Saturday, December 30, 2006

Leedsunited.com 30/12/06
NO JOY FOR UNITED
STOKE 3 (Sidibe 12, Ehiogu og 54, Fuller 77) UNITED (Moore 41)
Stoke: Simonsen, Hoefkens, Duberry, Higginbotham, Hill, Lawrence, Diao, Russell, Hendrie (Berger 46), Sidibe, Fuller (Pericard 82). Subs: Brammer, Sweeney, Dickinson.
United: Warner, Richardson, Ehiogu, Heath, Lewis, Douglas, Derry, Howson, Westlake (Kandol 62), Moore, Healy. Subs: Sullivan, Carole, Marques, Beckford.
Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay)
Ugo Ehiogu was passed fit at the 11th hour to spare United's potential defensive crisis, but boss Dennis Wise also made changes to his midfield and front-line.
Jonny Howson was recalled to the midfield while Ian Moore and David Healy both returned to the starting line-up in place of Tresor Kandol and Jermaine Beckford.
Kandol and Beckford both dropped to the bench and were joined by Rui Marques, who was figuring in the first team for the first time this season, Seb Carole and Neil Sullivan.
For Stoke, Lee Hendrie passed a late fitness to make the final start of his loan spell with the club.
It was the hosts who created a couple of early opportunities, but they were denied on both occasions by an offside flag.
But they made no mistake in the 12th minute when after winning a corner, Mamady Sidibe got up well to head home from close range to give Stoke the advantage.
United almost hit back straight away, though. Stoke failed to deal with an Ian Westlake corner and Jonathan Douglas fired a dipping shot inches over the top.
The home side's response was immediate, but Darel Russell's finish was poor after he was released clear on goal by an inch-perfect pass from Hendrie.
United enjoyed a good spell of pressure leading up to the half-hour mark and successive corners were followed by an Eddie Lewis free-kick which tested Steve Simonsen in the home goal.
The Stoke goalkeeper also got down to well to deny David Healy with a shot from distance. Former United defender Michael Duberry headed away a Frazer Richardson cross as Wise's men continued to press.
Healy was again involved when United had furious appeals for a penalty waved away after Carl Hoefkens appeared to haul the Ulsterman to the ground.
The deserved equaliser finally came four minutes before the interval. Richardson did well down the right, Healy delivered a fine cross to the far post and Moore, pictured, crashed through to head home.
And there was more panic for Stoke before the break when Salif Diao sliced a clearance over his own bar as United continued to press.
Ian Westlake found himself in the book early in the second half, following two challenges on Hoefkens, but worse was to follow for Leeds moments later.
Stoke had started the second period with a spring in their step and the hosts got their noses back in front on 54 minutes. Substitute Patrik Berger hit a shot from the edge of the box and the ball took a deflection off Ehiogu to leave Tony Warner with no chance.
United re-shaped after Stoke's second goal with striker Tresor Kandol replacing Westlake shortly after the hour-mark.
But the game was effectively sealed in Stoke's favour 14 minutes from time. Ricardo Fuller beat both Ehiogu and Warner to a long ball forward and after side-footing away from the stranded duo he tapped the ball home from close range to make it 3-1.
Moments later, Sidibe was presented with a great chance to make it four, but Ehiogu reacted superbly to clear the danger and in the 85th minute Warner pulled off a great one-handed save to deny Stoke substitute Vincent Pericard.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Telegraph 24/12/06
Leeds left clutching at draws
By Trevor Haylett at Elland Road, Sunday Telegraph
Leeds (0) 0 Hull (0) 0
They filed away silently in their thousands, dejected and in desperate need of a warm fireside and some seasonal cheer. There was none to be found inside Elland Road, a grand stage where they used to pay homage to the best team in the land but which now endures a level of mediocrity shaming the memory of all those great performers from the past.
A 0-0 home draw with Hull is certainly no reason to crack open the Christmas champers. It has come to something when that minuscule return is seen as a sign that there might soon be some light beneath a skyline presently offering only grey and gloom. 'A clean sheet' claimed those for whom a glass three-quarters empty, is a glass one-quarter full.
