Leeds, Wed­nes­day and Barns­ley march on

The Football League Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By Richard Laverty

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

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

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

ALL SMILES: Kyle Bart­ley knows he has bagged a win­ner for Leeds


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