Full-time - Leeds United 2 Barnsley 1: Heckingbottom scalps Barnsley after Alioski winner

Gjanni Alioski's second-half strike gave Paul Heckingbottom the satisfaction of a win over his old club Barnsley as Leeds United sent the South Yorkshire club a step closer to relegation.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 21st April 2018, 5:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st April 2018, 5:16 pm
Gjanni Alioski celebrates the crucial goal in Leeds United's 2-1 win over Barnsley.
Gjanni Alioski celebrates the crucial goal in Leeds United's 2-1 win over Barnsley.

Alioski slid in a point-blank finish on 51 minutes, regaining control of a derby which Barnsley had begun to dominate in the closing stages of the first half.

Jose Morais’ side fell behind to a 17th-minute strike from Tom Pearce, the 20-year-old’s first Leeds goal, but they replied nine minutes before the break when Ezekiel Fryers’ cross forced an own goal off the legs of Paudie O’Connor.

United were indebted to a vital save from young goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell seconds before the break and Alioski made that intervention pay when he finished off clever play from Kemar Roofe from close range.

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Kalvin Phillips, far right, and Tom Pearce lead the way as Leeds United warm up for today's clash with Barnsley.

Barnsley were desperate for points having started the day two from safety in the Championship but Heckingbottom, a lifelong Barnsley fan, was bidding to claim the scalp of the side he walked out of to take charge of Leeds in February. The victory was only his third in 14 games as Leeds boss.

The 40-year-old took abuse from the away end as soon as he appeared from the tunnel, held in contempt for his decision to quit Oakwell for Elland Road, but Alioski should have silenced the away end five minutes into the game.

The winger was played in unintentionally when Matt Mills miscontrolled a pass from Andy Yiadom but Alioski drew Adam Davies before attempting a chip which carried wide of the far post.

Kalvin Phillips also failed to make anything of an early headed chance, set up by an Alioski cross, but Pearce raised a flat game in the 18th minute, making the most of Barnsley’s cheap loss of possession on halfway.

Samuel Saiz celebrates Leeds United's 2-0 win at Oakwell in November.

Bradley Potts played a pass straight to the feet of the 20-year-old left-back who advanced on Barnsley’s box and found the bottom corner with a deflected strike across Davies.

A second goal almost followed as, amid a scrambled from a corner, Davies denied Alioski and Samuel Saiz drove another chance against a Barnsley defender, and the visitors took time to show much purpose.

Tom Bradshaw almost nicked an equaliser after Pontus Jansson left a curling delivery from Adam Hammill in the 23rd minute and Liam Lindsay saw his header from a corner blocked a few yards in front of United’s goalline.

Potts should also have done better when Tom Bradshaw ran in behind Paudie O’Connor and squared a pass to the edge of the box, sending a shot flew straight into the hands of Bailey Peacock-Farrell, but Barnsley equalised as their pressure built around the 36th minute.

Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson (left).

A clearance from Matthew Pennington was allowed to run to Fryers, who burst down the right and put Leeds under pressure with a searching cross. Jansson missed a header and the ball struck the back of O’Connor’s legs, flying past Peacock-Farrell. It would have got worse for Heckingbottom had Peacock-Farrell not pulled off a brilliant, one-handed stop to deny Connor Mahoney in injury-time.

Leeds however, took just five minutes of the second half to regain the Leeds when Kemar Roofe worked his way to the byline and laid a pass into the path of Alioski, who slid it into the net.

Oli McBurnie looked to have snatched another equaliser within three minutes, meeting Connor Mahoney’s cross with a side-footed finish, but an offside flag curtailed his celebration and Leeds tried to press for a third goal.

Alioski came closest with a whipped attempt which carried wide but Leeds were fortunate to see a 77th-minute deflection off substitute Kieffer Moore trickle past a post after Peacock-Farrell got a glove to Hammill’s low centre.

Kalvin Phillips, far right, and Tom Pearce lead the way as Leeds United warm up for today's clash with Barnsley.

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Pearce, O'Connor, Pennington, Jansson, Vieira, Phillips, Alioski (Ekuban 71), Saiz (Forshaw 84), Hernandez, Roofe. Subs (not used): Lonergan, Anita, Cooper, Sacko, Lasogga.

Barnsley: Davies, Yiadom, Mills (Hedges 81), Lindsay, Fryers, Potts, Gardner, Hammill, Mahoney (Moore 62), Bradshaw (Moncur 72), McBurnie. Subs (not used): Walton, McCarthy, Cavare, Pinnock.

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 30,451

Samuel Saiz celebrates Leeds United's 2-0 win at Oakwell in November.
Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson (left).