Date: Wednesday, 21st September 1988.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
United 2 Barnsley 0
United: Davison, Hilaire. Barnsley:
Leeds United: Day; G. Williams, Adams;
Aizlewood (Haddock), Blake, Ashurst; Batty, Sheridan, Baird, Davison, Hilaire.
Barnsley: Baker; Joyce, Beresford; Thomas, Shotton, Futcher; Lowndes, Agnew, Cooper, Currie, Dobbin.
Referee: T.J. Holbrook (Walsall).
of 1988 Allan Clarke was going strong as team boss of Barnsley and Billy Bremner
was in the management chair at Leeds United, so when the two former Elland Road stars met head on in a managerial
clash interest was especially high. The fixture had added spice but having
failed to win in four previous games, the pressure was very much on United.
However, in typically forthright manner, Bremner had
insisted before the game that his players were full of confidence and in the
mood to get their season off the launch pad. He got the response he needed from
his players, who turned in a much more positive performance that brought them
the just reward of a 2-0 victory over the Tykes.
too many scares in the game for United for this to be a completely satisfying
display but it was a further improvement in form with more scoring
opportunities created than in previous displays. Goals from Bobby Davison,
after sixty-two minutes, and effervescent winger Vince Hilaire,
were responsible for United’s first three point haul
of the season and in giving Clarke his first taste of defeat in five return
visits to Elland Road as a manager since his sacking as United boss in 1982.
earlier return visits for League games, Clarke had seen his Barnsley side embarrass United by winning
twice and drawing the on the other occasion. Even when he was manager of Fourth
Division Scunthorpe United in 1984, Clarke managed to
plot United’s FA Cup downfall as his side drew 1-1 in
a Fourth Round tie at Elland Road and again after the
same result at Scunthorpe, his side won the second
replay 4-2. “It’s not a bad record for any manager to have but the time had
come to change it,” United goal-scorer Bobby Davison said.
It was a
safe bet that Davison would not place his scrambled header against Barnsley too high on his list of goals, but
he could rarely have scored a timelier one. With John Sheridan’s midfield
skills, David Batty’s non-stop running, the wing
trickery of Vince Hilaire and the determination of
full-backs Gary Williams and Micky Adams to pump
balls into the Barnsley penalty area, United put
their South Yorkshire neighbours under a lot of
previous games, though, United could not turn this advantage into goals.
Davison, Noel Blake and Ian Baird, twice, all got into good positions which
could have produced goals and in addition Davison had a header which hit the
bar. Barnsley had been far from idle in front of goal and David Currie and Steve
Cooper gave the United defence
plenty to think about.
Davison broke through for United in the sixty-second minute it was the first
time in the season that United had been ahead in a game. The goal stemmed from
teenage midfielder David Batty’s low shot which
bounced up off a defender to leave Davison with the chance to open his account
for the season. It was not until three minutes from the end, however, that
United could feel comfortable, when Vince Hilaire
coolly beat two defenders to hit the ball in, after Batty and Sheridan had combined to begin the move.
Reports: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
masterly worked goal three minutes from the end by Vince Hilaire
finally confirmed that Leeds United had finally won their first match of that
season. It rounded off one of the classic derby thrillers of recent times at Elland Road in which control had swung from
side to side until Leeds
broke the deadlock just after the hour. Leeds’ victory ended Barnsley’s unbeaten run this time and gave
their Manager Allan Clarke his first taste of defeat at the ground in five
visits as a Manager since his dismissal as the Leeds chief six years previous. But both
sides had got the drawing habit that season and it looked unlikely that with so
little light between them that a winner could be found this time. In fact you
could almost taste the relief among the Leeds support in the 17,370 crowd when Bobby Davison
finally inched Leeds
ahead in the sixty-third minute.