Yes, only the fourth clean sheet in 13 home games. But the lunchtime kick-off also produced a whiteout, a washout, at the other end and that is three successive games that the Leeds die-hards have been left short-changed.
So the sense of despair that has hung around this once-great institution since that catastrophic afternoon at the Millennium Stadium in May when Watford ridiculed Leeds' arrogant contention that their place among the elite had merely been placed on hold for two seasons, will linger into the new year unless Dennis Wise can imbibe his struggling team with some inspiration between now and Boxing Day afternoon.
There was a debate among some fans at half-time as to whether they were witnessing the worst 11 in Leeds' history. There was no lack of effort and no shortage of possibilities as Frazer Richardson and Eddie Lewis raided from full-back and sent over a stream of crosses, but only one of them forced Boaz Myhill to dirty his hands as Tresor Kandol headed goalwards. There was precious little forward punch and a paucity of midfield creativity, though some optimism could be gleaned from the promising debut of 18-year-old Jonathan Howson.
"It's clearly two points dropped," Wise said, "but I was pleased with the way we went about it today. We are getting there. We looked solid and played with a lot more confidence."
Yet with a large away following lending voluble support, Hull looked just as likely to steal away with the prize and there was no sense of hanging on for their point. They had the best player on view in Michael Bridges, who once wore the white of the home team on those rare occasions when he was not on the treatment table, and opportunities through a Sam Ricketts drive and Ryan France's header to leave Leeds behind in the bottom three.
Whether it will prove enough to enable Phil Brown to shed his 'caretaker' label is a decision for another day.
"After a performance like that it looks like I've the backing of the players, but the bottom line is that the decision is for the chairman to make," he said.
When Ken Bates, the Leeds chairman, emerged into the cold afternoon air there were just three supporters left in the club car park, two of whom shook his hand, the third planting a smacker on his cheek, demonstrating that goodwill at this time of year is not an old-fashioned concept. As for all the rest . . . they just wanted Christmas to begin and for this bad memory to disappear.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Leedsunited.com 23/12/06
DERBY GAME STALEMATE
UNITED 0, HULL CITY 0
United: Warner, Richardson, Ehiogu, Heath, Lewis, Douglas, Derry, Howson, Westlake, Blake (Healy 71), Kandol. Subs: Sullivan, Carole, Moore, Kilgallon.
Hull City: Myhill, Dawson, Coles, Turner, McPhee (Forster 29), Delaney, Bridges (Yeates 62), Ricketts, Marney, Fagan, France. Subs: Elliott, Duke, Byron.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Teenager midfielder Jonny Howson was handed his full debut against Hull City with skipper Kevin Nicholls serving the first of his three-match suspension.
Robbie Blake and Ugo Ehiogu returned to the starting line-up after shaking off injury with David Healy and Hayden Foxe dropping to the bench.
Tony Warner also returned to the side in place of the injured Graham Stack, making his first start since October. Neil Sullivan, recalled from a loan spell at Doncaster Rovers, was named among the substitutes.
The game started at a frenetic pace, but aside from one punched clearance from Warner, neither goalkeeper was seriously troubled during the opening 10 minutes.
Hull defender Michael Turner did make two good defensive blocks, though. The first came when he blocked a Jonathan Douglas strike and the second was when he headed away a teasing cross from Eddie Lewis.
At the other end, Matt Heath blocked a low shot from Michael Bridges as the game continued apace.
Turner again made another good clearance from a Lewis cross and, while challenges flew thick and fast, the game flowed from end to end.
And it was United who came closest to breaking the deadlock on 24 minutes when Blake sent a low, skidding effort inches wide of Boaz Myhill's upright.
When Blake threatened again, Hull defender Andy Dawson did well to force a corner after beating Douglas to the ball at the far post.
But Hull looked equally strong on the break - they moved the ball with pace - and early substitute Nicky Forster responded by firing wide.
Shortly before half-time, it was Tresor Kandol who forced Myhill into making the best save of the first half. Lewis delivered a pin-point cross from the left and the Hull keeper had to be at his best to tip Kandol's header over the top.
