Leeds United 2 Barnsley 1: Heckingbottom piles on trouble for Tykes

Tom Pearce is congratulated after scoring the first goal.
Tom Pearce is congratulated after scoring the first goal.
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GIANNI ALIOSKI'S seventh goal of the season secured just a third win in 14 matches in charge for Paul Heckingbottom as Leeds United held sway against former club Barnsley - who suffered a blow in their quest to avoid the drop.

Alioski struck after great work down the left from Kemar Roofe five minutes after the break as Leeds claimed their first win in five matches to ease a touch of pressure on the shoulders of Heckingbottom, given a rough ride by away supporters - some 75 days on from his controversial Oakwell exit.

Earlier, a comical own goal from Paudie O'Connor nine minutes before the break cancelled out a 17th-minute opener from Tom Pearce, who picked an opportune moment to score his a first-ever senior goal for the Whites on his third senior appearance for United.

Pearce latched onto a slack crossfield pass from Brad Potts and drove forward unchecked before unleashing a pinpoint low shot from distance into the far corner.

Leeds, who spurned a great early chance to score when Alioski chipped over with the goal at his mercy, had the perfect platform to kick on against the visitors, whose early efforts were negligble, but it was Barnsley who regrouped to dominate the final 15 minutes of the half.

It yielded a leveller when Zeki Fryers cross was diverted into his own net by O'Connor after Leeds failed to clear their lines in another poor concession.

Barnsley went desperately close to taking the lead in stoppage-time when Connor Mahoney waltzed through some non-existant defending before firing a goalbound shot which drew a fine instinctive save from Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

After a strong spell ahead of the break, the interval arrived at an inopportune moment for the Reds and a good time for Leeds, who received some jeers at the interval.

A strike five minutes into the half made home supporters also feel a whole lot better.

It arrived when Kemar Roofe outstripped the recalled Matt Mills down the left and United's top-scorers' low cross was latched onto by the onrushing Alioski, who slotted the ball home from close range.

The goal settled down Leeds at the start of a potentially anxious half, with Barnsley - like with the first period, starting the second half slowly.

One brief moment of home alarm saw McBurnie convert from close range, but an offside flag was instantly raised.

At the other end, a key block from Yiadom denied Alioski after more fine work from Roofe, with Alioski soon firing just wide after a neat move as the hosts sought a killer third.

Barnsley's best moment arrived 12 minutes from time when substitute Moore somehow diverts the ball wide with the gola at his mercy after Peacock-Farrell parried Hammill's cross-shot.

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell; Pennington, Jansson, O'Connor, Pearce; Vieira, Phillips; Hernandez, Saiz (Forshaw 84), Alioski (Ekuban 72); Roofe. Substitutes unused: Lonergan, Anita, Cooper, Sacko, Lasogga.

Barnsley: Davies; Yiadom, Lindsay, Mills (Hedges 81), Fryers; Gardner; Hammill, Mahoney (Moore 62), Potts, McBurnie; Bradshaw (Moncur 73). Substitutes unused: Walton, McCarthy, Cavare, Pinnock.

Referee: S Martin (Staffordshire).

Attendance: 30,451.