THEY’RE DUKES OF YORK
Leeds, Wednesday and Barnsley march on
GARRY MONK admitted his side had not hit anywhere close to top gear as a lastgasp winner from captain Kyle Bartley ensured Leeds United secured their third straight home win and moved up to fifth in the Championship standings.
In an encounter that produced little excitement and very few chances, it was Bartley who rose highest in the 89th minute to leave his manager Garry Monk relieved.
“We weren’t at our best today, it was a tired performance and at halftime we talked about upping our pace if we could,” he said.
“The players were very honest and they tried to do that, and there were a few chances we could have done better with.
“There’s a feeling right now in these tight games that there will be a late chance, and that’s a good mentality to have as a group.
“That three points is important going into the Christmas period.”
Neither side started the game well; Brentford’s 3-5-2 system restricted Leeds who were missing the injured Chris Wood up front.
Both were limited to long shots, Nico Yennaris and Romaine Sawyers firing off target for the visitors before Kemar Roofe saw an effort deflected wide.
The visitors thought they’d gone ahead when Scott Hogan slotted home Lasse Vibe’s pass across the six-yard box, but the flag went up against the German for offside despite appearing to be level.
While a solid defensive showing restricted Leeds to few shots on goal, Brentford boss Dean Smith was left disappointed with a late lapse in concentration.
He said: “I don’t think we deserved that. We made a very good team look average for an hour or so and we defended really well.
“It’s a real blow for us to concede so late. We’ve just lost their man for a second and it’s really cost us on a day where we should have walked away with something.”
Smith was frustrated with the decision to disallow Hogan’s effort.
“I don’t feel the offside decision was justified,” he said. “I’ve seen a replay and it’s really tight so that’s disappointing because it’s a set-piece we’ve been working on all week.”
It looked to be a rare, frustrating afternoon for Leeds; the hosts haven’t drawn a match in ten but the game was heading that way after Luke Ayling blazed over from a corner, and Souleymane Doukara missed the best chance of the game when through on goal.
Ayling once again came close when his curling effort landed just inches wide and the 25,000 inside Elland Road could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t going to be their day.
But the goal did come. A short corner was worked to former Brentford man Stuart Dallas and his pinpoint cross was put away by Bartley, sparking joyous scenes around the ground.
And while Reading’s late winner elsewhere stopped Monk’s side moving higher in the league, it could have been disaster when John Egan flicked a late overhead effort onto the roof of the bar.
Leeds did hang on for another vital three points and Monk continues to be pleased with his side’s resilience.
He added: “We huffed and puffed but we kept going and we kept trying but that final ball always let us down. When we did create something we didn’t take it but when that last chance came along we took it.”
WHITE ROSE BLOOMS: Kyle Bartley scores for Leeds Inset, far left, Steven Fletcher celebrates for Sheff Wednesday and, left, Barnsley’s Sam Winnall scores their second goal
ALL SMILES: Kyle Bartley knows he has bagged a winner for Leeds
STAR MAN RYAN WOODS Brentford