Barnsley: Goal-shy Reds are punished by Crewe

Barnsley v Crewe. Picture: Andrew Roe.
Barnsley v Crewe. Picture: Andrew Roe.
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Former Oakwell favourite Steve Davis got the better of his old manager Danny Wilson as his Crewe side sent Barnsley crashing out of the Carling Cup.

The Reds are still searching for their first win of the season - and their first goal - after back-to-back home defeats but the Reds boss will be wondering how an earth his side are not in the hat for the next round.

The home side created a host of great chances and dominated the game from the start, but wasteful finishing meant it was Davis, who played under Wilson during the Reds’ historic 1996-1997 promotion-winning season, took the spoils on his return to his old stomping ground.

Wilson gave a debut to striker Leroy Lita, who completed his free transfer on Saturday after being released from Premier League Swansea in the summer.

Keith Treacy and youngster James Bree were also handed their first starts in a Barnsley shirt as the Reds boss made four changes from the weekend’s opening day defeat. Missing out were Joe Dudgeon, Danny Rose, Luke Berry and Dale Jennings, the latter serving the first of his suspension for seeing red against Crawley.

The only other change from Saturday was Reuben Noble-Lazarus, who slotted in at left wing-back as Wilson tried a 3-5-2 formation.

Treacy, normally a wide man, was playing in a more central role behind Lita and Sam Winnall and it was the former Burnley man who had the first sight of goal inside the opening minute, testing keeper Ben Garratt with a low drive from 20 yards that was comfortably saved.

The impressive Connor Hourihane was next to try his luck with a 25-yard free-kick which Garratt could only fumble and from the resulting corner the midfielder thought he had scored when his volley looked destined for the corner, only for Garratt to somehow stick out an outstretched arm and tip it wide.

Despite Barnsley’s dominance, it was the visitors who should have opened the scoring on 14 minutes when right-back Matt Tootle found Billy Waters inside the six yard box after a great run down the right, but fortunately for the home side, Waters made a real hash of his connection and failed to trouble Adam Davies in the Reds’ goal.

Hourihane, who looks a great acquisition, was pulling the strings in midfield and he produced a great ball to release Winnall but the striker scuffed his shot wide when well placed.

Barnsley’s best chance of the first half came just after the half hour mark when James Bailey whipped in a quickly taken corner that was perfect for Martin Cranie but the centre half somehow headed over when it seemed harder to miss.

That miss came back to haunt the hosts when Crewe took the lead against the run of play just a minute later.

Striker Vadaine Oliver did well to keep the ball in at the byline and his pull back was fired across goal by Liam Nolan for youngster Waters, making only his third start, to ghost in unmarked at the far post and slot home.

Barnsley continued on the front foot in the second half and Treacy was unlucky on 56 minutes when he flashed an effort inches wide of Garratt’s right-hand post from just outside the area.

Wilson handed another youngster his debut, 18-year-old Dominic McHale coming on to replace Lita on the hour, and he saw the whites of the post almost immediately when he fired into the side netting after Winnall’s goalbound header was well saved again by Barratt.

The Reds’ boss then threw on big Jean Yves-M’voto up front for the last 15 minutes and he made an instant impact heading down for Winnall but the striker blazed over when he should have done better.

Noble-Lazarus then saw a goalbound effort deflected over before the visitors put the result beyond doubt with a swift counter attack five minutes from time. Tootle, who missed a penalty on Saturday, made amends by drilling home his side’s second.