Crewe unfortunate not to get all three points again after dominating much of the second half in Somerset.
Crewe: Garratt, Whelan, Ng, Ray, Pickering, Wintle, Jones, Kirk, Ainley, Miller (Nicholls, 88), Bowery (Porter, 69)
Unused Subs: Richards, Raynes, O'Connor, Hunt, Finney
Goals: Bowery (14)
Attendance: 2,397 (108 Crewe)
Crewe Alexandra produced their most dominant away performance of the season this evening at Huish Park, but we just couldn't find that winning goal we probably deserved for our second half performance. It was two points dropped such was our attacking play in the second 45 minutes.
Jordan Bowery gave the Railwaymen the lead with his second successive goal in away fixtures following his wonderful winner at Stevenage on Saturday. Bowery tucked home a rebound after Nathan Baxter had saved his first effort on 14 minutes.
Yeovil Town hit back on 25 minutes after Alex Fisher took full advantage of a lapse of concentration at the back from a Crewe perspective.
After surviving two early chances at the beginning of the second period, Crewe went on to dominate the second 45 minutes and did everything but score again. Charlie Kirk volleyed just over the crossbar from a corner, Shaun Miller had chances with his best hitting the side netting from a tight angle and Ryan Wintle flicked a header inches wide after Baxter was caught in no man’s land at a corner.
David Artell made one change from the Crewe Alexandra side that recorded our first away win of the season at Stevenage at the weekend. Midfielder James Jones, who certainly impressed when coming on as a second half substitute at the Lamex Stadium on Saturday, was recalled to the starting line-up.
Irishman Kevin O’Connor was the unfortunate one to drop back down to the bench, with Harry Pickering utilised at left-back.
Saturday’s match winner, Jordan Bowery, overcame concern with a tight hamstring to start once alongside Shaun Miller in attack.
The on-loan Crewe right-back, Corey Whelan, received a warm welcome on his return to Huish Park after serving Yeovil Town on loan last season.
Under the lights and on a pristine pitch, the contest got off to a frantic start with both teams looking to play up to the front players fairly quickly. Due to the fast start there tended to be a few stray passes and over-hit through balls, as both sides struggled to get a foothold in the game.
The first sight at goal came from the home side after the former Stoke and Port Vale full-back, Carl Dickinson found Yoann Arquin in enough space for him to turn and have his deflected shot flash past Ben Garratt’s right hand post. Garratt did well to climb highest at the corner and claim it with real authority.
Jordan Bowery had an early one on one opportunity up against Bevis Mugabi but the Yeovil defender did well to stand his ground and make a timely block on his cross and it ran harmlessly through to Nathan Baxter.
The Yeovil captain Sessi D’Almeida then showed great strength to hold off the intentions of Ryan Wintle before his low shot was blocked by the covering Perry Ng.
After that first real chance for Glovers, the Crewe front two combined for the first time to unlock the Yeovil defence. On 14 minutes, Miller showed a sublime touch to nip away from Shaun Donnellan and then he had the awareness around him to play in Bowery. His first shot was too close to Baker but the Yeovil goalkeeper allowed it to spill from his grasp and the following in Bowery gleefully helped himself to a simple tap-in for his 5th goal of the season.
It so nearly became 2-0 when a well struck free-kick from Pickering was tipped over by Baxter. It was a much better save from the Glovers goalkeeper after his earlier mistake had allowed Bowery to open the scoring.
Yeovil nearly forced home an equaliser just before the 20-minute mark when Thomas James volleyed back across the six yard and Alex Fisher so nearly applied a decisive touch at the far post. Moments later, Garratt made his first meaningful save of the night when pushing out a diving header from Fisher after Arquin had his first shot blocked by Ray.
Yeovil’s growing pressure finally paid off on 25 minutes with that man Fisher firing first time into the bottom corner after James was allowed to hit a straight diagonal ball to just inside our box. It was a tidy finish from the Yeovil forward to register his 6th goal of the season, but Crewe didn’t deal well enough with the high ball.
Yeovil continued to have more of the possession and winger Alex Gray was causing most of the problems down the left hand side. Gray whistled a really threatening cross just past Garratt’s right hand post. Olufela Olomola then shot a yard wide, as the Glovers went in search of a second goal before the half time interval.
A well-crafted move from the Alex on 43 minutes so nearly saw Bowery on target once again. Whelan, Wintle and Kirk were all involved in the build-up with Kirk’s accurate cross right across the six yard only needed a positive touch from the Crewe forward, but to his great credit, Dickinson made a fantastic block to deny him his second of the night.
Just two minutes after the restart, Yeovil went awfully close to taking the lead when Fisher’s deft touch on a cross from Gray narrowly squirmed past Garratt’s far post. Most of the Stadium thought it was in, but for our sake it just about cleared the post.
Barely a minute later and Garratt had to stand tall to save smartly from Arquin after he had been slipped in behind Whelan.
Ainley soon created Crewe’s best chance of the half. He managed to escape the grip of D’Almeida and feed Miller, and his powerful shot across Baxter just cleared the opposite post. It was a good effort from the Alex striker. That chance saw Crewe on the front foot and Miller then fired into the side netting from an acute angle after Kirk and Pickering again linked up well down the left.
The first change of the night was from the Glovers with Rhys Brown replacing winger Gray.
Ainley’s great run and back heal gave Whelan a sight of the Yeovil goal but he was denied a clean strike at it just as he was about to pull the trigger.
The concerted pressure Crewe were mounting then saw Kirk catch an acrobatic volley perfectly but it just cleared Baxter’s crossbar. It would have been some goal if it had been on target. It was encouraging stuff from the Railwaymen.
More good approach play from Kirk and Pickering then saw Miller flick a header off a Yeovil defender and out for a corner. From the resultant set-piece, Baxter came and collected it to ease the pressure.
Crewe’s first change on 68 minutes saw goalscorer Bowery make way for Porter. Darren Way also used the opportunity to make a change with Omari Patrick replacing Olomola.
Soon after, Miller put Baxter under severe pressure as he left his penalty area, and any sort of touch from the Crewe forward would have seen him past the Yeovil goalkeeper and with an empty net to tap home. Crewe were playing some really positive stuff and Ainley whistled a tempting cross right across the six yard that was begging for a connection from Porter, Miller or Kirk. Whelan then shot over after getting in behind Dickinson.
Crewe were dominating the possession and continued to press, aiming to find that second goal but we also had to stand firm at the back and not let anything slip through the back door at the other end. With 12 minutes left there only looked one winner.
More good work from Kirk at a second phase from a corner then saw Jones denied by Baxter and then Wintle flick a header inches wide after Baxter had come for a corner but didn’t get there.
With the minutes ticking away, the hard working Miller was replaced by Alex Nicholls.
Crewe also had to keep the back door closed and Whelan did superbly well to deny Arquin before the referee blocked an out ball from the Alex and Arquin shot straight at Garratt.
The Crewe keeper then had to save at the second attempt when Thomas James' thumping free-kick in stoppage time swerved in the air. It would have been harsh on the Alex, who also had Perry Ng harshly booked for a handball that he would have done well to avoid from that range!