Barnsley 1 Crewe 2 - match analysis: Reds unlucky in shock defeat

Alfie Mawson celebrates Barnsley's equaliser
Alfie Mawson celebrates Barnsley's equaliser
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Barnsley boss Lee Johnson blasted the officials following his side’s 2-1 defeat to bottom-of-the-table Crewe Alexandra.

The Reds head coach felt his side had been hard done by after a few borderline decisions went the way of the visitors.

Sam Winnall gets up for a high ball against Crewe

Sam Winnall gets up for a high ball against Crewe

Conor Hourihane and Sam Winnall both had goalscoring chances ruled out by the assistant referee’s flag.

Two penalty shouts were also waved away by referee Mark Brown and Johnson believed his side were given an uphill task in a game that they were unlucky to lose.

“I’m very disappointed with a couple of the linesman’s decisions,” said Johnson.

“Conor Hourihane is two yards onside and he gives an offside and then we score a goal when Marley Watkins gets slid in and Sam Winnall tucks it in. Again onside for me and it’s just not good enough from the officials.

“Kadeem (Harris’ penalty), I can understand why he thought that one might have been a bit soft so I’m happy to back the referee on that one.

“I thought the other one where the ball went high up in the air and the guy climbed all over Michael Smith was more of a penalty but the two offsides were big decisions that they’ve got wrong.”

Aside from those decisions, the Reds produced a strong performance and were unfortunate not to come away from the game with at least a point, if not all three.

Johnson had called for the hosts to hit back after the slip to local rivals Doncaster Rovers, but they couldn’t break down Crewe.

The result continues a trend which has seen Barnsley struggle to see off the perceived weaker sides in the division, including a 1-1 draw at Blackpool and last weekend’s loss to Rovers.

However, Johnson was quick to defend his players: “The match was one of the most one-sided games I’ve ever seen,” he said.

“I’m as disappointed as anybody because I still believe in the group. There was not a lack of passion or work-rate and nobody shirked at a tackle.

“We are getting into good areas and moving the ball through the lines very well.

“Teams are finding it difficult to match us but then they sit off. But when that happens you have to have that bit of magic, whatever it takes to get that goal.”

The early signs looked promising as the Crewe defence offered plenty of chances.

Harris made a tenacious run down before being denied by Ben Garratt, who then saved well to deny Marley Watkins.

However, a free kick conceded on the edge of the box gave the visitors the chance to strike against the run of play and Ryan Colclough blasted in an unstoppable effort from 20 yards direct from the set-piece.

However, the reply was instantaneous as Alfie Mawson headed the equaliser from a corner two minutes later.

The Reds controlled the rest of the half, but were unable to find a goal.

Their best chance of the second half came early on, when Garratt got down well to his right to keep Hourihane’s goal-bound effort out.

Crewe rarely ventured forward but on a rare foray into it they managed to net a second.

Adam King burst down the right before crossing and Lauri Dalla Valle managed to get his chest to the ball, with the unorthodox attempt enough to beat Nick Townsend.

In the closing stages Alex keeper Garratt denied both Mawson and Winnall.

Barnsley: Townsend 6, Wabara 7, Mawson 6, Nyatanga 6, Smith 6, Watkins 7, Scowen 6, Pearson 7, Hourihane 6, Harris 6 (M. Smith 80, 5), Winnall 6. Subs: Davies, Bree, Roberts, Rothwell, Digby, White.

Crewe: Garratt 8, Baillie 6, Nugent 6, Guthrie 6, Turton 5, Inman 6, Atkinson 6, Fox 7, Colclough 7, King 7, Della Valle 7. Subs: Nizic, Cooper, Saunders, Jones, Wintle, Ainley, Mullarkey.

GOALS: Mawson 16 for Barnsley; Colclough 14, Dalla Valle 79 for Crewe.

REFEREE: Mark Brown (Yorkshire).