Sam Fielding’s first half volley ensured Barnsley U23s claimed all three points against Crewe Alexandra in the Professional Development League.
The young Reds controlled much of the game, but it was Alex who perhaps had the better opportunities throughout the contest at Reaseheath Training Ground.
Jordan Barnett had to be alert in the opening stages to block Joe Lynch’s goal-bound effort after a fluid Crewe counter-attack, before Connor Heath’s wicked delivery caused confusion in the visiting backline.
But Martin Devaney’s side weathered that particular storm and started to carve out opportunities of their own with Matty Wolfe and Callum Styles trying their luck from distance.
Barnsley made the breakthrough after 19 minutes when Louis Wardle pumped the ball into the area for Fielding to cushion a volley in off the far post before goalkeeper David Richards could claw it away.
The Reds came close again from a corner as Fielding and Jasper Moon hurled themselves at the set-piece, but were unable to make sufficient contact.
Crewe almost found an equaliser just after the half hour mark as dangerman Lewis Reilly worked a yard of space inside the box but crashed a shot off the upright.
HALF-TIME: Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Barnsley.
Alex Morris’ side upped the tempo after the break as his high-flying youngsters looked for a foothold in the game.
However, their best attempt came from Heath’s half-volley that Jack Walton, making his first appearance since returning from injury, acrobatically tipped over the bar.
Barnett came close to doubling Barnsley’s advantage when he latched onto Wardle’s through ball following a swift break, but the young left-back dragged his shot wide of the far post.
January arrival Elliot Simoes weaved his way past a couple of challenges and unleashed a low drive that was blocked, and Jordan Williams also took aim from range as the Reds looked to strike that killer second goal.
The visitors had to dig in deep with time ticking away as Crewe continued to launch balls into the area that Walton expertly dealt with to preserve his clean sheet and ensure Barnsley travel back to South Yorkshire with another victory.
CREWE XI: Richards (c), Fenton, Adebisi, Offord, Sass-Davies, Johnson, Heath, Lynch, Reilly, Griffiths, Linton.
Subs: Robbins, Booth, Onyeka, Odipe, Woodthorpe.
REDS XI: Walton, Williams, Fielding (c), Moon, Barnett, Wolfe (Otim, 60), Bird, Styles, Wardle, Aramburu (Chisholm, 85), Simoes (Berkovits, 68).
Not used: Kendrick, Walsh.