Barnsley 0 Leeds United 1: YEP Jury verdict

Ross McCormack.

Ross McCormack.

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Our YEP jurors have their say on United’s 1-0 victory over Barnsley

Stephen Clark

Age: 41

United fan for 23 years

Lives: Shipley

The last few years have seen Leeds United suffer a great deal of pain at Oakwell, but on the day that Barnsley really needed a result they choked, barely mustering an effort worthy of the name as Ross McCormack’s first-half strike was enough to send the six thousand strong travelling support back up the M1 with their heads held high.

In a game contested by two desperately poor sides at Oakwell, it took one moment of real quality to separate the teams and unsurprisingly it was Ross McCormack who provided it.

For once he was close enough to Matt Smith to capitalise on the giant striker’s knock-down and produced a sublime touch to control the ball before stroking it home past Luke Steele.

The one goal always looked like being enough as Barnsley never came close to causing Leeds any problems. Talking to a local in the pub before the game I asked him who would be his team’s danger man. The resigned shrug of his shoulders as he was unable to name anyone was a telling one.

Not once in the entire 90 minutes were Leeds put under any concerted pressure, a damning indictment of the Tykes’ lack of stomach for the relegation fight before them.

For Leeds, this was a strange performance. Against such poor opposition it would have been nice to be able to put them to the sword, but probably still lacking a little confidence themselves, seemed intent on just seeing out the game.

The line-up was unchanged from the win over Blackpool, but Luke Murphy seemed unwilling to make the forward runs which were so damaging last week, instead just sitting alongside Brown and Tonge in the central midfield.

Chances were at a premium, and to be honest we hardly tested the Barnsley keeper ourselves.

Having said that Leeds were almost always on the front foot, with a bit more bite in the tackle and controlled the game. The back five were rarely tested, even after the reshuffle which was required after Marius Zaliukas limped off.

The final whistle brought a cathartic roar of “We’ve won at Barnsley”, after 15 years of humiliation and after the season we have had, I’m happy to celebrate any tiny landmark wildly. My head is still hurting from the post match beers toasting the end of the Oakwell Jinx.

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

Keith Ingham

Age: 52

United fan for 38 years

Lives: Keighley

Since the 1997/98 season when Derek Lilley scored a late winner, Leeds’ continual ‘monkey’ on the team’s back has been a trip to Oakwell.

But thanks to another Ross McCormack goal, Leeds left with three points. Barnsley now have three games to save their Championship status, it looks like a tough ask after a poor performance on Saturday.

Brian McDermott left well alone, with the 11 starting in the Blackpool game given another opportunity to continue with their winning last outing. The only change came on the substitutes’ bench where Rudy Austin replaced Cameron Stewart. The manager again opted for his tracksuit but stood in the technical area instead of Nigel Gibbs.

The early exchanges didn’t bring much to warm cold hands, even on a sunny Saturday. Leeds, though, did go ahead and it was a goal of real class by marksman McCormack, who met a delightfully flicked header by Matt Smith to control the ball and put the ball beyond Luke Steele in the Barnsley goal.

The second half started with neither team getting the upper hand as the temperature around Oakwell increased – but it was down to the sunny day that raised it not the efforts of the 22 players on the field.

Leeds did have a strong claim for a handball penalty just after the 50-minute mark, but that was about it.

Man of the match: Ross McCormack.

Michael Hemsworth

Age: 29

United fan for 18 years

Lives: Leeds

Finally, 17 years after Derek Lilley scored United’s last winning goal at Oakwell, Ross McCormack’s 29th strike of the season was enough to take three points from a hard fought Yorkshire derby.

For most of those 17 years these sides have been a division apart and a return to Barnsley next season now looks unlikely with only three games left for them to save their Championship status.

A 48-hour turnaround before Forest visit Elland Road means Brian McDermott will look to shuffle his pack and end the season with a winning run that may just help see his Leeds career extend beyond the summer.

Man of the match: Michael Brown.

Gary Newbould

Age: 42

United fan for 41 years

Lives: York

Ross McCormack once again showed his class to end United’s Oakwell jinx and mathematically cement the Whites in next season’s championship. This was a thoroughly deserved win but where would we have been without our hot-shot captain?

Man of the match: Ross McCormack.

Elliot Bransby

Age: 24

United fan for 18 years

Lives: Alwoodley

The game wasn’t a great spectacle but after our last three trips to Oakwell, who cares.

A sublime finish from Ross McCormack was the difference between the two sides which was enough to give us back to back wins.

The Barnsley hoodoo is well and truly buried.

We play Nottingham Forest later today and look to record three wins in a row which we haven’t done since November. So anyway, two wins and two clean sheets, if only the takeover had been sorted out in January!

Happy Easter to all Leeds United fans, egg-citing times ahead hopefully!

Man of the match: Ross McCormack for his winning goal.

Jonathan Ford

Age: 23

United fan for 19 years

Lives: Beeston

Wow!! Two wins in a row, a first away win since February and a first away win at Barnsley in 17 years!

A lot of smiles, in what was a very dull 90 minutes of football won by a sublime touch and finish from Ross McCormack.

Man of the match: Ross McCormack.

East Stand at Elland Road.

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