The second period started in the same vein as the first with both sides looking to exploit each other.
There was plenty of endeavour, but again, neither goalkeeper was seriously troubled despite the attacking intentions of both sides.
Lewis continued to be a threat for United and it was his delivery which forced a corner when Kandol was crowded out looking for the decisive touch.
As Leeds stayed in the Hull half, the enterprising Blake screwed a shot wide as he looked to force an opening.
The temperature raised a level with 18 minutes remaining when both sets of players became embroiled in a melee and United's Kandol found himself in the book.The game continued at a high tempo, though. Craig Fagan had a chance for Hull, but was denied by some quick-thinking from Heath and Warner while, at the other end, Howson was denied with a good chance after more impressive work by Lewis.
Leedsunited.com 23/12/06
YORKSHIRE EVENING POST
United chairman Ken Bates has moved to explain the club's current relationship with the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Writing his programme notes for Saturday's game against Hull City the chairman explained to fans: "You should be aware that all is not well in our relationship with the YEP.
"Co-operation between the club and its local paper is vital but it cannot be one-way traffic.
"Leeds United needs the YEP to get its message across, the YEP needs United's stories to help sell newspapers.
"Of course the YEP should be impartial while supportive but unfortunately this no longer appears to be the position.
"When Kevin Blackwell left, Phil Rostron, the YEP Sports Editor, wrote an article under his own name, making serious allegations against the club.
"At Mr Rostron's request we had a meeting in an attempt to clear the air. Phil promised to justify his claims on the following Monday but didn't telephone me and I haven't heard from him since.
"We sent a solicitor's letter on October 3, didn't get a (totally unsatisfactory) reply until October 31, so reluctantly, we issued a writ on November 2.
"The YEP's defence should be served on December 27, last week their lawyer requested more time to reply, in fact until January 24.
"Despite this, we have continued to offer the YEP the same facilities as the rest of the media, although the players have their own quarrel with the YEP, of which Mr Rostron was left under no illusion when he met Kevin Nicholls and Gary Kelly last week.
"Despite Yorkshire Radio being very supportive of St George's Crypt's Christmas Appeal, the YEP denied them access to report on the opening of a new centre on December 8 2006.
"The final straw was the back page headline in the YEP 'Poyet is in a Panic'. Gus was furious and rightly so.
"In the circumstances and with much regret the YEP will no longer be welcome at Leeds United until the legal wrangle is resolved."I'm sorry for any inconvenience to our fans but of course you can still get all the news and views via Yorkshire Radio, the SMS texting service and the website www.leedsunited.com which is compiled to two ex YEP correspondents."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Leedsunited.com 19/12/06
CLUB FINED
The club were today fined £2000, £1000 of which is suspended, for a breach of Football League regulations, following the game at Burnley last month.
The club was in breach of Football League regulations after naming six loan players on the team-sheet for the match at Turf Moor on November 28. The maximum allowed is five.
The players named on the team-sheet were Graham Stack, Matt Heath, Ugo Ehiogu, Tresor Kandol, Geoff Horsfield, and Tony Warner.
The Football League took into account the extenuating circumstances surrounding Matthew Kilgallon's late withdrawal from the team through injury.
