Crewe Alexandra followed up the derby day victory over Port Vale with a spirited and hard-fought 1-1 draw against Yeovil Town at Huish Park.
Billy Waters notched his third of the campaign to put the Alex ahead just after the hour mark, but substitute Kieffer Moore headed level ten minutes later to ensure a share of the points. The Glovers’ Joel Grant thumped the post in added time in what would have been a cruel ending.
Steve Davis made one change to the starting XI from the side that won on derby day against Port Vale, Thierry Audel replacing Adam Dugdale
who picked up a slight knock in training so wasn’t risked from the outset.
In a tight first period, Crewe had the first opportunity on 16 minutes, Oliver battling down the left and crossing for Haber to head on goal, but he was back-pedalling and couldn’t get enough power on the effort to test Kean.
Former Alex man Ajay Leitch-Smith looked determined to make an impact against his former employers, playing a number of neat passes and making dangerous runs, and it was his endeavour that earned the corner that lead to the Glovers’ first chance on 23 minutes. Sam Foley’s centre was met by giant centre-half Aaron Martin, but he couldn’t direct his free header on target.
From that moment Yeovil began to gain more of a foothold and forced Garratt into a smart save on 32 minutes. Full-back Nathan Smith laid it off to Joe Edwards to strike from 25-yards and his rasper forced Ben to fly through the air to turn over.
Four minutes later, Anthony Grant was robbed of possession by Yeovil’s Joel Grant on the edge of the box, but the strikers rushed effort flew high and wide. Foley’s shot on the stroke of half-time was likewise - nowhere near troubling Garratt as the half ended goalless.
Crewe started the second period with great positivity and came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock on the 51st minute mark. Tootle drilled in the cross and Haber flick on his header that the goalkeeper was forced to turn over the top.
Ten minutes later, Yeovil had their first chance of the half, Aaron Martin breaking free of his marker from a corner to win the header, but he glanced it wide.
When the play restarted, Crewe pressed Yeovil high up the pitch and were rewarded with the 62nd minute opener. Oliver won the ball from Sokolik in the right corner, ghosted in field and shot, Kean beat away the effort but only into the path of Waters who coolly steered home.
After the goal the Glovers ramped up the pressure after a triple substitution and almost drew level thanks to the magical quality of Leitch-Smith, turning his man before setting up Grant who pulled his shot past the near post.
However, the hosts weren’t to be denied for long, making their pressure tell after 72 minutes, and it was two subs who combined to score. Nathan Ralph found space on the left flank before whipping in a cross for the towering Kieffer Moore to thunder his header into the corner.
The equaliser gave the home side the lift and momentum and got the crowd roaring. The Glovers pushed hard entering the final period and it was a carbon copy of the leveller than gave them a great chance, but time Moore’s header hit the roof of the stand.
Deep into added time, Yeovil almost snatched the points when the knock down fell to Joel Grant and his thumped effort cannoned back off the post to give Steve Davis a huge sigh of relief.