Two goals from Lissa Woodhouse secured Barnsley a 2-1 win over rivals Leeds United Ladies in a hotly contested Yorkshire derby.
Woodhouse opened the scoring early on in the contest and doubled Barnsley’s lead in the second half. Hannah Campbell gave Leeds hope after grabbing a goal in the 90th minute but the Whites were unable to find a second.
Leeds manager Dan O’Hearne was less than pleased with the match official, saying in his post-match interview: “It was the worst refereeing performance I’ve ever seen. Everybody saw that in the stadium.”
He added: “It was a disappointing result; I think there was only one team who wanted to play football. The other team resorted to long-ball tactics but ultimately they won the game.”
Barnsley manager Chris Hamilton was thrilled with the result and said: “That’s seven wins in a row now. To be fair, it wasn’t a great game to watch but the girls dug in. This was a derby, on a Tuesday night in the rainy conditions. It was always going to be tough but we rose to it, we matched it and we deserved the win.”
In front of their biggest crowd of the season, Barnsley didn’t waste much time and went ahead on the seventh-minute mark. Woodhouse pounced on a loose ball inside the Leeds area and chipped the goalie to send the Oakwell faithful into raptures.
Ten minutes later, Leeds appealed for a penalty when Campbell appeared to have been brought down by Skye Kirkham. The appeals were waved off by the official.
At the other end, Hannah Paye came up with a terrific stop as her one-handed save prevented Woodhouse from doubling Barnsley’s lead.
Just before half-time, Leeds could have nicked an equaliser. With Barnsley struggling to clear their lines, Danielle Whitham tried her luck from 18 yards. Unfortunately for the White, her effort was off target.
With 60 minutes gone, Woodhouse finally doubled her team’s lead. The player received the ball on the edge of the area, lined up her shot and chipped the oncoming goalkeeper for a second time.
Leeds desperately searched for a goal in the last 20 minutes but, despite a flurry of chances, they struggled to put them away. This was until the 90th minute when Campbell turned away from the defence and found the bottom corner to restore some hope.
The visitors were unable to add a second, meaning Barnsley had claimed their seventh win in as many games.
Leeds were left furious with some of the refereeing decisions and claimed the second half was cut short.
When asked whether he believed his side could grab a late point, manager O’Hearne replied: “We did, but the referee blew up on 44 minutes and didn’t put any added time on.”
Next up for Leeds is a crucial clash with Chorley. With the Whites nine points behind league leaders Burnley, returning to winning ways is crucial in order to maintain hopes of promotion.
The Reds, meanwhile, are now four points away from Burnley and take on fellow promotion chasers Newcastle in their next game.