Yorkshire Post 19/12/06
Stone departs backing Wise to beat drop
United's former England midfield man finally admits defeat in battle against injury
Richard Sutcliffe
STEVE STONE may not be around to help the fight any more, but the former England international is backing Leeds United to battle their way out of relegation trouble in the Championship.The 35-year-old has this week brought the curtain down on his career after failing to recover fully from an Achilles injury sustained during pre-season last year.Stone had to wait eight months for his debut and even though he went on to chalk up 14 appearances, the United midfield player has now admitted defeat with a settlement having been reached over the remaining seven months of his contract.It means a frustrating end to a career that included the highs of helping England to the semi-finals in Euro '96 and winning promotion to the top flight three times.Speaking to the Yorkshire Post from his native North East, Stone said: "It has been a really frustrating year-and-a-bit. I came to Leeds full of hope that I could be part of another promotion success."Leeds needed a right-sided midfielder because Aaron Lennon had been sold and I was really looking forward to the challenge."But unfortunately, four or five days into pre-season I suffered the Achilles injury and it has never really recovered. I got back eventually but knew things weren't right pretty much straight away."I was getting a pain every time I tried to sprint, and if you can't do that at the top level then you can't do your job. I tried to adapt my game but it proved impossible and as someone who has always given his all, I knew I couldn't go on."It was only fair on the club to go to them and say 'I can't do this any more'. That way they can save on tax and a few other things, and I can get on with the next part of my life."People keep asking me if I will be bored but I have several business interests in the North East, including a building firm and a scaffolding firm. I am also doing some media work with Five Live, while my four kids will also make sure I am never bored."Stone's Achilles injury and the complications that followed during his rehabilitation means he has watched plenty of United from the sidelines in the past 16 months and is adamant his former club have what it takes to get out of trouble.He said: "Last season was frustrating from my point of view but what kept me going was our results. The team were doing well and I really thought we were going to catch Sheffield United."It also made it easier for me because the pressure was off when I finally made my debut. This season, though, it has been very different because results have been poor. That just added to the frustration."Leeds will get out of trouble, I am certain of that. Obviously, this season was supposed to be about building on last year and making sure we went up."It has not turned out like that, unfortunately, and now there is a new manager. Dennis Wise has already started to rip the team apart and bring in his own men, and that will continue in the January transfer window."He will mould a new team and get Leeds away from the bottom of the table. The time to judge him properly will be next season when it is completely his own team, but I still think he will keep Leeds up." Stone quite rightly looks back proudly on his three promotion successes and appearance in the 2000 FA Cup final despite being in the Aston Villa team beaten by Chelsea in the last final to be played at Wembley.And he remembers fondly his part in Euro '96 when he came off the bench against Switzerland, Scotland and Spain as England battled through to the semi-finals where they lost on penalties to Germany.Stone said: "Euro '96 was a fantastic experience and something club football just can't replicate. It made it even more special because we were in the country at the time so could see how everyone got caught up in the excitement."It was once-in-a-lifetime stuff for everyone from the players to the fans. It was great to play a part, though I remember thinking when I came off the bench in extra-time against Spain in the quarter-final 'I hope I don't have to take a penalty if it stays 0-0 in normal time'."I was down to take the seventh penalty with Robbie Fowler taking the one before me. Thankfully, we weren't needed as we won 4-2 on penalties."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Leedsunited.com 15/12/06
STONE DEPARTS
Leeds United thave cancelled the contract of midfielder Steve Stone by mutual consent.
The 35-year-old former England midfield player has been plagued by injury since he joined the Elland Road club for the start of last season and had no real alternative but the bring down the curtain on his playing career.
When he joined Leeds from Portsmouth, hopes were that Stone would bring his wealth of experience and knowledge to the side but he had the misfortune to suffer an Achilles tendon injury during his first training session with United.
He went through a season-long battle when, following an operation, the wound became infected. "The injury and the infection has taken its toll on me and there were times when I even struggled to get up out of bed in a morning because of the injury," he said.
"Things didn't really work out for me right from the start and it has been a big disappointment for me but that is the way things go sometimes," he said.
"It wasn't right for the club and it wasn't right for me but now that things have been sorted out it is a relief," he added.
Stone began his career with Nottingham Forest in 1989 and made over 200 appearances there before moving to Aston Villa ten years later in a £5.5m transfer. He joined Portsmouth in 2002 and left there for Leeds in the summer of 2005.He made his international debut with England in 1995 and went on to earn nine caps, scoring two goals.
Yorkshire Evening Post 13/12/06
Wise: Just 10 more wins
by Phil Hay
Dennis Wise today swept aside concerns over Leeds United's Championship position, insisting the club were well on the way to the magical 50-point mark.
