I couldn't believe it either.

Half expecting a spectacle this evening, a rowdy Tuesday evening with decent away support to bolster the side that started and ended the evening in an automatic promotion spot.

I mean, Barnsley is what, an hour and a half away from Birmingham? Apparently, it's the second largest city in the UK. Promotion beckons "the Blues" and only 564 loyal away followers arrive. Disappointing.

But the thing that really sank tonights performance, was the unexpected arrival of E.L.O to Oakwell this evening.

No, not the melodic Brummy rocksters from the seventies - that would have probably been alright. I mean the real E.L.O. And you've seen them several times already this season.

Effing Ludicrous Officials, took to the stage once more at Oakwell.

Wait for the match reports, because in summary they will probably put a clearer case forward than I can this evening; however already Barnsley FC's official site states,
"Johnson was very, very lucky to stay on the pitch on 40 minutes after going in over the ball on Hassell on the half way line as the pair went for a 50/50 ball. It was an ugly challenge by the Birmingham midfielder and he was fortunate to escape with a booking. Hassell was fortunate to be able to continue."

"If Johnson was lucky to escape with a caution before the break he could have taken an early walk just two minutes after the restart for a late challenge on Colace which went unpunished."

"The Reds had a clear penalty appeal waved away just a minute later as Macken threaded a pass to Campbell-Ryce in the area. Although the winger could not get control of the ball he was tripped by Jaidi as he turned to race after it. The referee gave nothing."

"Refereeing decisions against the Reds were bordered on the farcical, not least when Larsson's free kick on 69 minutes evaded everybody and dropped out of play only for the officials to award a corner. Larsson's kick out at Macken then went unpunished two minutes later."
Personally, I saw Moore hauled down in the first half too. All unpunished.

Credit to the lads. They stuck to their task, kept their heads and their discipline when it was clear that the officials were watching with "Blue" eyes. A fantastic team effort that perhaps deserved all three points.

Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan et al are welcome at Oakwell. But to tonights officials; If Oakwell's floodlights are giving you sun-stroke, due to the missing thatch of hair which was obsolete from your heads, stay away!

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Ian Wilkinson

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