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Report: Barnsley 0 Blues 1

Hogan makes it three in three and gives Blues maximum points at Oakwell.

BCFC

Scott Hogan scored his third goal in as many games to keep Blues rolling along.

In a match of attrition, Hogan plundered a fine 76th strike that proved enough to get another positive result.

Jude Bellingham was the architect, chasing a lost cause to present Hogan with the opportunity, albeit the striker still had plenty to do.

The moment of magic from the loanee lifted an evening that was all about digging in and playing the conditions effectively and without error as it was trying to play your opponent off the park.

Blues were organised and competitive in every area and, in truth, Barnsley never looked likely to find a way through.

A first clean sheet in the league for four months duly came and Blues continue to inch up the Championship after a third successive win - and it's now nine unbeaten.

The first-half was book-ended by a couple of chances for Hogan.

The initial one came in the fourth minute, from  Bellingham's inswinging corner on the left. Hogan, in a great position in the heart of the box, got a touch on the kick but the ball flashed just wide of the goal.

A better opening emerged in the 38th minute when Bellingham kept the ball alive by the touchline near the dugouts and Gary Gardner opened up and carried it forward out of traffic. Gardner helped it round the corner for Hogan to sprint onto.

Hogan had got just ahead of the last man and fired at goal from the right of the area. Fortunately for Barnsley 'keeper Brad Collins just closed his legs in time and deflected the attempt away with his legs.

In the biting cold and having to contend with driving rain, hail and a swirling wind at Oakwell - on a heavy pitch - it wasn't an easy match to settle into for either team.

Barnsley's best attempt came from range, with Lee Camp equal to shots from Jordan Williams, Callum Styles and Jacob Brown.

Blues other move of note in the half came when Gardner sent an up and under to test the Barnsley rearguard, Lukas Lutkiewicz bumped and backed his way to get the ball under control, spun and fired an effort that was blocked by the diving lunge of Williams, inside the area.

Half-time: Barnsley 0 Blues 0

There was little in the way of real action in the period up to the hour mark.

The second-half to this point took on much the same pattern as the first. Blues were solid, took no risk as the torrid conditions continued and negated whatever Barnsley tried.

Twice Blues tried to break the spell by playing in Hogan, twice it didn't quite come off.

Bellingham then came through a tackle from midfield and strode forward before a left foot pot shot went wide.

But there was no real sign of the deadlock being snapped by either side.

Blues made their first change in the 69th minute bringing on Jeremie Bela for the ineffective Jefferson Montero.

Then the breakthrough came, thanks to Bellingham's determination and Hogan's goalscorer's instincts.

There seemed not much doing as Barnsley defended a ball played high down their left.

Bellingham, though, had other ideas. He motored round behind Williams like a 400m runner on the back straight and as Mads Andersen also hesitated - the Barnsley pair thinking it was going out of play - the teen nicked the ball off their toes.

Not far from the corner flag, Bellingham then just had enough space to slide the ball into the area for Hogan, who took it with his back to goal, drifting away from the near post.

In an instant after accepting the pass, he took a steadying touch, swivelled and fired a rising left-footer from 15 yards that angled across Collins - some strike.

Barnsley had to muster more than they had been and Jake Clarke-Salter got his body in the way perfectly, and vitally, to block an attempt right in front of goal from Cauley Woodrow after a dangerous low cross in from the right.

But the Tykes hardly even got in like that all evening, such was Blues confidence and certainty in what they were doing.

Blues wasted a three on three break - Jutkiewicz hoisting high over from outside the area - as Barnsley got caught out on the counter.

That was his last action as Blues brought on Harlee Dean, then Wes Harding, and dropped into a back three to lock things up

In the second minute of added-time somehow Bela escaped the attentions of three players as Blues took a corner short to eat up the clock. He made ground across the area after spinning from the byline and seemed to be bundled over, but no penalty was forthcoming.

But it mattered not as Blues saw out the remainder of the game to secure a dogged victory and keep the unbeaten sequence going.

Barnsley (4-2-3-1): Collins, Williams, Sollbauer, Andersen, Oduor (Ludewig 27), Brown, Styles (Bahre ht), Mowatt, Chaplin, Simoes (Thomas 70), Woodrow. Subs not used: Walton, Dougall, Schmidt, Halme.

Booked: Andersen (28)

Blues (4-4-2): Camp, Colin, Pedersen, Roberts, Clarke-Salter, Bellingham (Harding 88), Gary Gardner, Sunjic, Montero (Bela 69), Hogan, Jutkiewicz (Dean 86). Subs not used: Trueman, Crowley, Keita, Boyd-Munce.

Goal: Hogan (76)

Booked: Jutkiewicz (68)

Attendance: 12,788 (away 1,450)

Referee: D Whitestone

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