Lee’s low as Lauri’s late show steals win
LEE Johnson admitted to being the most frustrated he has ever been as a football manager after he watched his side rue a host of missed chances against struggling Crewe.
The Railwaymen executed the perfect smash-and-grab away performance when Lauri Dalla Valle chested home a fine cross from Adam King after 80 minutes.
It was harsh on Barnsley who had made all the running – particularly in the second half – and Johnson was struggling to find any joy at the final whistle.
“It is the most frustrated I have been in my managerial career – I am deeply disappointed,” said Johnson.
“I cannot understand how we did not win that game comfortably.We must have had 20 shots at goal.
“It was one of the most one-sided games of football I have seen but we needed to be a bit more clinical.
“This is our flaw at the moment. When teams sit off, that is when we have to find that bit of magic.
“I am disappointed with our defending for the second goal but overall I thought my players gave everything.”
Ryan Colclough’s fierce and low free-kick handed Crewe the perfect start – albeit against the run of play on 14 minutes.
But typical of the away side’s start to the campaign, they squandered the lead within a minute.
Barnsley captain Alfie Mawson towered above a static defence to head home Conor Hourihane’s inswinging corner.
Crewe’s King, on loan from Swansea City, forced a decent save from Nick Townsend on 36 minutes when his shot from distance was tipped past the post.
The Tykes poured forward after the break in search of a vital three points. Good work by Kadeem Harris on 51 minutes saw him beat his man before his cross was headed wide by Sam Winnall at the far stick.
And on the hour mark, Marley Watkins came within inches of meeting an inviting centre from the hardworking Josh Scowen.
The hosts forced corner after corner but Steve Davis’ men defended resolutely.
And that was rewarded on 80 minutes when Dalla Valle stole a march on Barnsley’s two central defenders to hit the winner.
The win eases previously mounting pressure on Davis, who was delighted with the grit his side showed.
The Crewe boss said: “We got a bit of luck in the end but I thought we defended really well.
“We had to stop their full-backs, defend high and block the middle – I thought we did that well.
“We played some decent football in the first half. In the second half we had to do a job to get anything out of the game. It was a hard-earned win.”
STAR MAN KADEE
M HARRIS Barnsle