BARNSLEY produced an excellent performance to win on the road at Elland Road against Leeds United.
It was the home side who had the first chance of the afternoon, albeit midfielder Snodgrass fired well wide from long-range with a powerful left-foot strike.
The Reds kept their composure and dominated possession for a decent spell thereafter which, after some patient build-up play, led to the opening goal. Winger O’Brien whipped in a lovely square ball from the right and there was VAZ TE, playing in an attacking midfield role, ready to rifle home.
The plan was to rifle home anyway, but the former Bolton Wanderers hitman still managed to find the back of the net after hit mishit shot looped comically over Leeds keeper McCarthy.
Butterfield picked out Foster with a pinpoint free-kick five minutes before the break as the Reds looked to double their lead, but the centre-back headed over at the back post. The challenges were flying in thick and fast, most probably because of the intensity of playing in such a derby encounter.
Butterfield picked out Foster with a pinpoint free-kick five minutes before the break as the Reds looked to double their lead, but the centre-back headed over at the back post. However, the Reds went into the break with a deserved two-goal cushion when McCarthy spilled a Butterfield shot and DAVIES pounced for his fifth goal of the season and third in his last two games.
The Reading loan keeper could have done better with the opening goal, having been wrong-footed and gone to ground early. And he didn’t cover himself in glory when he failed to hold on to Butterfield’s long-range drive, with Davies slotting into the right-hand corner.
Half-time: Leeds 0 Barnsley 2
The Reds started the second half brightly and came close to putting the game out of reach after just 22 seconds.
Midfielder Done made a brilliant bursting run through the heart of the hosts’ midfield, but he dragged his right-foot shot wide of the target much to the relief of the Leeds’ supporters. Snodgrass, who was looking the most likely to score for Grayson’s team, struck the far post with another left-footshot on the turn, but the luck was with the Reds.
That was until the 55th minute when the visitors gave away a careless free-kick on the edge of their own area. McCORMACK stepped up and curled a wonderful right-foot free-kick into the top left-hand corner. The home team were back in the contest. Leeds then introduced substitute Nunez for Sam as they went in search of an equaliser. The game was getting feisty and Perkins and Howson were booked for clumsy fouls with both players looking to get a stranglehold on the centre of midfield.
Then Hill made two changes, bringing off both goalscorers with his side suddenly under the cosh having conceded. Vaz Te made way for Manchester United loan midfielder Drinkwater, while new Newcastle United loan recruit Ranger replaced Davies.
O’Brien became the sixth player to be booked after a careless push on Howson, with Leeds then making their second substitution with Keogh introduced for Becchio.
Stoke loanee Pugh was the third of Leeds’ subs with 17 minutes to go, brought on for goalscorer McCormack as the hosts continued to strive for an equaliser.
The Reds nearly sealed the three points in the 78th minute when O’Brien crossed from just inside the box on the right, but Done couldn’t get the final touch needed to poke past the stranded McCarthy. McCarthy nearly gifted the visitors their third goal two minutes later when McEveley hit the target with a long-range thunderbolt, but the keeper was lucky after his parried punch missed the advancing Ranger and Drinkwater.
Steele had to be on his toes as Perkins nearly scored a bizarre own-goal which would have brought the scores level.
Snodgrass crossed from the right and, in attempting to head the ball clear, Perkins only succeeded in causing former Manchester United shot-stopper Steele to produce an athletic save at his bear post.
The Reds were forced to play the last two minutes and injury time with ten men when Perkins picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Keogh. From the resulting corner Snodgrass saw his left-footed free-kick deflected over, but there were still four minutes of injury-time to play in front of the 25,900 crowd.
A mistake from McEveley in the last minute of the game allowed Nunez in, but Steele produced a brilliant point-blank save to make sure his side took the points.
LEEDS: McCarthy, Connolly, Kisnorbo, Sam, Howson, Clayton, Lees, Snodgrass, Becchio, White, McCormack. Subs: Taylor, Pugh, Nunez, Bromby, Keogh
BARNSLEY: Steele, Hassell, Foster, McNulty, McEveley, O’Brien, Butterfield, Perkins, Done, Davies, Vaz Te. Subs: Preece, Haynes, Wiseman, Drinwkater, Ranger
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)
For a full report, see the Green’Un