Reds 1 (Mawson 16)
Crewe Alexandra (Colclough 14, Dalla Valle 79)
A late smash-and-grab effort from Lauri Dalla Valle was enough to see bottom side Crewe edge past Barnsley at Oakwell.
A game completely controlled by the Reds slipped by as the league's basement side dug in and held on, with one shot on goal in the second half proving the winner.
Ryan Colclough fired home a free kick 14 minutes in after Alfie Mawson had fouled the midfielder but made amends two minutes later, heading home Conor Hourihane’s corner.
Ben Garratt saved a barrage of Barnsley chances before Dalla Valle chested home Adam King’s cross 11 minutes from time to snatch all three points.
The Reds started well with Conor Hourihane and Reece Wabara having early shots blocked two minutes in before Ben Pearson fired wide from the edge of the box.
On 10 minutes, Kadeem Harris sped away down the left, jinked inside but Ben Garratt saved his effort while Marley Watkins had a close range header clawed away by the visiting stopper.
Despite their early chances Crewe capitalised after 14 minutes. Alfie Mawson tripped Ryan Colclough on the edge of the box and the midfielder smashed the resulting free kick beyond Nick Townsend.
Mawson redeemed himself just two minutes later by hauling the Reds level. Hourihane sent in an inviting corner and the captain rose highest to head the Reds level.
Chris Atkinson received a caution for a rash challenge on Josh Scowen with 25 minutes played while Sam Winnall came close to scoring, nodding Harris’ delivery just over three minutes later.
After 36 minutes, Adam King sent a curling effort flashing past the post and Townsend was at his best to deny Bradden Inman putting Crewe back in the lead.
Reece Wabara pulled the final chance of the half wide as the Reds went in level at half time.
Barnsley upped the pressure on the Railwaymen’s goal with Josh Scowen coming close to charging down two of Garratt’s kicks while Marley Watkins headed Harris’ teasing cross wide with 51 minutes played.
In the 54th minute, James Baillie was booked for pulling back the lively Harris and four minutes later, Hourihane saw his spinning shot gathered by Garratt.
Shortly after the hour, Winnall stormed into the box and slid the ball across the face of goal but just beyond the reach of Watkins while Mawson sent a dipping free kick into the grateful arms of Garratt on 65 minutes.
A minute later, Hourihane received a yellow card for a late challenge on Lauri Dalla Valle while King was unable to trouble Townsend with a 73rd minute deflected strike from 20-yards.
Hourihane sent a powerful drive flying past the upright with 11 minutes remaining but the visitors countered well to retake the lead.
Adam King broke clear down the right flank and crossed for Dalla Valle to chest home from a tight angle.
Barnsley replaced Kadeem Harris with Michael Smith following the goal and the striker almost made the desired impact, breaking forward but Garratt reacted well to deny him.
Scowen was booked five minutes from time for bringing down Oliver Turton while Winnall sliced wide in the last minute.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Mawson flicked a Hourihane free kick from the flank at goal but Garratt superbly clawed it away.
Reece Wabara was unable to beat Garratt from Pearson’s delivery in the dying embers as the Reds slipped to consecutive defeats in front of 8,406 fans.
Reds: Townsend, Wabara, Smith, Nyatanga, Mawson, Pearson, Scowen, Hourihane, Harris (M. Smith 81), Watkins, Winnall.
Subs: Davies, Bree, Digby, Rothwell, Roberts, White.
Crewe: Garratt, Baillie, Nugent, Guthrie, Turton, Fox (c), Atkinson, King, Colclough, Inman, Dalla Valle
Subs: Cooper, Saunders, Jones, Wintle, Ainley, Mullarkey, Nizic.
Referee: Mark Brown