Barnsley reached the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in seven years with a 3-1 at League Two Crewe Alexandra. 

Jacob Brown’s stunning strike opened the scoring in the third minute but the hosts levelled three minutes into the second half. Conor Chaplin headed in with 15 minutes left then Luke Thomas’ late finish into the empty net, after Crewe’s goalkeeper went up for a free-kick, secured the Reds’ place in tomorrow’s fourth round draw. 

Barnsley were not at their best but created by far the better chances and were in control for long periods of the game.  Gerhard Struber made four changes from the side that lost at Derby County on Thursday. Brad Collins, Kenny Dougall, Elliot Simoes, who was making his first professional start, and Brown came in for Sami Radlinger, Aapo Halme, Mike Bahre and Patrick Schmidt who all dropped to the bench.

The Reds opened the scoring in the third minute when Brown smashed a volley from just outside the box into the bottom right corner. It was his second goal of the season after netting in the 2-1 loss at Huddersfield Town in October.  It was almost 2-0 with another spectacular goal in the sixth minute but Alex Mowatt’s 25-yard volley was pushed over by Will Jaaskelainen. Mowatt then sent an overhead kick over the bar after Mads Andersen headed a Clarke Oduor corner then Conor Chaplin shot straight at the goalkeeper from a tight angle six yards out after good work by Brown on the right of the box.

The hosts’ first chance came in the 12th minute when Chuma Anene fired into the side netting from the right of the box. Luke Thomas tested Jaaskelainen with a 15-yard shot in the 18th minute but it was saved down to the goalkeeper’s left after the midfielder cut in from the right of the box following good hold-up play by Brown and a fine Mowatt pass.

Brown volleyed a Williams cross straight at the goalkeeper but the hosts should have levelled in the 34th minute when Bambo Diaby and Dougall crashed into each other near the halfway line and were on the floor as Crewe attacked an outnumbered Barnsley defence. Harry Pickering crossed from the left but Daniel Powell, unmarked at the back post seven yards out, put a superb chance wide. 

The hosts levelled three minutes into the second half when, after a corner was cleared, the ball was put back in from the left and Charlie Kirk lofted it back across goal on the volley for veteran Paul Green to head in from close range amid complaints of offside. 

Brown volleyed over the bar eight yards out after Jaaskelainen could only weakly punch away a cross from the left. Oduor was then close to his first senior goal as he curled a free-kick onto the crossbar from 25 yards out. Brown then curled a 25-yard shot just wide of the top right corner and had another long-range effort easily saved. 

The Reds retook the lead on 75 minutes when Mowatt’s left-wing cross was headed across goal by Diaby and Chaplin headed in his ninth of the season from close range. 

Crewe did not fashion a chance for a leveller but won a left-wing free-kick in the 94th minute which Jaaskelainen went into the box for. It was cleared then Dougall smashed the ball downfield for Thomas who ran into the box to tap into the empty net. 

Crewe (4-3-3): Jaaskelainen; Ng, Wintle, Hunt, Pickering; Ainley (Finney 82), Green, Lowery; Powell, Anene, Kirk.  Unused: Richards, Jones, Johnson, Dale, Adebisi, Mbulu. Goals: Green 48.  Barnsley (4-4-2 diamond): Collins; J Williams, Andersen, Diaby, Oduor (B Williams 78mins); Dougall, Mowatt, Thomas, Simoes (Schmidt 73); Chaplin, Brown. Unused: Radlinger, Bahre, Styles, Sibbick, Halme. Yellow cards: Diaby, J Williams.  Goals: Brown 3, Chaplin 75, Thomas 90+4. 

