Barnsley manager Keith Hill launched a furious attack on referee Darren Deadman for awarding the penalty which settled a bad-tempered Yorkshire derby in Leeds United’s favour.
Luciano Becchio cheekily chipped the ball down the middle after Deadman had pointed to the spot with half-time approaching.
Hill and his players were adamant that Stephen Foster’s challenge on Lee Peltier was just outside the left corner of the area, but the official saw it differently.
Hill said after the game: “He (the referee) has got a major decision seriously wrong. That is unexplainable.
“When referees don’t apologise when they have made a mistake it becomes a little bit disrespectful at times. I just wonder if the assessor has told the referee a major decision has decided the outcome of the game and he has got it wrong - not wrong, seriously wrong. It wasn’t marginal.
“Whose job will it affect? Whose opinion will it affect when they look at that league table and won’t consider the performance?
“It will affect a lot of Barnsley supporters who couldn’t make it today. but those who did attend the game will appreciate that we haven’t got a bad team. We missed probably four gilt-edged chances, which is unfortunate, but we will keep our belief.”
Earlier, Deadman waved play on after a 36th-minute header from Tom Lees struck Barnsley teenager Jon Stones on a hand as the hosts claimed a 1-0 win.
Leeds manager Neil Warnock said: “It is fair to say the referee didn’t have one of his better games. Both managers agree on that.
“I am going to do an ‘Arsene Wenger’ and say nothing about the penalty because I haven’t seen it yet.
“I can’t stand watching penalties, but I’m told Luciano just clipped it down the middle. He told our coach Ronnie Jepson, ‘It’s a good job it went in or the gaffer would have killed me’.
“That’s five games unbeaten and what my lads have done in the last two or three weeks has been phenomenal. It has exceeded expectations. We were chasing shadows early on, but we changed the system and then looked more threatening going forward.”
Becchio’s goal was his ninth of the season and his second penalty in as many games.
Yet Barnsley could have been three goals up before the Argentinian scored. Jacob Mellis shot carelessly wide from eight yards, Marlon Harewood wasted a free-kick from just outside the area and Harewood shot fractionally wide of the far post.
Harewood and Stones were denied by instinctive second-half saves by Paddy Kenny to leave Barnsley in 19th place and Leeds just outside the play-off places.