Charlie Winfield scored one and made the other as Barnsley U23s won their fifth match in a row on a frosty afternoon at the Oakwell Training Ground.
The home side took the lead three minutes into the second half, as Winfield swung in a corner that was nodded home by Cameron Thompson.
Just nine minutes later, Winfield turned scorer, smashing in Jordan Green’s cutback from the right to double the Reds’ lead.
Tyreece Onyeka gave the visitors hope with a late deflected strike after taking advantage of the ball dropping kindly at his feet, but the Railwaymen were unable to find an all-important equaliser.
Victory was entirely deserved for Barnsley, but prior to Winfield’s double intervention, a combination of spurned chances and a well-drilled Crewe side had kept the match goalless.
First Elliot Simoes went close, before visiting stopper Sam Booth was forced to gather strikes from the edge of the box.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Crewe Alexandra
The Reds continued to pressurise Alex hard as the second half got underway, and finally got their reward with Thompson and Winfield’s respective strikes.
A third goal would not have flattered Barnsley, but it wasn’t forthcoming, and the match did almost turn on its head when Onyeka pulled one back.
Cutting the deficit in half put a spring into Crewe’s step, and they briefly threatened late on when Onyeka was unable to quite run onto a through ball that would have left him one-on-one with Henry Kendrick with ten minutes remaining.
Ultimately, as much as a dominant performance was not reflected in the scoreline, the three points and continuation of the winning run is what will matter most to the young Reds.
FULL-TIME: Barnsley 2-1 Crewe Alexandra
REDS XI: Kendrick (GK), Helliwell, Moon, Trialist, Green (Ariely, 60), Binns (Lancaster, 64), Christie-Davies, Winfield, Simpson, Simoes, Thompson (Calligan, 60).
Not used: Brown, Sherlock.
CREWE XI: Booth, Billington, Williams, McDonald, O’Riordan, Fenton, Levey, Robbins, Salisbury, Onyeka, Marsden.