Barnsley U18s have progressed to the FA Youth Cup fourth round thanks to a brilliant second half display, which included a brace from starlet Aiden Marsh.
On a chilly evening at Gresty Road, both sides put in a shift and looked well matched heading into the break.
However, the Reds stepped up a gear after the interval and were worthy of their victory – their first in this competition since 2012.
It was Tom Harban’s side who made a lively start to the game, pinning Crewe back and coming close through both Marsh and Joe Ackroyd.
At the other end, Alex’ attacking threat grew throughout the half, with Tyreece Onyeka flashing a shot narrowly wide of the upright.
A great chance fell the way of Charlie Winfield following the announcement of added time. A beautiful move began with the midfielder darting at the opposing defence before a quick one two with Marsh put him in on goal only for Andrew Walklate to stand firm in the home goal.
HALF-TIME: Crewe Alexandra 0-0 Barnsley
Nine minutes after the restart, a corner led to Will Lancaster clipping the post when he found himself unmarked and with enough space to get a shot off.
More great work in midfield by Winfield contributed to the first goal of the game but there was still more to do when Marsh picked up the ball. The striker then turned the defender and saw his deflected strike loop over Walklate into the back of the net.
The lead was almost doubled in style soon after when Brad Binns struck the ball sweetly from distance, but Walklate‘s somehow managed to tip his thunderous drive onto the crossbar.
Late on, Marsh put the game to bed. Bearing down on goal, he took on his man to open up the angle and fire a low shot underneath Walklate’s body to double the lead.
There was time for the hosts to grab one as Matthew McDonald crashed home deep into stoppage time, but it wasn’t enough for Lee Bell’s side as Barnsley held on for a much-deserved win.
Their reward will be a trip to either the Stadium of Light or St Andrews, with Sunderland set to host Birmingham in their third round tie on Thursday 12 December.
CREWE XI: Walklate, Djalo, Woodthorpe, McDonald, Hartshorn, Goodrich, Priestman, Green, Lokko, Robbins, Onyeka.
Subs: Le Grand Akpo, Wrench, Levey, Marsden, Marrow, Kennington.
REDS XI: Brown, Hassan-Smith, Pache, Nicholson, Calligan, Lancaster, Ackroyd, Winfield (Sila-Conde, 83), Birks, Marsh, Binns.
Not used: Widdop, Walmsley, Ariely, Hodgson, Olatubosun.