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League One

Leroy Lita gives Danny Wilson a lift

16 August 2014

Barnsley manager Danny Wilson believes Leroy Lita can forge a formidable partnership with Sam Winnall after the veteran striker helped Barnsley come from behind to notch their first win of the season at Crewe Alexandra.

Lita, who last scored in November 2014, was in the right place at the right time to finish off Winnall's deflected cross for the Reds' 57th-minute equaliser.

While he looked short on match fitness, the former Reading and Swansea forward showed flashes of his quality, including an ambitious scissors kick, as Barnsley came back strongly after trailing to Billy Waters' wonder goal.

Once Lita had levelled there looked to be only one winner at Gresty Road and Barnsley skipper Martin Cranie grabbed the three points with a towering set-piece header 15 minutes from time.

"Leroy and Sam will get better and strong as we go along and the goals should come from them," said Barnsley boss Wilson.

"Leroy was 'Johnny on the spot' for his goal which is what he is about. Sam is very similar and we expect them to be in double figures very quickly."

Barnsley were dumped out of the Capital One Cup at Oakwell by Crewe in midweek when Waters was also on the mark in a 2-0 win.

Wilson added: "We saw the problems Crewe caused through Vadaine Oliver in the cup tie, but we stopped him here.

"The cup defeat hurt so it's good we've been able to exact a little bit of revenge."

After Winnall's first-minute header was brilliantly tipped over by Crewe keeper Scott Shearer, Waters had the home crowd gasping when he arrived at the far post to unleash a fine volley from Greg Leigh's cross which flew into the roof of the net to give the Railwaymen a 22nd-minute lead.

Barnsley were back on level terms as Shearer was caught out by Winnall's teasing cross, which squirmed out of he keeper's reach to drop for Lita, who had the easiest of finishes from six yards.

And when Conor Hourihane's corner was headed on by Lewin Nyatanga, Cranie rose highest to plant a header under the crossbar for the winner.

Winnall could have made the game safe but just missed applying a finish at full stretch following substitute James Bree's cross, although by that stage Crewe boss Steve Davis felt the forward should not have been on the pitch.

The former Scunthorpe man escaped with a yellow card for a retaliatory sweep of his legs, which left Anthony Grant sprawling in agony.

"He just kicked out and that wasn't the right decision," Davis said.

"He should have got the red card for retaliation.

"I didn't think the referee gave us anything, although that wasn't the reason why we lost.

"We made two silly mistakes and gave away sloppy goals.

"Our forwards have got to do better too and I am active with that and I will be looking to bring in some players to make us more dangerous, although it was a beautiful finish technically from Billy for our goal."

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