Crewe Alexandra scored three goals in the pouring rain at Quorn to deservedly win this pre-season friendly, but they were certainly made to work hard in the first half to get a firm grip of the game. Crewe's quality and fitness paid off in the second half with youngsters Brendan Daniels and Harry Clayton adding to Mathias Pogba's opener in the later part of the first half.
Quorn FC made a very bright and energetic start to the game and certainly registered the better efforts on goal in the opening 20 minutes. Crewe's young goalkeeper Ben Garratt was called into early action to push away a well struck shot from Watson and he was well placed again to clutch another good effort from Turner.
Crewe were finding it difficult to settle into their passing stride, mainly due to the work ethic of the opposition and the wet surface. That couldn't serve as an excuse though, as the Railwaymen failed to really get in behind the home side and test goalkeeper Simpson. Crewe did have good possession but crosses and passes into the penalty area were not accurate enough and there were too many offside calls for manager Steve Davis' liking. Leitch-Smith and Pogba were just going a little early with their runs.
It was proving hard work out as Crewe tried to get a foothold on a frantic game. Matt Tootle did lift the ball into the net after a superb through ball from Ash Westwood, but again the assistant referee had raised his flag, early, to rule it out.
Our first genuine effort on goal saw the influential Westwood find AJ Leitch-Smith from a clever free-kick but after rolling captain Wiley, he drilled his shot just wide of the far post.
Another promising move from an improving Crewe then saw the Quorn captain clear superbly from a cross from overlapping full-back Andy White.
At the other end, Garratt was again called in action for a third time to push away a shot from right-back Thompson after his pace had taken him beyond winger Michael West.
On 39 minutes, some good approach play from West found Pogba and after he showed his strength to retain possession, he released his strike partner Leitch-Smith and his shot took a slight deflection to divert it into the side netting. From the resulting corner, the first goal finally came. It was simple enough with Pogba climbing highest to head home a cross from Westwood. Leitch-Smith may have applied the final touch on the goal line but the former Wrexham forward was certainly claiming the goal. It was Pogba's second goal after he had netted at Congleton on Saturday with virtually his first touch after coming on as a second half substitute.
Crewe certainly finished the first half on top and winger Brendan Daniels nearly doubled the advantage with another well struck free-kick from 25 yards out, but on this occasion it was inches wide of the left hand post.
The second period began with a tale of two headers. AJ Leitch-Smith didn't get a firm enough connection to a great delivery from West and then defender Harry Davis, was extremely unlucky to see his powerful header from a Westwood corner smack the top of the crossbar.
A more vibrant start to the half from Crewe then saw West drift past a couple of challenges to register a shot on target at Simpson and then Pogba broke clear but elected to pass to Leitch-Smith instead of shooting, who was then immediately crowded out.
A second goal deservedly arrived 10 minutes into the second half. A fine passing move involving West and Leitch-Smith allowed Daniels to steal in and convert from close range. The clever cross from Leitch-Smith certainly made the goal.
It was his last contribution of the evening as Leitch-Smith was replaced by trialist Josh Windass. Daniels then had a firm shot at the far post blocked and from the resulting corner Dugdale saw his firm header flicked into the air from underneath the crossbar.
The second substitution from Crewe saw Harry Clayton replace goal scorer Daniels. Crewe were now firmly on top and enjoying the majority of the possession in the Quorn FC half of the field.
A good interchange of passing involving White, West and Pogba created a sight at goal for Windass and the young striker was unfortunate to see his firm shot tipped over by the well placed Simpson.
With Quorn understandably beginning to tire, their chances were limited due to the commanding performances of Davis and Dugdale.
Ash Westwood curled an effort just wide of the target before a promising run from Harry Clayton was cut out at the death inside the six-yard box. His second effort was lethal as he collected a cross from White before lashing home.
There were late chances for Pogba but the busy Simpson in the Quorn goal did well to deny him a second goal on the night.
Crewe Team: Garratt, Tootle, Davis, Dugdale, White, Westwood, Osman, Pogba, Leitch-Smith, Daniels, West,
Subs: Windass, H. Clayton