Barnsley have won seven successive second tier games for the first time in their history after Daryl Dike's stunning goal secured a 1-0 home victory over Birmingham City on Saturday.
Dike smashed in a sensational strike early in the second half of an otherwise dull encounter, in which Birmingham had threatened from set pieces before the break but then offered very little in the second half.
Barnsley are now in the play-off places in sixth after Bournemouth drew at Preston North End.
Valerien Ismael made two changes from the side that won at QPR on Wednesday. Michael Sollbauer replaced Toby Sibbick and Dominik Frieser came in for Conor Chaplin.
The visitors missed a huge chance to take the lead in the sixth minute when a free-kick from the right by former Barnsley loanee Gary Gardner was headed wide six yards out by Blues captain Harlee Dean.
Dean then had a more difficult headed chance from a corner by the impressive Gardner but sent it over from 15 yards.
At the other end, Cauley Woodrow fired wide from just inside the box on the right then the same player had Barnsley's first shot on target but it was deflected and trickled to Neil Etheridge. The goalkeeper also easily saved a deflected Mads Andersen effort which looped up for him to catch after an Alex Mowatt free-kick.
Mowatt appealed for a appeal after he collied with Ivan Sunjic in the box, following a fine move involving a crossfield Sollbauer pass then a one-two between Woodrow and Frieser. Otherwise it was a poor first half with many headers and set pieces.
Ismael made two changes at half-time, with Jordan Williams and Carlton Morris replacing Callum Styles and Frieser.
The opening goal came three minutes after the break when Morris found Dike who unleashed a very powerful strike into the top right corner from just outside the box on the right.
Barnsley then had a spell on top without creating a clear chance for a second goal, although Woodrow thought he had been shoved over in the box by Yann Valery.
Birmingham's Jeremie Bela headed a Ivan Sanchez corner in the 90th minute but Brad Collins tipped it over and the flag was up for offside anyway.
The visitors came close in the 96th minute when Bela whipped a cross across the six yard box, it fell to Sanchez at the back post and he shot wide from a wide angle.
Barnsley (3-4-3): Collins; Sollbauer (Sibbick 71mins), Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Palmer (Halme 58), Mowatt, Styles (J Williams HT); Frieser (Morris HT), Dike, Woodrow (Adeboyejo 89).Unused: Walton, Kane, Chaplin, Oduor.Goals: Dike 48.Yellow cards: Halme, Brittain.
Birmingham (5-3-2): Etheridge; Valery, Dean, Roberts, Friend (Bela 70), Pedersen ; Harper (Cosgrove 84), Gardner, Sunjic; Hogan (Leko 84), Jutkiewicz (Sanchez 70).Unused: Prieto, Colin, Clayton, Clarke-Salter, Halilovic.Yellow cards: Friend, Harper.
AS IT HAPPENED
  • GAME UNDERWAY
  • 3:02pm
    2 Barnsley win first corner of the game. Styles plays it short to Brittain but his cross is scuffed and cleared
  • 3:04pm
    4 Alex Mowatt's free-kick is headed clear. Solid start for the Reds but they haven't produced quality crosses into the box yet
  • 3:04pm
    5 Birmingham free-kick on the left. Former Barnsley loanee Gary Gardner takes, it is headed down but cleared by Brittain
  • 3:06pm
    6 Birmingham free-kick on the right, just outside the home box near the byline. Gardner takes. Big chance for the visitors as Harlee Dean meets it but heads wide six yards out
  • 3:07pm
    A major scare for the Reds. The visiting captain should have scored
  • 3:10pm
    10 Frieser long throw on the left, flicked on by Dike to Andersen but he is given offside
  • 3:15pm
    Brad Collins looked to have been pushed over the advertising hoardings by Lukas Jutkiewicz after the ball goes out. Valerien Ismael certainly thinks so, and he has an argument with a Blues coach who walks towards him. 'Get back in your area' 'sit down, sit down' says VI.
  • 3:16pm
    An ugly game so far. Lots of free-kicks and headers, not much football on the ground. Birmingham have had the one big chance
  • 3:17pm
    17 Barnsley's first chance. Woodrow gets the ball just outside the box, takes it to the right of the area and shoots from about 15 yard but the weak effort is wide of the bottom left corner
  • 3:19pm
    19 Long throw by Marc Roberts, headed down and cleared by Woodrow
  • 3:24pm
    1/4 through the game. A difficult watch so far. Lots of headers and set pieces being cleared. Birmingham captain Harlee Dean missed the only chance (and a very good one) heading wide from about five yards out in the sixth minute. Barnsley 0, Birmingham 0.
