Barnsley improved their chances of Championship survival with a hard-fought point at Yorkshire relegation rivals Hull but lost Adam Jackson to a sickening clash of heads that evoked memories of Ryan Mason’s career end.
Just four days after ex-England international Mason was at the KCOM Stadium to say his goodbyes to the Hull supporters after being forced into premature retirement following the fractured skull he suffered against Chelsea 13 months ago, Jackson required oxygen on the field as he lay motionless on the turf.
Medics eventually carried him from the field of play following a stoppage of 11 minutes at the end of the first half.
Adam Jackson clashed heads with Hull’s Jon Toral in an aerial challenge on Tuesday night
The injury occurred when the Barnsley defender contested an aerial challenge with Hull’s Jon Toral. Initially, the Spanish midfielder attempted to return to the field after a once-over on the touchline, only to depart down the tunnel with a suspected concussion before play resumed.
Barnsley, in just their third outing under their new Portuguese head coach Jose Morais, coped with the turmoil and remained unbreached despite increasing home pressure until Hull captain Michael Dawson popped up at a corner to sidefoot in the equaliser 18 minutes from time.
In truth, Nigel Adkins’ team might have nicked all three points half a dozen minutes later when, with temperatures plunging further below zero, Seb Larsson stung Nick Townsend’s palms with a trademark free-kick.
The Barnsley defender required oxygen on the field during a stoppage of 11 minutes
Hull had kept four clean sheets in their previous five matches, including the single-goal victory over another Yorkshire rival Sheffield United last Friday that took them three points clear of the bottom three.
However, Barnsley, a point and a place below them at kick-off, have fared better on the road than at home this season and blemished that defensive record in the 22nd minute.
Although Mamadou Thiam’s run infield was blocked off, the rebound landed at the feet of Brad Potts, who planted a cross on the head of the unmarked Oli McBurnie.
Jackson left the pitch on a stretcher and was given oxygen after a sickening clash of heads
On-loan Swansea forward McBurnie, a modern day Steve Claridge with barely-there shinpads and socks only just north of his ankles, is fast becoming a cult hero in Barnsley’s fight to remain in the second tier.
His pinpoint header into the top corner was his fourth goal in as many starts including a brace in the weekend win at Birmingham that lifted them out of the drop zone.
But the post-match thoughts of both sets of fans here would undoubtedly have been with Jackson.
Jackson had recently returned to action after suffering a knee injury against Hull in October
On-loan striker Oliver McBurnie scored his fourth goal in five games to put the visitors ahead