Reds 0-2 Crewe Alexandra
A goal in each half for Crewe was enough to knock the Reds out of the League Cup in the first round as Billy Waters and Matt Tootle found the net for the visitors.
One positive that Reds manager Danny Wilson can take from the game will be the good performance of 16 year-old debutant James Bree.
Looking sharp after Saturday’s loss to Crawley, the Reds looked dangerous in the early stages testing their opponents straight from the off.
After only 40 seconds the game saw its first chance as Keith Treacy tested Crewe keeper Ben Garratt on his full debut for the Tykes. Despite a strong effort from the debutant, Garratt in the visitor’s goal was able to get down quickly and deal with the danger.
Barnsley then continued to look dangerous as after holding on to possession for a period, Leroy Lita was almost able to capitalise on a hesitant looking Crewe defence but Garratt in the Crewe goal was able to muster a clearance after a poor back-pass.
Reds midfielder Conor Hourihane then rallied the crowd as he saw his swinging free kick sting the hands of the Crewe keeper before almost scoring again seconds later, seeing his volley from the resulting corner go agonisingly wide.
Minutes later it was the Railwaymen who should have taken the lead after Billy Waters sliced a chance to put his side ahead and the ball fell comfortably into the hands of Reds’ keeper Adam Davies.
With 22 minutes on the clock, Conor Hourihane pounced as a loose pass between the Crewe defenders saw him gather possession for the Reds and thread a ball to Sam Winnall. Frustratingly for the Reds, as the frontman released his effort an unlucky loss of balance saw the shot miss its mark.
Crewe’s Billy Waters who had previously failed to put his side ahead could have then done the same again.
After losing his marker on the turn, Waters carried the ball into the Barnsley box before releasing a shot towards the Reds’ goal. Always veering wide of Davies’ near post, Waters shot failed to test the Barnsley keeper but his presence in the final third seemed to be keeping the Tykes’ defenders busy.
Soon after, the Railwaymen then took the lead after Billy Waters’ finally got his name on the score sheet after he converted a tap in at the far post to put his side one ahead after 32 minutes.
Towards the end of the half, the Reds continued to press Crewe but they were unable to find a breakthrough as the Alex go into the break 1-0 in front.
The Reds came out for the second half looking determined to find a goal and get themselves back on level terms.
After some good play down the left side, Reds’ winger Reuben Noble-Lazarus almost caught the Crewe keeper out as his early cross hung in the air and surprised Garratt forcing the keeper to make a difficult save.
Barnsley youngster James Bree had been impressive on his debut and some good work from the 16 year-old down the right side won a free kick for the side.
From the resulting effort, Keith Treacy who had been the Reds’ danger man in the first half saw a 20 yard effort curl wide.
Treacy continued to be instrumental in all of the Reds’ attacking moves as he looked to be the most likely source of a goal for Barnsley.
The Reds were almost level from a headed effort by Sam Winnall in the 64th minute. A great ball from Reece Brown beat everyone and found the head of the front man but he was unable to beat the Crewe keeper from eight yards out.
The introduction of Dominic McHale mid-way into the second half changed the face of the Barnsley attack and his weaving runs through the middle of the park caused the visitors some problems.
In an effort to add another attacking option to his side, Reds boss Danny Wilson then brought on the imposing figure of Jean-Yves M’voto in place of Treacy to add some extra pressure to the Crewe back line.
M’Voto’s introduction nearly paid off after the emergency striker used his height to nod down a cross for Sam Winnall, only to see Winnall fire his shot over the bar.
Barnsley then continued to barrage the Crewe goal as the crowd rallied behind their team for the final ten minutes.
Frustratingly for the Reds, the Railwaymen were able to match everything that was thrown at them as Barnsley continued to knock on the door for an equaliser.
In a well worked move, Crewe then went two in front in the 83rd minute against the run of play after Matt Tootle found a way through the Reds’ defence and buried a shot in the bottom corner.
In the dying minutes of the game, the Reds were unable to find a consolation goal despite some promising attacking football as the match ended 2-0 to Crewe Alexandra.
Reds: Davies, Brown, Nyatanga, Cranie, Treacy (75), Hourihane, Bree, Bailey, Winnall, Noble-Lazarus (86), Lita (61).
Subs: Dibble, Berry, Digby, M'voto (75), McKnight, McHale (61), Boakye-Yiadom (86).
Crewe: Garrat, Tootle, Ray, Dugdale, Turton, Oliver (86), Inman, Waters, Nolan, Leigh (61), Grant.
Subs: Shearer, Guthrie (61), Saunders, Baille, Jones, Molyneux, Haber (86).
Referee: Christopher Sarginson.