made a fiery opening to the game with some determined and hard running but it
was a long downfield punt from Barnsley goalkeeper
Clive Baker that brought the first chance, David Currie pumping three shots at
the Leeds goal, his final effort turned for a corner from close in by Jack Ashurst. After that Barnsley enjoyed the best of it for a long
spell with David Currie and Steve Cooper stretching the Leeds defence
time and again. But once John Sheridan stepped up a gear Leeds looked a dufferent
side . Vince Hilaire came
more and more into the action and two right wing runs just after the half-hour
opened up alarming holes at the back for Barnsley, but Bobby Davison, Ian Baird and
Noel Blake just failed to stretch far enough to make contact with the centres. Davison had a header which struck the top of the Barnsley bar as the game buzzed and snapped
along and when Mark Aizlewood went off with an ankle
injury, Leeds introduced Peter Haddock into their
midfield. Gradually Leeds were looking better and better but the game could
have swiveled Barnsley’s way in the second minute of
the second half when Mervyn Day did well to get a
hand on David Currie’s cross-shot but Steve Cooper was not able to turn the
bouncing ball into the open net. Both Malcolm Shotton
and John Beresford were booked trying to stop the elusive Vince Hilaire and it was from the Beresford caution that Leeds manufactured their opener. Peter
Haddock’s free-kick from near the half-way line was not cleared and Vince Hilaire did well to win the ball in the penalty area and
roll it back to the waiting David Batty. The young midfielder struck a firm low
shot from sixteen yards into a mass of bodies near the Barnsley
line and Bobby Davison was quick enough to head on the cannon for his first
goal of the campaign and Leeds’ first taste of the lead that season.
and Sheridan now bossing the midfield it looked
as though Leeds would go on from there but Barnsley immediately hit back and Leeds had Mervyn
Day to thank for keeping them ahead. First the keeper was fast off his line to
cut down the angles and stop David Currie’s fierce eighteen yard drive and then
when Currie had put John Beresford in the clear, Day at full stretch just got
enough finger-tip on the ball to turn it around his left hand post as Steve
Cooper rushed in for the kill. But after that Leeds turned the screw. Bobby Davison
might have had a hat-trick, going close from opportunities set up by John
Sheridan and Gary Williams and when Davison turned provider, Ian Baird headed
over from the six-yard line. But in the eighty-seventh minute Leeds broke from the centre circle with
Peter Haddock giving John Sheridan time to send David Batty away down the
inside-right slot. The youngster fed Vince Hilaire
who turned his man well fourteen yards out and stroked in a low shot to
underline Leeds’ pressure. Even then there was time
for Barnsley to respond and David Currie, a danger man all night, flashed a low
cross shot from the left which Steve Lowndes would have turned in at the far
post but for a determined challenge from Micky Adams.
That challenge in the last seconds emphasized the effort that both sides had
poured into a mighty clash.
Ended: Leeds’ first win of the season eased the
pressure on Manager Billy Bremner and finally
destroyed a six year hoodoo cast by his old pal Allan Clarke. Barnsley boss Clarke had not lost in seven
previous visits to Elland Road since being sacked by Leeds in 1982. But the night turned sour
for him as Bobby Davison and Vince Hilaire wrecked Barnsley’s unbeaten record. Barnsley keeper Clive Baker was still groggy
from a challenge by Noel Blake when he pushed over David Batty’s
shot and Davison pounced. Hilaire wrapped it up in
the eighty-seventh minute.
Match Action: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Leeds United 1988-89:
Row: Neil Aspin, Jack Ashurst, Simon Grayson, Mervyn
Day, Peter Haddock, Peter Swan,
Noel Blake, David Rennie.
Row: Brendan Ormsby, Mark
Aizlewood, John Sheridan, Bobby Davison, Ronnie
Gary Williams, Bob Taylor, Peter Maguire, Kevin
Noteman, Peter Mumby.
Row: Nigel Smith, Gary Speed, John Pearson, Mickey
Adams, Glynn Snodin,
(Manager), David Batty, Vince Hilaire, Ian Baird,
John Stiles, Vince Brockie.
Bobby Davison and Vince Hilaire
scored the Leeds goals
John Sheridan was involved in United’s second
Ian Baird had chances David Batty combined with Sheridan Noel
Blake had chances
Former United player Gwyn
Thomas was in the Barnsley team as was future United
Reserve Coach Steve Agnew