Scunthorpe United inflicted Crewe Alexandra’s seventh successive defeat at the Alexandra Stadium with midfielder Luke Williams the match winner with two goals for the Iron in a 3-2 win.
Crewe Alexandra fought hard to remain in the contest and Marcus Haber’s 9th goal of the season with 11 minutes remaining did provide us with an opportunity to grab a point but we couldn’t create that clear cut chance to find a way past Anyon.
Vice-captain Ollie Turton fired us into a 15th minute lead with a contender for goal of the season. The right back unleashed a powerful drive from 25 yards that flew past the former Crewe and Port Vale goalkeeper Joe Anyon.
The Iron were level by the break with Williams taking a pass from Paddy Madden in his stride before dispatching it past a helpless Ben Garratt.
The visitors’ took the lead for the first time in the 64th minute with winger Hakeeb Adelukan volleying home from close range at the far post. Williams netted his second goal with 15 minutes to go with Scunthorpe catching us on the counter attack. After Ben Garratt had saved from Madden, Williams tucked home the rebound.
Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis made three changes to the starting line-up that lost to rivals Port Vale last weekend. Captain Harry Davis was not deemed well enough to be included in the Crewe Alexandra squad so David Fox captained the club. Ben Nugent returned to the starting line-up. George Cooper and Callum Ainley also returned to the starting line-up with Zoumana Bakayogo and Daniel Udoh dropping down to the substitutes’ bench.
Crewe made a really bright start to the game with midfielder James Jones playing a major influence in getting us on the ball. We confidently passed the ball around and Fox was rather unfortunate not to chest down a crossfield pass from Jones. Kirk continued to be vibrant in possession and another good delivery from Jones nearly saw young Ainley flick a header goalwards.
The Railwaymen deservedly took the lead on 15 minutes when Turton picked the ball up 25 yards from goal before unleashing an unstoppable drive past Anyon for his first goal of the season and his first since scoring away at Preston in March 2014.
Scunthorpe winger Adelukan shot just wide and the busy Williams did likewise minutes later.
Cooper drifted off the wing but dragged his shot wide of the target before a dazzling run from Kirk saw him lay a perfectly weighted pass to Haber but he sliced his shot wide of the target. It was a good chance for us to double our advantage and two minutes left we were left to rue the missed opportunity.
Two minutes before the interval, Madden broke the offside trap in behind George Ray and he teed up Williams, who took a touch before powerfully drilling it past a helpless Garratt.
Scunthorpe finished the half on top with Tom Hopper just missing out turning in a cross from Conor Townsend. The striker flew into the six yard but didn’t get enough of a firm contact to put them ahead.
The start of the start half was fairly even but Townsend did have a firm shot blocked and Jon Guthrie had to make a timely block on the line to prevent Madden from tapping into an empty net after Garratt had failed to hold onto a shot. Guthrie did superbly to get his boot on Madden’s follow up effort and he did enough to divert it away from danger when a goal looked likely.
Another splendid pass from Jones picked out a fantastic run of Ainley. The young midfielder took the long ball down superbly well in his stride but under pressure he couldn’t get enough on his shot to take it past Anyon, who got a firm glove on the shot.
Ainley also hit a bouncing shot that Anyon found uncomfortable to deal with but he recovered well to beat Cooper to the loose ball.
Scunthorpe’s second goal came out of very little and perhaps a lack of communication between Guthrie and his goalkeeper Garratt allowed Adelukan to steal in at the far post and control his volley.
Crewe were now chasing the game and Cooper had a deflected effort that looped into the arms of Anyon before he was replaced by Bakayogo. The former Leicester man certainly added some attacking zest in the final third for the Alex.
Ainley was booked for an apparent dive after a mazy run inside the penalty area had the fans on the edge of their seat. Kirk was replaced by Saunders for the final quarter of the game.
Iron made it 3-1 on 75 minutes and it was another poor goal for us to concede with Madden and the eventual goalscorer Williams queuing up to score at the far post. Williams notched home from close range and it looked over as a contest but credit to the Alex, who despite being low on confidence kept going.
Bakayogo certainly made a difference with his pace and his direct style. He put over two really tempting crosses that someone should have taken a gamble on before he did provide another superb delivery that Haber tucked home to create a grandstand finish.
Moments later Bakayogo robbed Jordan Clarke of possession and his excellent cross should have been converted by Haber, but he couldn’t keep his shot down to trouble Anyon.
Haber was replaced by Daniel Udoh soon after but we couldn’t quite another chance to rival that one. Nugent did see a late header punched clear by Anyon as we tried to snatch a draw from what was a fairly even game.