Crewe 1 (Guthrie 32)
Reds 2 (Winnall 53, Mawson 67)
Barnsley kept plugging away and eventually their quality shone through to beat Crewe 2-1 at Gresty Road.
Goals from Sam Winnall and Alfie Mawson kept the Reds within distance of the Play-Off chasing pack.
On four minutes the Reds had a sight of goal from Hourihane's free-kick after ex-Tykes loanee David Fox was adjudged to have fouled the Barnsley captain 20 yards out.
But the Reds came even closer two minutes later as a clever dummy from Winnall allowed Fletcher in on goal but he was taken out from behind. Just as the ball trickled towards the net, the hosts cleared.
After Davies threw his cap on a tame Inman effort, the Reds countered with Fletcher down the middle. Unfortunately his through-ball sent Isgrove too wide to shoot, but the winger delivered for Winnall although his header dropped wide on 13 minutes.
The Reds eased their way back into the match on 25 minutes with a decent spell on the ball. Hourihane threaded Bree in down the right with a clever pass but his cross was cleared for a throw. Roberts launched the ball in for Mawson but his header was straight at Garratt.
At the other end seconds later, Davies was forced into his first save of the game after Inman was found at the far post. Davies did well to block low at his near stick for a corner.
A typically scruffy goal for Crewe broke the deadlock on 32 minutes. A low delivery from the right landed at Haber's feet, his shot was deflected in off Guthrie who didn't know anything about it.
Barnsley responded through Marley Watkins after the winger drove at his man down the right. He managed to work a shot away but it drifted wide of Garratt's far post on 36 minutes.
It was a very scrappy start to the second half and neither team could stamp their mark on the game. Neither side could fashion a proper chance, but the Reds did find the leveller on 53 minutes.
Conor Hourihane whipped in a dangerous corner, in a crowd of bodies Sam Winnall managed to squeeze the ball into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.
Barnsley had a new lease of life with the travelling 891 Tykes in good voice.
The Reds had found a bit of confidence and controlled a good five-minute spell of the game, with Williams crossing for Watkins before the referee blew up for a foul by Winnall.
On 67 minute Barnsley hit their second of the game in some style to edge in front. Nugent was booked for a cynical foul on Fletcher and from the resulting free-kick Alfie Mawson absolutely lashed it home from 20-yards to find the bottom corner.
Barnsley introduced their first substitute of the match, with Harry Chapman coming on for his debut as he replaced Lloyd Isgrove with 18 left on the watch.
The goals had given Barnsley confidence they needed for their quality to shine. They were controlling the play with ease as Crewe looked shellshocked and captain Conor Hourihane was completely running the show.
On 81 minutes the Reds had the ball in the net and then hit the bar in the space of 60 seconds, but their first attempt was chalked off for offside. Fletcher rifled in after Houirhane's corner dropped his way but the linesman raised his flag. A minute later, Chapman curled a stunning curler towards the top corner that Garratt clawed onto his own crossbar.
From the resulting ricochet, Watkins tried to find Winnall but he got the ball caught under his feet and Crewe managed to clear.
It could and should have been 3-1 on 86 minutes when Chapman sent Winnall in with an accurate through-ball. His effort from a tight angle was saved into the path of Watkins but it seemed to bounce off his shin and inches wide.
No real chances came in the final few moments and the Reds managed to see their way to three points.
Crewe: Garratt, Turton, Guthrie, Nugent, Haber, Inman, Cooper, Fox, Jones, Bakayogo, Hitchcock.
Subs: Richards, Ray, Saunders, Ng, Ainley, Howell.
Reds: Davies, Bree, G.Williams, Mawson, Roberts, Hourihane, Brownhill, Isgrove (Chapman 73), Watkins, Winnall (Scowen 89), Fletcher (Tuton 90+6).
Subs: Townsend, Nyatanga, Smith, Khan.
Referee: S. Stockbridge.
Attendance: 4,451 (891 Reds)