  • 14:05pm
    Jacob Brown with a fantastic strike from outside the box
  • 14:06pm
    A perfect start from the visitors. It is Brown's second goal of the season and an excellent one, smashing into the bottom right corner on the volley from about 20 yards out
  • 14:08pm
    6 Now Mowatt tries his luck from 25 yards after Crewe lost the ball deep in their half but Will Jaaskelainen pushes it over
  • 14:12pm
    10 Another chance for the Reds. Andersen meets Oduor's right-wing corner at the back post and heads back across goal bot Mowatt who tries an overhead kick but it is over. He should have left it for team mates behind him in an ideal world
  • 14:13pm
    11 Not for the first time in recent weeks, Jacob Brown gets down the right of the opponent's box and pulls it back for Chaplin who shoots from close range but this time it is easily saved by the goalkeeper
  • 14:14pm
    12 Crewe have their first chance as Chuma Anene fires into the side netting from the right of the box
  • 14:17pm
    A pretty frantic start to the game and the Reds look like creating chances all the time. They are getting plenty of possession high up the pitch and have the skill and quality to get in behind Crewe
  • 14:19pm
    The game has settled down a little bit now but the visitors are bossing possession and look in control
  • 14:21pm
    18 Another shot on goal for the Reds. This time it is Thomas who gets the ball on the right of the box after good work by Brown then a fine Mowatt pass. He cuts inside and shoots from 15 yards but Jaaskelainen gets down to his left to save
  • 14:25pm
    Halfway through the first half. The Reds have been well on top but will be hoping one of their many shots soon goes in and doubles their lead
  • 14:30pm
    Jacob Brown makes contact with Nicky Hunt after he clears the ball but just gets a talking to from the referee with the home fans wanting a red card
  • 14:31pm
    The game is pretty even now but the likes of Brown, Mowatt and Chaplin look to have the beating of the home players when they get the ball in the Crewe half
  • 14:34pm
    It's a bit more scrappy now, the hosts are trying to get forward and get behind the visitors' line but their passing looks a bit off
  • 14:35pm
    33 Brown volleys a right-wing Williams cross from 15 yards out but it is straight at the goalkeeper who catches easily
  • 14:36pm
    34 Big chance for Crewe when Barnsley pair Diaby and Dougall seem to collide and go down hurt. The hosts break against a bedraggled Barnsley backline and Pickering crosses for Daniel Powell who is free at the back post but surprisingly fires wide
  • 14:37pm
    Both Diaby and Dougall up and back in action
  • 14:40pm
    36 Another chance for Crewe but their cross from the right is well cut out by Diaby who is having a decent game so far
  • 14:44pm
    42 A decent passing move by Barnsley ends in Simoes being scythed down 25 yards from goal
  • 14:44pm
    43 Mowatt puts the free-kick well over the bar
  • 14:47pm
    Nearly half-time now. Barnsley will be pleased with the scoreline and the amount of shots they have had but will want to start creating that really good opening for a second while they will be wary of Crewe's threat at the other end as the hosts missed a huge chance to level ten minutes ago
  • 14:49pm
    HALF-TIME: Crewe 0, Barnsley 1. Jacob Brown's early stunner separates the two sides
  • 15:08pm
  • 15:09pm
    Paul Green levels
  • 15:11pm
    Crewe's corner is cleared after shouts for a penalty, then it is crossed back in fringe the right and volleyed across goal for the 36-year-old to head in
  • 15:12pm
    50 Brown misses a chance to reply immediately as he smashes a volley over from 12 yards out after the goalkeeper punches a cross from the left
  • 15:12pm
    Attendance: 5158 (1122 from Barnsley)
  • 15:12pm
    Apparently Paul Green was well offside when he headed that in
  • 15:16pm
    The hosts have been given a massive boost from the leveller, the crowd is up and it's a real contest now
  • 15:20pm
    59 Clarke Oduor's free-kick from the left hits the crossbar! Barnsley so close to taking the lead again
  • 15:23pm
    Barnsley have come closer to taking the lead since Crewe levelled but it is still an even contest in general play with the visitors continuing to pose a threat
  • 15:25pm
    64 Brown has just curled a 25-yard shot just wide of the top right corner
  • 15:28pm
    Two thirds of the way through this cup tie. Barnsley have had by far the better and more chances in this game but they are being held by the League Two side who will fancy their chances of an upset
  • 15:30pm
    69 Decent chance for Barnsley as the hosts gift Dougall the ball on the halfway line and he passes on to Brown who finds Thomas but the Reds man cannot control the ball in the box and the hosts clear
  • 15:32pm
    71 A really good move involving cross field passes by Brown, Thomas then a good Simoes dribbles ends in Brown's long-range deflected shot being easily caught by Jaaskelainen
  • 15:32pm
    Barnsley's first change sees Patrick Schmidt come on for Simoes
  • 15:35pm
    Conor Chaplin heads in!
  • 15:37pm
    A cross from the left is headed across goal by Diaby and Chaplin heads in from five yards out
  • 15:37pm
    That is his ninth goal of the season, drawing him level as top-scorer in all competitions with Cauley Woodrow
  • 15:38pm
    77 Pickering now shoots weakly straight at Collins from 25 yards out
  • 15:38pm
    Ben Williams replaces Oduor in Barnsley's second change
  • 15:42pm
    Into the final ten minutes now. Barnsley will be delighted to just see this out and get into the fourth round draw
  • 15:43pm
    Crewe's first change sees Will Ainley replaced by Oliver Finney
  • 15:46pm
    Barnsley have not been scintillating today but, at the end of a gruelling schedule of games, they have been professional and got the better of a lower league side. They just need to hold on now
  • 15:47pm
    Bambo Diaby first Barnsley man in the book for a foul just inside the Crewe half
  • 15:50pm
    We're now into the 90th minute. Brad Collins has just caught a cross after a rare Crewe attack
  • 15:51pm
    Three minutes added time
  • 15:52pm
    90+1 Chaplin smashes a 25-yard free-kick well wide
  • 15:54pm
    Jordan Williams booked
  • 15:55pm
    90+4 Crewe free-kick on left. Keeper comes up. Pickeering takes it. Dougall clears and Luke Thomas taps into the empty net