The Elland Road boss has set his sights on 10 victories from United's remaining 24 league games after claiming 30 more points will allow his players to repel the threat of relegation.Leeds are third from bottom in the Championship and have taken 20 points from their first 22 matches, and Wise's side will begin the second half of the season inside the relegation zone unless a convincing victory over Ipswich Town this weekend is coupled with a heavy defeat for Barnsley at Leicester.A total of 50 points is considered by most managers to be enough to preserve Championship status, and a tally of just 43 was sufficient to avoid a place in the bottom three last season.Gillingham, however, were relegated with 50 points to their name two years ago, and Walsall amassed 51 before dropping out of England's second tier at the end of the 2003-04 campaign. But Wise is unwilling to contemplate the possibility of United falling into League One.Asked if the Championship table was beginning to concern him, United's boss said: "It wasn't great when I came here so that isn't going to bother me."We have to get a certain amount of points by a certain time. Time's far from up, put it that way. If they keep performing the way they have been it will change. There's a fair few points to be had and you need between 48 and 50 points. I am confident."Wise's squad will be strengthened at Ipswich this weekend by the return of Ian Westlake, left, who completed a one-match ban against Derby and is free to face the club he left to join United.Captain Kevin Nicholls is also on the verge of a recall after an 82-minute outing during Leeds reserves' 2-0 defeat at West Brom on Monday.The midfielder has not featured for United's first team since undergoing knee surgery at the start of October.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Yorkshire Evening Post 9/12/06
More bitter home truths
LEEDS UNITED 0 DERBY COUNTY 1
On the next occasion Leeds United and Derby County meet, the curtain will come down on the Championship season.How much will be at stake for either club at Pride Park on May 6 remains to be seen, but there was little in United's performance yesterday to suggest their situation will be any less bleak in six months' time than it is this morning.Dennis Wise's early efforts at Elland Road have offered encouragement to United's following but, after nine games at the helm, the job of rescuing Leeds from the Championship's relegation zone is refusing to get easier.County will outclass better sides than Wise's this season, and Billy Davies players arrived in Yorkshire on the back of six wins from seven games.But the first-half performance delivered by United will stand among their most shambolic this season, and their improvement during the second half failed to force a result.Leeds were behind after less than 10 minutes, stung by a header from Giles Barnes, and their lack of productivity up front meant the early effort was enough to seal Derby's win. PossessionThe visitors were a yard ahead of Wise's players and first to every ball, leaving United to feed on a small amount of possession in midfield.The three-man combination of Shaun Derry, Jonathan Douglas and Eddie Lewis was swamped by County's midfield, who hinged on the passing and ball-winning qualities of former Elland Road midfielder Seth Johnson.Their defence seemed unbalanced by Hayden Foxe's inclusion out of position at right back.The Australian had looked uncertain during previous appearances in the same role, and the organisation that Wise craves among his defenders was sorely missing. At the other end, United's strikers were simply left to watch the game pass them by until deep into the second half.Leeds' vulnerability during the early stages of their league fixtures has been glaringly apparent throughout the first 22 games of the season, and a costly trait reared its head again as Derby broke the deadlock after only nine minutes at Elland Road.Former Huddersfield striker Jon Stead was given space on the left wing to whip a curling cross to the back post where Barnes squeezed a low header past Graham Stack.The early strike was a repeat of last weekend's clash with Barnsley, when the Oakwell club snatched the lead after three minutes.StruggledBut, unlike the 2-2 draw at Elland Road eight days ago, United struggled to muster an immediate response to Barnes' finish.Leeds had created the first clear chance of the game on seven minutes when David Healy – recalled to the starting line-up in place of Ian Moore – met Foxe's cross with a volley which swung wide of the post, and Foxe was an unlikely threat again in the 18th minute when his low shot brought a comfortable save from Stephen Bywater.But the gaps in United's defence were expertly picked out by County's attack, and Leeds were spared a second Derby goal by a woeful strike from Matt Oakley shortly after.The visiting captain was given the simple task of finishing off another dangerous delivery from Stead, but his shot from eight yards sailed over the crossbar with only Stack to beat.Stead's creative instinct was a crucial difference between the teams and his raking crossfield ball cut Leeds open again on the half-hour.Although Steve Howard's weak header brought an end to a prom-ising attack, Derby always looked capable of striking for a second time.ImprovementBut the interval gave Leeds a chance to regroup, and the second half brought signs of improvement from Wise's players, without producing a goal.Eddie Lewis pulled a shot wide of Bywater post after a quick break involving Derry and Robbie Blake left the American free inside the box.The home crowd thought Blake had produced an equaliser on the hour when his free-kick flicked the side netting.But their best opportunity fell to Healy in the 66th minute, his final act before making way for substitute Moore.The Northern Ireland forward laid a pass off to Blake after finding space inside Derby's area, but when the ball returned to his feet, Healy lashed a hurried finish high into the stands.County were then unlucky to see David Jones' fierce strike in the 89th minute hammer against the underside of the bar before bouncing to safety.Bywater preserved the visitors' lead at the death when he threw himself to his left to parry a goalbound header from Matt Heath.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Leedsunited.com 9/12/06
STATEMENT
Leeds United can confirm that the club breached Football League regulations at Burnley on November 28 by naming six loan players on our team-sheet for the game.
