Crewe Alexandra produced an impressive second-half display to claim a 2-2 draw with Scunthorpe United this afternoon.
A disappointing first half saw the Alex trail 1-0 at the break, but this was corrected by strikes from Daniel Powell and a goal that will be claimed by both Chuma Anene and Oliver Finney to give Crewe the lead. But Kevin van Veen produced a fine finish on the turn to earn the home side a point.
A half-time team talk from David Artell inspired a fight back and Crewe showed more spirit and life the longer the game went on making the Alex well worth their point on the road.
Crewe were immediately under pressure by the hosts but striker van Veen was shut down by Harry Pickering in an excellent exhibition in under pressure defending.
But the Alex struggled to maintain possession throughout the first half and were punished. New signing Michael Nottingham did brilliantly to clear van Veen’s effort off the line but the resulting corner would be fatal. Jacob Bedeau would rise highest and head the ball past Will Jaaskelainen to give Scunthorpe the lead.
John McAtee would also scare Ryan Wintle as the forward put the pressure on the young midfielder. However, Wintle would chase his mistake down and snuffed out the danger before it got out of hand.
In the 29th minute, Daniel Powell would see his first attempt on goal beat Rory Watson but he was flagged for offside. Another chance would come about from some quick counter-attacking football; Perry Ng would cut inside but see his speculative effort sail wide.
Corners were proving troublesome for Crewe has Harrison McGahey found himself in space on the edge of the box but would only ever see his shot rise. Striker van Veen was well closed out to prevent a clear shot on goal moments later.
As the first half came to a close Crewe grew in to the game, Powell would win a footrace against the defence but would run out of ground as Watson prevented a one-on-one opportunity.
It would be Scunthorpe who had the last chance of the half as yet again van Veen was troubling the Railwaymen. The Dutch striker would break through the defence and knock the ball past Jaaskelainen but Nicky Hunt at full stretch diverted the ball wide to prevent a certain goal.
After the break there was an instant response from Artell’s men as Daniel Powell scored the equaliser within a minute of kick-off. He cut inside the Scunthorpe full back to shift the ball onto his right foot to unleash a shot which Watson had no chance of keeping out.
Despite equalising Crewe wouldn’t stop there and Ng would see another one of his efforts miss the target, this time courtesy of a Scunthorpe block. Nottingham would have a better chance minutes later as he rose highest from a free-kick only to see his attempt constantly rise.
Scunthorpe would rely on set-pieces to get back in to the game with some stalwart defending from Nottingham and Hunt to keep the Iron out.
Chuma Anene would get his first sniff at goal as he headed over before the hour mark. The Norwegian was under constant pressure by the opposition defence which did enough to stop the attempt finding the net.
Matthew Lund would be the first in to the book after an off the ball incident with Ng saw the Crewe captain thrown to the floor.
It was a nervy ten minutes for Crewe as both Jaaskelainen and Tommy Lowery had to produce great bits of defending to prevent Scunthorpe regaining their lead.
After weathering the storm, it would be Crewe who would score the third goal. There was impressive work in the build-up from Tom Lowery, who was making his 100th appearance for the Club, and the ball eventually fell for Finney. His cross-looked like it may have been turned in by Anene but Crewe didn’t care as they moved into the lead.
The visitor's celebrations were cut short as the striker who had given Crewe problems in the first half would eventually get his goal. Van Veen would collect the ball from range and take a hopeful shot which rocketed in to the Crewe net.
Paul Green would be introduced for Callum Ainley as Crewe pushed for the winner. The substitute would have a great chance which was valiantly blocked. Ng would finish off a spectacular phase of play by skewing his shot wide whilst Anene first touch let him down when he got through on goal.
The chances just continued to pour in as Anene would yet again find himself on the end of a cutting-edge chance only for Watson to pull off the save of the match.
As the stoppage time announcement rang around Glanford Park, the last meaningful chance of the game would fall to Ryan Wintle who found himself free on the edge only to curl his shot wide of the right post.
Crewe pushed for the winner but it wouldn’t come as they had to settle for a hard-fought point on the road.