingham and competing.

"At times we looked an accomplished Championship side and had more than enough opportunities to have won."

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Chris Burke
Jacob Butterfield
Marlon King

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