The maximum number of loan players any club can name on a team-sheet for a game is five.
We will co-operate fully with the Football League on this matter and explain the extenuating circumstances.
We're on the mend
by Phil Hay
MATT HEATH today warned Derby County to expect a mentally-toughened version of Leeds United when they turn out in Yorkshire this weekend.
Billy Davies' side will descend on Elland Road tomorrow fresh from six wins in seven matches, but Heath believes the timing of United's meeting with Derby will suit his team-mates.The on-loan Coventry City defender has witnessed a vast improvement in United's character since his second game for Leeds ended in a sorry 3-0 defeat to Southampton last month, and Heath is hoping Leeds will be equal to the challenge of one of the Championship's in-form teams tomorrow.United are still trapped inside the division's relegation zone, 18 places below County, but Heath said: "I definitely think we're beginning to stabilise."The fighting spirit is better, and the game at Burnley was the best example of that. We lost 2-1 but we battled hard and we had them hanging on at the end."The Southampton game was completely different. At 1-0 down we were still in the game but as soon as the second goal went in you could tell we were finished."Heath is planning to put himself in line for a fresh deal at Elland Road before the transfer window swings open on January 1. The defender's loan from Coventry runs out at the start of next month, but he would welcome a second opportunity with Leeds if his prospects at the Ricoh Arena fail to improve.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sporting Life 2/12/06
LINESMAN COST US WIN - WISE
By Mark Walker, PA Sport
Leeds manager Dennis Wise claimed linesman Karl Evans had cost his side all three points after the Yorkshire derby with Barnsley ended 2-2 at Elland Road.
On-loan central defender Matt Heath appeared to have given Leeds a 3-2 lead midway through the second half when he headed home Ian Westlake's corner at the near post.
Referee Kevin Wright saw nothing wrong with Heath's effort, but his assistant Evans drew his attention to an infringement and the effort was ruled out.
"It was the linesman this time wasn't it?" Wise said after goals on their home debuts from both Tresor Kandol and Ugo Ehiogu cancelled out two fine individual efforts from Barnsley striker Daniel Nardiello.
"I don't know what he's seen. I've just shown him it and he doesn't know what he's seen, but he's still making out he's seen something, some kind of foul.
"I don't know what the foul was, I really can't work it out. There were no complaints from their players.
"He (the linesman) made a mistake just before that when he flagged for offside before the corner, maybe he's making up for it.
"I'm disappointed he couldn't turn round and have the decency to say he'd made a mistake. There was nothing from their goalkeeper. It was a fair goal."
Wise was full of admiration for his players for twice fighting back to level despite a nervy start in a thrilling first half.
"It was a massive game for us. We were a bit nervous and after conceding a goal so early I was pleased we got back into it twice and we looked like the team that could win it.
"We had enough chances to win the game, good chances and it's disappointing."
Wise was full of praise for new loan signing Kandol, who made his first start for Leeds since arriving from League Two side Barnet.
