Barnsley 3 Leeds United 2: Whites down to fourth after frantic loss at Oakwell

Barnsley v Leeds United. Graphic: Graeme Bandeira.
Barnsley v Leeds United. Graphic: Graeme Bandeira.
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LEEDS United slipped back to fourth in the Championship after a 3-2 loss at Barnsley as part of a frantic night at Oakwell.

After surviving early Barnsley pressure, United took an 18th-minute lead when a Pablo Hernandez corner was met by Chris Wood who flicked home his 18th goal of the season.

Barnsley then weathered a barrage of pressure from Leeds and drew level in the 45th minute when Tom Bradshaw headed home from Angus MacDonald’s free-kick.

The Tykes then went 2-1 up just three minutes after the restart when Ryan Kent rifled home a superb low drive from the edge of the box.

A difficult evening then got even worse for Leeds just six minutes later when Conor Hourihane curled home a fine direct free-kick into the top corner to net Barnsley’s third.

Leeds were then given hope of a dramatic comeback when Marc Roberts handled in the area and Wood slammed home a 67th-minute penalty to make it 3-2.

But the Whites were unable to force an equaliser, despite the efforts of Kemar Roofe who missed a sitter in injury time before Stuart Dallas blasted a powerful effort agonisingly wide.

Barnsley began on the front foot by forcing an early corner, after which Lewie Coyle was then fortunate to survive a badly miscued clearance in the fifth minute.

Leeds were struggling to get out of their own half with Barnsley then seeing shots from Marley Watkins and Hourihane blocked before Rob Green easily saved a left-footed effort from Kent.

Wood was then called into action at the defensive end to clear a dangerous free-kick taken by Hourihane, awarded after Ronaldo Vieira’s foul on Bradshaw.

But Barnsley failed to make any breakthrough and the Reds paid the price in the 18th minute when Wood put Leeds in front with his side’s first real attack of the game.

Coyle’s pass for Hernandez bagged the Whites a corner which Hernandez took himself to send in a hanging delivery that was met by an unmarked Wood who stabbed home his 18th goal of the season off the inside of the post.

The goal sparked trouble in the stands and then a yellow card for Hourihane who took out Roofe on the half -ay line.

And Leeds then went mightily close to bagging a second goal on three occasions with Wood seeing his downward header from another corner cleared off the line by Gethin Jones.

The second corner fell to Doukara whose volley hit ‘keeper Adam Davies and was sent behind before yet another corner led to another effort from Doukara that was also deflected behind.

Leeds also saw claims for a penalty turned down as Kyle Bartley was felled but Barnsley somehow held firm and then had a chance of their own in the 35th minute when a Marc Roberts header from a Kent free-kick tested Green who produced a solid low save.

Roberts then headed another Kent free-kick wide when well-placed in the 42nd minute but Barnsley had again turned the tide and drew level in the 45th minute.

A hotly disputed free-kick was played out to Armstrong who made space to cross for Bradshaw whose glancing header beat an outstretched Green to draw the game level.

And Leeds were then inches away from going 2-1 down in the second minute of first half injury time when Hourihane’s corner was met by MacDonald who nodded a header just wide of the far post.

Neither boss made any changes during the half-time break and Leeds then found themselves 2-1 up just three minutes after the restart.

A cross from Watkins was not dealt with by either Luke Ayling or Green and Kent controlled the ball before producing a brilliant turn and fierce low shot that whistled past Green and into the far corner.

And things went from bad to worse for Leeds just six minutes later when Roofe was booked for fouling Josh Scowen on the edge of the box and Hourihane curled home a direct peach into the top left corner.

Bartley then entered the book for a foul on Armstrong as United’s problems deepened, with Vieira then taken off for Eunan O’Kane.

But Barnsley continued to pour forward with Bradshaw heading over before the Tykes were denied a penalty for a challenge by Gaetano Berardi on Armstrong.

Leeds were then given a lifeline in the 67th minute when Roberts handled in the area under pressure from Wood and Wood stepped up to slam the ball home and give United fresh hope.

Barnsley were then given hope of a fourth goal when O’Kane scythed down Scowen just outside the area at the other end but Hourihane sailed this free-kick over the bar. O’Kane then hammered a wild shot over the bar as Leeds countered at the other end.

After good work from Green wiped out the danger of yet another Barnsley attack, Doukara fired straight at Davies in the 77th minute.

Leeds continued to probe away but the Whites were running out of time and Whites head coach Monk brought on Stuart Dallas for Bridcutt in the 85th minute.

Three Leeds corners in front of the packed away end were then all dealt with nearing the 90th minute.

The Whites were finally given five minutes of injury time to bag an equaliser and should have had one in the second of those added minutes when Roofe somehow chested the ball wide from three yards out.

Dallas then went even closer when blasting a spectacular effort just over in the sixth added minute but there was to be no sixth goal.

Leeds United: Green, Coyle, Ayling, Bartley, Berardi, Bridcutt (Dallas 85), Vieira (O’Kane 58), Roofe, Hernandez, Doukara, Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Phillips, Mowatt, Denton, Antonsson.

Barnsley: Davies, Bree, Jones, Roberts, MacDonald, Scowen, Hourihane, Watkins, Kent, Bradshaw (Hammilll 77), Armstrong (Williams 90). Subs not used: Townsend, White, Jackson, Moncur, Armstrong.

Referee: Mike Dean.