A goal in each half from Academy graduates George Cooper and James Jones gave the Railwaymen their fourth successive win in all competitions at Blundell Park.
It was no more than the Alex deserved after an impressive showing on the road with Steve Davis’s men having much more control in the game.
Chris Dagnall also had a penalty saved at 0-0 by Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown. On the stroke of half-time Cooper slotted home a superb pass from Lowe for the opening goal and his third of an impressive season.
Crewe had to wait until five minutes before the end of the game to make the points safe with James Jones once again arriving inside the opposition penalty area to force home a decisive second goal. The only downside was a late injury to Alex Kiwoyma, who had to helped off after dislocating his shoulder after landing on it.
On his 250th game in charge of the Club, Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis had the luxury of naming an unchanged side for the third game running at Blundell Park. The only major doubt in the week, Ryan Lowe, shook off a slight hamstring problem to retain his place alongside Chris Dagnall. Davis named the same group of substitutes after another free mid-week.
The early part of the game was spent too much in the air for Crewe’s liking and it was a struggle for us to get the ball down and play. From the offset it appeared Grimsby’s main objective was to get our back four turning and for them to provide service into our penalty area as soon as possible. The home side played some neat interchanging football around our box but just overran it over the by-line.
Some tenacious play from Dagnall won a free-kick in the 8th minute some 25 yards from goal. Cooper’s effort deflected for the first corner of the afternoon and after the first delivery was cleared. Turton kept the ball alive with an interception and fed James Jones, who’s clipped cross found Jon Guthrie in the centre of the goal but he could only direct his header straight at James McKeown. It was a good chance for the in-form defender.
Crewe began to impose themselves on the game more and started to produce significant patterns of play. Kiwomya won a header and was clattered by Josh Gowling but the defender made up for his mistake by clearing Jones’ free-kick from the left hand side. Lowe also stole in behind after a clever pass from Jones but his near post cross was cleared for a corner.
On 26 minutes, Bakayogo was booked for a high challenge on Ashley Chambers but Crewe were understandably aggrieved after the Crewe defender was booked for really our first untimely challenge of the game.
Two minutes later, Crewe were awarded a penalty for a deliberate handball from Gowling. The Grimsby defender rather strangely handled Cooper’s dipping cross that was aimed at Dagnall and referee Sailsbury had no option but to point to the spot. It was a complete rush of blood.
Dagnall stepped up for the Alex but saw his firm shot was superbly palmed out by goalkeeper McKeown and both he and Cooper could not force the ball over the line in the follow-up. Grimsby survived and the save ignited the home crowd.
Crewe needed their dominance to pay off but Grimsby were getting their head on most things going into their box. On the break, the Mariners did have the ball in the net on 40 minutes after Vose sent the ball out to danger man Omar Bogle on the Crewe left. The powerful striker got his shot off from 20 yards and Garratt couldn’t hold it but as Shaun Tuton tapped home the rebound, the assistant’s flag went off to rule it out for offside.
Hollands became the second Crewe player to see yellow for a challenge on the impressive Ashley Chambers.
Just before the half time interval, another well struck free-kick from Cooper went through everybody to drop to Kiwomya at the far post but the winger couldn’t keep his shot down to trouble McKeown.
Crewe deservedly took the lead in first half stoppage time. Dagnall pounced on to a loose pass from Summerfield to find Lowe on the left hand side. The veteran striker looked up and picked out a perfect pass to spot the run of George Cooper and the winger tucked it into the bottom corner with a fine side footed finish.
Two minutes into the second half, Crewe had a good chance to double the lead. Jones did superbly in the centre of the pitch to steal possession back from Summerfield and he fed Lowe with an accurate pass inside the Grimsby box. The ball just seemed to get stuck in his feet but he managed to get his shot off and McKeown was forced into another decent save.
Moments later, Dagnall conceded a free-kick 25 yards from the Crewe goal but Ben Davies drilled the free-kick into a solid Crewe defensive wall.
A couple of half chances for the Alex then saw McKeown rush from his goal to deny Dagnall and goalscorer Cooper sent a shot over the crossbar after some neat interchange of passes involving Turton and the lively Jones.
Grimsby had a penalty appeal waved away as Bakayogo went in with Tuton at the near post but there didn’t seem much in it. Bogle then became the first Grimsby player to be cautioned for bumping Bakayogo off the pitch but that was more for persistent fouling.
On 64 minutes, Grimsby made their first change with Kaydon Jackson replacing Tuton. Jackson’s first contribution saw his cross fall to Brandon Gomley but his well struck shot was straight at the well positioned Garratt.
A brilliant double tackle from Guthrie set Kiwomya on the attack and he was fouled by Gowling just outside of the Grimsby box. After undergoing treatment, the on-loan Chelsea winger was able to continue. From the resultant free-kick, Lowe curled his effort inches wide of the top corner.
Grimsby’s second change saw Vose make way for Tom Bolarinwa. Grimsby began to apply some pressure and Guthrie made another timely interception to deny Summerfield a clear run on goal.
Crewe’s first change came with 10 minutes left with goalscorer Cooper making way for Charlie Kirk. The Railwaymen were standing strong and Guthrie and Davis were impressively heading balls out of our box and full-backs Turton and Bakayogo were not letting their wide men get the better of them.
With five minutes remaining on the clock, Crewe achieved the cushion of the second goal. Lowe found some space inside the Grimsby box to clip a cross aimed at Guthrie. The defender was a nuisance in front of McKeown and his lay-off allowed the supportive Jones to force the ball over the line. The ball spun in our favour and a good spot from the assistant said the ball had crossed to signal a goal.
With the three points wrapped up, Crewe had to see out the game and the only disappointment was a late injury to Kiwomya. He appeared to suffered a shoulder injury after hitting the pitch hard. Billy Bingham replaced him as Crewe got over the line to win a third successive League Two win.
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