Cardiff stop the rot with two-goal comeback to draw at Barnsley in Mick McCarthy’s first match

Mick McCarthy - GETTY IMAGES
Mick McCarthy – GETTY IMAGES
  • Barnsley 2-2 Cardiff City

It is getting on for 44 years since Mick McCarthy, then a raw 18-year-old, made his debut for Barnsley and embarked on a football career which saved him from a life down the pit.

Before joining his hometown club as an apprentice and establishing himself as a rugged centre-half, McCarthy had been planning a career as an electrician in South Yorkshire’s coalfields.

Over four decades on and the latest chapter in McCarthy’s long career in the game – taking charge of faltering Cardiff until the end of the season after Neil Harris’ sacking – began where it all started.

After falling 2-0 behind to an energetic, physical Barnsley side, McCarthy’s side could have easily buckled.

Instead, two goals in 10 second-half minutes hauled them level and stopped the rot after six consecutive defeats, much to McCarthy’s delight.

The 61-year-old, who was sacked by APOEL Nicosia on January 6, barely two months after taking charge of the Cypriot side, made 314 appearances for the Tyles.

McCarthy said: “I think we all can learn a bit from Barnsley; they’re very committed and determined.

“I said to the lads, can we match them?

“The way we responded – and fought fire with fire – said a lot about the spirit and belief of the players.

“I have to give the players real credit for getting a draw and even threatening to nick it. I’m delighted.”

Barnsley led in the 20th minute when Danish defender Mads Andersen headed Dominik Frieser’s excellent right-wing cross powerfully past Alex Smithies.

They doubled their advantage when Cauley Woodrow nodded in Alex Mowatt’s free-kick in the 52nd minute.

Yet Sheyi Ojo turned in Josh Murphy’s shot and then Kieffer Moore headed in at the far post from Joe Ralls’ corner to level matters for Cardiff.

Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael said: “We took the fight to Cardiff and you could see the development of the team.”

Barnsley (3-4-3): Collins; Sibbick (Sollbauer 79), Helick, Andersen; Brittain, Mowatt, Palmer (Kane 72), Styles; Frieser (Morris 58), Woodrow, Adeboyejo Subs: Walton (g), Williams, Chaplin, Schmidt, Odour, Omar

Cardiff (4-2-3-1): Smithies; Ng, Flint, Nelson, Bagan; Bacuna (Morrison 58), Vaulks; Ojo (Pack 90), Ralls, Hoilett (Murphy 50); Moore Subs: Phillips (g), Glatzel, Wilson, Sang, Harris, Davies

Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)

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