"You've seen what he's about. He can be a bit laid back sometimes, he knows he can do better when he's got the ball, but you can see what a threat he is and he's going to score goals.
"He's a handful, he's a big lad and wins a lot of headers, has a very good touch and is a very decent player."
Leeds remain in the bottom three after their first draw under Wise, but the former Swindon manager is confident his side will begin to move clear of danger.
"We're okay, we're doing alright. We've got some good games coming up and if they keep playing the way they've been playing they'll be fine."
Leedsunited.com 2/12/06
FIGHT BACK
UNITED 2 (Kandol 8, Ehiogu 45) BARNSLEY 2 (Nardiello 3, 36)
UNITED: Stack, Douglas, Ehiogu, Heath, Crainey, Blake (Healy 80), Westlake, Derry (Richardson 64), Lewis, Moore (Carole 88), Kandol. Subs: Warner, Healy, Carole, Beckford.
BARNSLEY: Colgan, Hassell, Heckingbottom, Reid, Togwell, Hayes, Knight, Howard, Austin, Nardiello (Richards 79), McCann. Subs: Letheren, Tonge, Williams, Richards, Devaney.
Referee: K Wright
United boss Dennis Wise made one enforced change from the side which lost 2-1 to Burnley in midweek with Hayden Foxe missing through suspension.
Tresor Kandol was the man to come in - making his full debut - with Wise re-shuffling his pack to move Robbie Blake behind the forwards, on the right, and Jonathan Douglas dropped to right-back.
But United got off to the worst start possible after Barnsley opened the scoring in the third minute.
Danny Nardiello, who tormented United as a second half substitute at Oakwell in November, ran into the area unchallenged and was allowed the time to place his shot into the far corner beyond the reach of Graham Stack.
Leeds were level within five minutes, though, when debut man Kandol headed home his first goal for the club.
Barnsley defender Neil Austin headed a Douglas cross high in the box, and Kandol rose quickly to beat visiting keeper Nick Colgan as the ball looped down and he finished with a well-placed header, pictured.
Barnsley were defending desperately again moments later when Robbie Blake steered a low corner into the box, but the visitors scrambled the ball away.
As derbies go it was an entertaining opening 25 minutes with both sides seeking to get forward when possible.
The visitors had a couple of penalty appeals waved away while, at the other end, Blake tested Colgan with a free-kick from distance and also saw a shot deflected to safety after more panic in the Barnsley goal-mouth.
United continued to press, and on 35 minutes Eddie Lewis was denied by an upright when he struck a Blake pull-back sweetly with his left-foot.
But the visitors were always a threat on the break with their high tempo approach, and their response to the close shave was immediate.
Nardiello, out on the Barnsley right, latched on to a long pass forward before cutting inside and delivering an inch-perfect finish into the far corner to make it 2-1.
United came back straight away and Lewis was denied again when he shot narrowly wide, following a Blake corner. Ian Westlake also screwed an effort wide after a quick-break by Leeds.
And they were rewarded for their efforts in first half stoppage time when Ugo Ehiogu joined Kandol in netting his first for the club.
A United corner was half-cleared to Westlake, Shaun Derry returned his cross into the box, and Ehiogu headed home.
Barnsley keeper Colgan was called into action seven minutes into the second half when he reacted well to beat away a Westlake shot after some good build-up play by United.
Colgan also made a good save to deny Blake with a free-kick from distance.
United keeper Stack was also called upon to make one superb block from Leon Knight. Paul Hayes broke down the Barnsley left and delivered a cross for the onrushing Knight, but Stack was quick off his line to get the block in.
Stack made another good save when he palmed away a Hayes effort, following another quick break by the visitors.
However, United thought they had finally gained the advantage on 70 minutes.
Matt Heath appeared to have made it good day for first-time scorers when he headed home a Westlake corner, but after consulation with his assistant, referee Kevin Wright disallowed the goal.
With ten minutes remaining and the game still very much in the balance, United brought on David Healy for Blake as they stepped up their search for a winner but it was Barnsley who threatened in the 84th minute when Knight set up Hayes with a shooting opportunity but Stack made the save.