Barnsley 0 Leeds 1 match report: Woeful Barnsley left on the brink

McCormack meets meek resistance to settle derby and leaves Wilson clutching at straws

Oakwell

The last time Barnsley were relegated under Danny Wilson it was a downfall laced with heroism. When the team bus returned to Oakwell after a 1-0 defeat at Leicester in May 1998, it was to a throng of supporters who wanted to thank the players for a remarkable season in the Premier League.

Yesterday evening, after a feeble surrender to Leeds, Wilson thought he would have to win his final three games to survive. Barnsley’s relegation could all but be confirmed should they lose at Derby County, tomorrow. This time the reception will be rather more muted. 

It is not exactly a surprise that Barnsley are heading down. In recent seasons the club have not so much flirted with relegation as been photographed in bed with it. The emotion as their supporters drifted away would have been the aching regret that they were going down so meekly.

This time last season, their then manager, David Flitcroft, had organised a ferocious rearguard action that culminated in an emphatic 2-0 victory over Hull. This was another Yorkshire derby but it felt very different. In his programme notes, Wilson, buoyed by a fine 2-1 win at Charlton on Tuesday night, had written of: “blood and thunder”. In fact, the only crackle of lightning came with the balletic turn that saw Ross McCormack lose his marker and shoot into the corner of Luke Steele’s net. It was McCormack’s 29th goal of the season and, given how much of this season has seen Leeds drifting without aim or direction, it is an astonishing achievement.

“He gets goals that win you matches 1-0 or 2-1,” said his manager, Brian McDermott, who remarked that McCormack was as good a goalscorer as he had ever worked with. If he notches one more, he will become the first Leeds player since John Giles to score 30 times in a season. It was also the one moment real quality in the afternoon.

When the referee, David Webb, threw Barnsley a thin, final lifeline by finding five minutes of stoppage time from somewhere, they responded by playing even worse against a team who had won once at Oakwell since 1986.

When the Leeds fans who jammed one end greeted each error with a chant of “That’s why you’re going down” it would have appeared hurtfully true to supporters who have now not seen Barnsley score at home in five successive matches. Those from Leeds chanted long and loud, celebrating the fact they would be staying in the Championship, which is a feeble achievement given the resources and expectations at  Elland Road.

But they had secured their immediate future with a win over Blackpool and, now the club has been taken over by Massimo Cellino, they could revel in the discomfort of others.  When Leeds were last involved in a Yorkshire derby, a 2-1 defeat by Doncaster at the end of March, matters appeared much bleaker. McDermott’s players had not been paid and Cellino’s takeover had been blocked for the very understandable reason that the Italian had been convicted of fraud.

Cellino, having been approved as a ‘fit and proper person’ by the Football League, chose to return home to Miami rather than travel to Barnsley. The players have been paid and so has the rent on Elland Road and the Thorp Arch training complex.

McDermott, who Cellino had tried to sack in January, prowled the touchline in a tracksuit rather than a suit after his daughter told him she did not want him “looking like a politician”. Lately, the Leeds manager had looked like a cabinet minister under cross examination from Jeremy Paxman.

More relaxed now, he remarked that the football correspondent of the Yorkshire Evening Post had rung him in the week because “for the first time in forever there were no stories coming out of Elland Road. We have won two games and that might not be a coincidence.”

Line-ups:

Barnsley (4-4-2):  Steele, Etuhu (McCourt ,65), M’voto, Cranie, Kennedy; McLaughlin, Lawrence, Dawson (Proschwitz, 76), Jennings; Cywka, O’Grady.

Leeds United (3-5-2): Butland; Lees, Zaliukas (Hunt, 60), Pearce; Wooton, Tonge, Brown, Murphy, Warnock; McCormack, Smith (White, 82).

Referee: David Webb

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living