  • 3:24pm
    1/4 through the game. A difficult watch so far. Lots of headers and set pieces being cleared. Birmingham captain Harlee Dean missed the only chance (and a very good one) heading wide from about five yards out in the sixth minute. Barnsley 0, Birmingham 0.
  • 3:25pm
    24 Gary Gardner's corner is met by Dean and he heads over from about 15 yards out. The visiting captain looks the most likely scorer so far
  • 3:27pm
    28 Marc Roberts' long throw from the right. Dike heads out then Woodrow completes the clearance
  • 3:31pm
    31 Callum Brittain's corner from the right is cleared by the first man
  • 3:32pm
    YELLOW CARD
    George Friend booked for a sliding tackle on Frieser who had beaten him with a nice touch
  • 3:34pm
    34 Barnsley want a penalty for a nudge on Mowatt by Sunjic just inside the box but Graham Scott does not give it. It was a good move after a fine pass by Sollbauer then one, two between Frieser and Woodrow
  • 3:35pm
    That was probably the best footballing move of the game. Not that there have been many others
  • 3:39pm
    39 Woodrow has Barnsley's first shot on target. It is from well outside the box, deflected and trickles to the goalkeeper
  • 3:41pm
    41 Another deflected effort on goal. This time by Andersen after Mowatt's free-kick is headed down. It loops up and the goalkeeper gathers easily
  • 3:45pm
    One added minute in this half
  • 3:47pm
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0, Birmingham 0. A poor game so far. City captain Harleee Dean has had the best chances with two headers.
  • 4:05pm
    SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
  • 4:05pm
    Carlton Morris and Jordan Williams on for Callum Styles and Dominik Frieser
  • 4:08pm
    GOAL!
    Daryl Dike scores a magnificent goal!
  • 4:17pm
    A great strike into the top right corner from just outside the box on the right
  • 4:17pm
    It's his third goal for the Reds
  • 4:17pm
    Now Halme comes on for Palmer
  • 4:18pm
    59 Mowatt corner from the left goes just over Woodrow and is cleared
  • 4:22pm
    Birmingham haven't offered much in response to that goal. Not surprising if they are stunned by it
  • 4:26pm
    67 Mowatt free-kick on the right, headed over for a corner by a Birmingham player
  • 4:26pm
    Mowatt's follow up corner also headed behind by a defender
  • 4:27pm
    68 Barnsley think they should have a penalty for the second time, as Woodrow looks to have been shoved over by Valery just inside the box after a short Mowatt corner played to him
  • 4:29pm
    Double change for Birmingham. Bela for Friend, Sanchez for Jutkiewicz
  • 4:29pm
    Sibbick now replaces Sollbauer for Barnsley
  • 4:31pm
    YELLOW CARD
    Rekeem Harper goes into the book for the Blues
  • 4:35pm
    Not much has happened since the goal, which will suit Barnsley, except another penalty shout when Woodrow looked to be pushed by Valery in the box. Approaching last 15 minutes. 1-0 Barnsley
  • 4:36pm
    YELLOW CARD
    Aapo Halme goes into the book for a wild lunge
  • 4:42pm
    Five minutes left. Birmingham not threatening at the moment but could still be a nervy finish. Can the hosts hang on?
  • 4:44pm
    85 Free-kick from the left for Birmingham. Headed down but Brittain clears
  • 4:46pm
    Barnsley's last change. Victor Adeboyejo on for Cauley Woodrow
  • 4:48pm
    90 Chance for the visitors. Sanchez corner, Bela header, Collins tips over. The flag is up for offside
  • 4:50pm
    Five added minutes
  • 4:54pm
    90+5 Roberts long throw headed out by Dike but it's given as a foul throw
  • 4:54pm
    YELLOW CARD
    Callum Brittain booked for trying to move throw in forward
  • 4:55pm
    90+6 Chance for the Blues. Bela whips a cross across the six yard box, it falls to Sanchez at the back post and he shoots wide from a wide angle
  • 4:56pm
    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 1, Birmingham City 0. A seventh straight win secured by Daryl Dike's tremendous goal