Hamill’s hat-trick turned the tables on in-form Leeds. (©PAphotos)
by Paul Hoggins
, read by 328 people.
Tykes fans must have wondered after the loss to Norwich on Saturday what lay in store at Oakwell for the visit of Leeds United last night.
The men from Elland Road came to Barnsley unbeaten away from home this season and this run looked likely to continue when within three minutes Jonny Howson put Leeds ahead.
Barnsley battled back though and just when it looked like the visitors would go in at half time with a one goal advantage, on-loan striker Garry O’Connor put the Tykes level on 42 minutes.
Nothing that happened in the first half could have prepared the crowd for what happened in the second. It was a 45 minutes in which Adam Hammill tormented the Leeds defence and turned the game on its head.
Within seven minutes of the re-start, Hammill cut through the visitors defence and, although his progress was blocked by Shane Higgs in the Leeds goal, the ball ran loose where Jim O’Brien tucked it home to put the Tykes 2-1 up.
Things got even better on 65 minutes when Diego Arismendi‘s excellent finish from an acute angle gave the Reds a two goal cushion. Barnsley continued to create chances and only good saves from Shane Higgins kept out the rampant Reds.
However, the Leeds keeper was helpless on 82 minutes when Hammill’s swinging corner was headed into his own net by Neil Collins. Within a minute, and before the crowd had time to draw breath, Hammill had the ball again and, after a fine run, hammered home a fifth goal that send the Oakwell faithful into delirium.
Leeds had opened the scoring on an incredible night and also finished it as Davide Somma rammed home from close-range with four minutes to go but it was a case of too little too late.
Fortress Oakwell has well and truly been established, with the Reds maintaining a 100 per cent record at home. Whilst Mark Robins will be delighted with last night’s result and look forward to another game at Oakwell on Saturday for the visit of Derby, he’ll be desperate to try and translate some of the home form to that when the Tykes are on the road. But for now the club should enjoy victory over their Yorkshire neighbours.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.