Town 1 Crewe Alexandra 2
Town: Joe Anyon (Chris Weale, 20), Jermaine Grandison, Darren Jones, Luke Summerfield, Mark Wright (Asa Hall, 58), Lee Collins, Paul Parry, Matt Richards (c), Jon Taylor, Marvin Morgan, Aaron Wildig
Subs: Chris Weale, Rob Purdie, Ryan Doble, Asa Hall, Michael Hector,
Goals: Hall, 61.
Crewe Alexandra: Alan Martin, Matt Tootle, Harry Davis, Mark Ellis, Max Clayton, Luke Murphy (c), Mathias Pogba, Ajay Leitch-Smith, Kelvin Mellor, Chunks Aneke (Brendon Daniels, 80), Andy Bond
Subs: Ben Garratt, Adam Dugdale, Oliver Turton, Gregor Robertson, Brendon Daniels
Goals: Murphy, 10, Clayton, 58
Referee: Mr. P.Tierney
Assistants: Mr. A.Clayton & M. Duncan
Fourth Official: Mr. N. Hobbis
Matt Johnson reports from Greenhous Meadow
Boss Graham Turner makes two changes to his starting line-up after the weekend defeat at Doncaster, one of which is enforced. Jon Taylor comes in for the injured Terry Gornell who suffered a knock to his knee at the Keepmoat Stadium and in goal, Joe Anyon deputises for Chris Weale to make his Shrewsbury Town debut for this JPT 2nd round tie.
Rather predictably, the game started slowly and it was Crewe who were the first to call a goalkeeper into action. On eight minutes, Mathias Pogba cushioned down for Ajay Leitch-Smith and the forward struck a half-volley from the edge of the box that was saved comfortably by Joe Anyon.
But the visitors did make the breakthrough just two minutes later. Luke Summerfield beat Max Clayton to the ball on the edge of the Town box, but it fell kindly for Pogba who struck low at goal. Anyon saved well, but the rebound fell straight into the path of Alex captain Luke Murphy who composed himself before slotting into the top corner of the net.
Town almost drew level in the 16th minute when the visitors could only half clear a Mark Wright corner. The ball sat nicely for Aaron Wildig on the edge of the box and his rifled effort zipped low and hard through a crowd of players, only to be cleared off the line by the Alex rearguard. Jon Taylor kept the move alive and whipped the cross, but Marvin Morgan couldn’t steer his header on target.
Town keeper Anyon was forced off with injury just 20 minutes into his debut and his replacement, Chris Weale, was forced to make a terrific save ten minutes later. Goalscorer Murphy took aim from 25-yards and curled a delicious effort that looked destined for the top corner, but Weale managed to stretch up a hand to tip it onto the crossbar.
That save proved vital as, a minute later, Town could, and probably should, have drawn level. First, Summerfield cracked an effort from 18-yards that was saved well by Alan Martin. And from the resulting corner, an unchallenged Darren Jones missed his guilt-edge opportunity when the goal was gaping.
The remainder of the half passed through with little incident as Town tried in vein to recover from Murphy’s early setback.
Half-time: Town 0-1 Crewe
The Alex started the brighter in the second period too, and almost double their tally when Leitch-Smith volleyed at goal on 50 minutes, but Weale was equal to the near post drive and beat it away for a corner.
Just seven minutes later, Crewe did find a second. Mathias Pogba received the ball centrally and drove into the Town box, shimmied past three defenders and teed up Max Clayton who coolly fired home.
Immediately after the goal, Asa Hall replaced Mark Wright and the impact was immediate as Town were quite literally gifted a lifeline on 61 minutes. Hall picked up the ball from 35-yards and hammered a speculative effort towards goal. What looked a routine save for Martin proved far from comfortable as the ball squeezed awkwardly from the young keeper’s grasp and into the back of the net.
That man Hall again was almost single-handedly hauling Town back into it, and a replica effort four minutes later had the crowd on their feet but this time, Martin, albeit unconvincingly, was able to save with his legs.
Town continued to pile on the pressure and were a whisker away from drawing level on 73 minutes. Wildig played in-field for Hall, who rolled a perfectly weighted ball for Jon Taylor to strike, but Martin made amends for his error with a smart save down to his left to beat the ball behind for a corner.
With the bit between their teeth, Town pushed hard to take the game to penalties, but with ten men behind the ball, The Alex were able to hold out for the victory to send them into the third round.
Full-time: Town 1-2 Crewe