BARNSLEY failed to put pressure on the top six as they were defeated by basement club Crewe at Oakwell.
After pressing for much of the second half, the Reds were caught on the counter and suffered a second successive 2-1 defeat following the South Yorkshire derby reverse at Doncaster Rovers.
Reds coach Lee Johnson had the luxury of naming an unchanged side for the fourth successive match, though he gave former US College striker Harry White, 20, a place on the bench for the first time since signing from Gloucester City last month.
Crewe named three strikers but, like Barnsley, generally left just one up front, mirroring the hosts’ 4-5-1 formation.
The game came to life in the 14th minute with Reds captain Alfie Mawson the central figure.
The central defender first baulked Ryan Colclough, who smashed home the 22-yard free-kick, but then advanced to the other end to head home a corner from Conor Hourihane as Ben Garratt missed his punch.
The sides then attempted to out-pass each other for the remainder of the half but there were no more goals.
Barnsley did most of the pressing after the interval and Marley Watkins was inches away from sliding on to and converting a low cross from the dangerous Hourihane.
However, Crewe retook the lead in a rare counter-attack in the 80th minute when David Fox drove a cross from the right and Lauri Dalla Valle chested past a startled Nick Townsend at the near post.
Michael Smith came on to replace Kadeem Harris and almost equalised as he burst down the middle only for Garratt to push his shot wide.
Mawson almost made it 2-2 in stoppage time but Garratt tipped over his header from a corner and the goalkeeper did the same to thwart a back-header from Reece Wabara as Townsend came up for a corner at the death.
Barnsley: Townsend, Wabara, Mawson, Nyatanga, George Smith, Watkins, Scowen, Pearson, Hourihane, Harris, Winnall. Subs: Davies, Bree, Roberts, Michael Smith, Digby, Rothwell, White.
Crewe: Garratt, Baillie, Nugent, Guthrie, Turton, Inman, Atkinson, Fox, Colclough, King, Dalla Valle. Subs: Cooper, Saunders, Jones, Wintle, Ainley, Mullarkey, Nizic.
Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire)
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