Crewe: Jaaskelainen, Ng (Offord, 65), Pickering, Smith (T), Nolan, Wintle, Green, Lowery, Taylor (T) (Heath, 65), Kirk (Hindes (T), 59), Reilly
Unused Subs: -
Goals: Taylor (23), Kirk (40), Reilly (52), Smith (57), Green (62)
Crewe hit Curzon Ashton for five as the Alex ran out comfortable 5-1 winners at the Tameside Stadium.
Trialists Paul Taylor & Harvey Smith were on target as well as Charlie Kirk, Lewis Reilly & Paul Green in the fitness-building pre-season contest.
Eight of the 11 got 90 minutes of game-time into their bodies, with a full squad also competing at Witton Albion on the same evening.
It was a tactical battle for the opening 20 minutes, with Crewe seeing plenty of the ball but struggling to force a clear opening on the Curzon goal.
That changed on the 23 minute mark courtesy of a Paul Taylor thunderbolt. Kirk got to the by-line on the left & teed up trialist Taylor on the angle ten yards from goal to lash an unstoppable drive across the goalkeeper into the far corner for 1-0.
With the goal came increased attacking presence from the Alex & Perry Ng went close to adding a second with a fine solo effort after breaking into the box. He picked up the loose ball, flicked over the defenders head with his right foot & then let fly with a left-footed effort that was well saved by diving goalkeeper Cameron Mason.
The second Alex goal did arrive five minutes shy of the interval though through Kirk. Paul Taylor was the creator this time, lobbing an intricate ball over the defender from the edge of the box for Charlie to hit his shot on the angle off the inside of the near post & cannon into the opposite corner.
Crewe came out with a shot in the arm second half and took the game firmly away from their National League North opponents within 17 minutes of the restart – adding a further three goals to go 5-0 ahead.
Having already tested the keeper with a low drive moments after the second half kicking-off, Reilly hit Crewe’s third of the game on the 52 minute mark from close range. Harry Pickering was slipped in down the left & he slid an inch perfect ball across the face of goal for Lewis to convert from two yards out.
Trialist Harvey Smith headed home the fourth just four minutes later from a perfectly placed Paul Taylor cross. Taylor picked up the ball on the right of the cross following a partially cleared corner & recycled a cross for the unmarked Smith to head down into the corner from six-yards.
Finally for Crewe it was time for veteran Green to add his name to the scoring with 62 minutes on the clock, picking up the ball in acres of space on the edge of the box from a Pickering slide-ball & calmly placing his effort into the corner.
Pickering himself came close to making it six for Crewe with a driven strike narrowly wide from the corner of the 18-yard box, but it was the hosts who came on strong inside the final ten minutes.
They tested Will Jaaskelainen for the first time on 83 minutes, Liam Davies letting fly from 20-yards to force the Alex stopper into a flying stop. But from the resulting corner, the ball found its way to the feet of Davies again on the edge of the box, and this time he fired his shot into the corner with pinpoint accuracy to secure Curzon their consolation strike.
That proved to be the final moment of goal mouth action in the contest with the clash ending 5-1 and no injuries picked up as the boys continue to get vital game-time minutes into their legs ahead of the new season.