NORWICH CITY ended a run of three straight Championship defeats with a 1-1 draw against an impressive Barnsley - but they were still jeered off at Carrow Road.
The Canaries got the slice of luck every struggling side needs in the 12th minute when Josh Murphy’s tame shot took a big deflection to beat Adam Davies.
However, they were unable to build on it and the Tykes came away with a deserved point courtesy of a well-worked goal from Harvey Barnes just after the restart.
Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom was disappointed to have come away with just a point.
“I thought we did enough to have won the game, and the fact we didn’t is down to two reasons,” he said.
“Only one thing made me angry today and that was their goal. We knew they liked to take free-kicks quickly and on this occasion a few of the players thought a free-kick had been awarded harshly and turned to the referee instead of focusing on the ball.
“We switched off and went a goal down as a result.
“The other thing that was disappointing was that although we played well we didn’t create as many chances as I would have liked. (Norwich goalkeeper) Angus Gunn had to make a few saves, but not nearly enough.
“But I always try and look at the bigger picture and we’ve come a hell of a long way in a short space of time. I’ve just spoken to the lads and two things that came out were that we are now a match for anyone is this league, and we will keep getting better.”
It was a sixth home game without a win for the Canaries, for whom an eight-match unbeaten run earlier in the season must now seem like a distant memory.
After a low-key start to the game Norwich took the lead on 12 minutes from their first meaningful attack.
The visitors were caught napping when Nelson Oliveira latched onto a quickly-taken free-kick on the right and had time to pick out Murphy just outside the box.
The young winger’s first-time shot was nothing special but it took a big deflection off Angus MacDonald to wrong-foot Davies and end up in the back of the net.
Oliveira then shot narrowly wide for the Canaries, before Davies had to rush out of his area to clear as Murphy chased a long ball from the back.
Barnsley had plenty of the ball but struggled to make any use of it until the 26th minute when Adam Hammill broke quickly before seeing his shot from distance tipped over by Angus Gunn.
Harvey Barnes then worked himself some space inside the area but his shot from a tight angle went high and wide as a lacklustre first half ended with a below-par Norwich side holding a narrow advantage.
Barnsley had been unlucky to go in behind but they put that right within 90 seconds of the restart.
An incisive move saw the visitors cut through the home defence, with Hammill putting Barnes in and the on-loan Leicester midfielder drilled the ball low and hard past Gunn.
Stung by that setback the Canaries immediately upped the tempo and it needed a superb block from MacDonald to foil Oliveira as he latched onto Marco Stiepermann’s pass just inside the six-yard box.
James Maddison then stung Davies’ palms with a rising drive as the hosts continued to press while a dangerous Mario Vrancic corner was missed by everybody as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
Barnsley also had plenty of possession, without creating clear-cut chances, although George Moncur nearly put in the impressive Barnes late on.
Norwich City: Gunn, Ivo Pinto, Hanley, Klose, Husband (Zimmermann 46), Stiepermann, Trybull (Wildschut 81), Vrancic, Murphy (Watkins 75), Maddison, Oliveira. Subs Not Used: Reed, Jerome, Hoolahan, McGovern.
Barnsley: Davies, Yiadom, MacDonald (McCarthy 57), Lindsay, Fryers, Williams, Hammill (Hedges 67), Potts, Moncur, Barnes, Bradshaw. Subs Not Used: McGeehan, Ugbo, Gardner, Thiam, Walton.
Referee: Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear).