Simon Grayson prepares to say his goodbyes. Defeat at Oakwell last year saw the pressure begin. - Scott Heavey
Barnsley have become something of a bogey team for Leeds United over the years, with Oakwell having witnessed some pretty humiliating defeats in recent years. Here we look back at our last five visits to Oakwell and remember DVD's, Derek Lilley and a very blustery day.
31st DECEMBER 2011 – CHAMPIONSHIP – BARNSLEY 4 LEEDS UNITED 1
This defeat sparked the beginning of the end for Simon Grayson as Leeds United manager with an embarrassing capitulation at Oakwell for the second consecutive season.
With a side featuring Andy Keogh as a loan striker and Mika Vayraynen in the hole, Leeds produced a spineless, gutless display to slip down to a mid-table position. Ricardo Vaz Te netted a hat-trick, which obviously impressed the West Ham scouts as the striker moved on to London soon after. Craig Davies also netted as the home side cruised into a 4-0 lead with 20 minutes remaining.
Luciano Becchio’s late goal could not even be seen as a consolation and Grayson was quick to criticise his team afterwards, claiming that some of them would never play for the club again. Within a month, he was no longer in charge and Leeds would have sold off another crown jewel.
14th SEPTEMBER 2010 – CHAMPIONSHIP – BARNSLEY 5 LEEDS UNITED 2
This victory was such a famous one for the home side, that commerative t-shirts and DVD’s were in the shops the following day, as they celebrated victory over a newly promoted team.
With almost 8,000 Leeds fans in attendance to roar their team on, United got off to an absolute flyer with an excellent strike from the edge of the box.
However Barnsley were much the better side and it was a surprise that Leeds held on to their lead for so long. As it was an awful mistake by Fede Bessone allowed Gary O’Connor to equalise just before the break.
The Argentinean full back had been less than impressive at the start of his United career, and his apparent lack of stomach for the fight saw him hauled off just after half time by Simon Grayson, never to be seen again.
The change made no difference as Barnsley tore Leeds apart in the second half, Jim O’Brien putting them in front 5 minutes after the break. Diego Arismendi made the game safe just after the hour, before a Neill Collins own goal and a strike form Adam Hamill rubbed salt into the wounds. Davide Somma’s late goal underlined the potential his early season form had shown, bit it was little consolation on an embarrassing evening.
4th NOVEMBER 2006 – The CHAMPIONSHIP – BARNSLEY 3 LEEDS UNITED 2
This relegation six pointer saw the two sides swop positions, with Leeds falling into the bottom three, a position they would stay for the most of the season on their way to relegation.
United fell behind on the half hour to a goal from Martin Devaney, but went into the break in front, netting twice in the final minutes of the first half. Shaun Derry headed home a Robbie Blake equaliser to put Leeds level, before Blake himself netted in stoppage time to put Leeds ahead.
However 2nd half strikes from Michael McIndoe and Brian Howard saw the Tykes grab three precious points in their successful battle to stay in the second tier.
29th NOVEMBER 1997 – The PREMIERSHIP – BARNSLEY 2 LEEDS UNITED 3
Barnsley’s lone season in the top flight in the modern era saw them throw away a two goal lead to collapse to a dramatic late defeat in monsoon conditions.
Everything looked rosy for the Tykes when they went 2-0 up inside half an hour through goals from Andy Liddle and Ashley Ward. However when Alf-Inge Haaland pulled one back five minutes later, the away supporters will have been dreaming of a similar comeback to that witnessed the week before when they had turned around a three goal deficit to beat Derby 4-3.
Rod Wallace’s equaliser 10 minutes from time fuelled that belief, leading to a brief moment of glory for a name that most people will have forgotten.
Signed from Greenock Morton, Derek Lilley had struggled to make an impact at Elland Road, but just five minutes after coming on as a substitute and with just eight minutes remaining, the Scottish striker pounced to put Leeds in front, celebrating wildly with the fans his only ever goal for the club.
6th JANUARY1991 – FA CUP 3rd ROUND – BARNSLEY 1 LEEDS UNITED 1
Leeds will not have fancied this trip to Oakwell on a blustery January afternoon, with Howard Wilkinson’s side now top flight big boys returning to play the only side to have done the double over them during the previous season’s promotion campaign.
With the game kicking off on a Sunday lunchtime, Leeds were forced to kick into a gale force wind in the first half. John Lukic was even having problems getting goal kicks out of the penalty area, and the visitors were happy to go in level at the break, knowing the conditions would be behind them in the second half.
Incredibly though the wind completely changed direction during the break, meaning Leeds were playing into the breeze again. They battled hard and eventually took the lead, Mel Sterland bundling the ball home from a corner.
However Barnsley scored a controversial late equaliser as John Deehan appeared to handle a cross (he practically caught it!) before the ball was fired past Lukic to earn the Tykes a replay.