Alex hit eight at Whitchurch with Jones scoring from 40 yards.
Crewe Alexandra helped themselves to a glutton of pre-season goals at Whitchurch this evening as our latest warm up encounter drew a crowd of 476 at Whitchurch’s tidy ground.
David Artell’s team helped themselves to eight goals at Yockings Park with Chris Porter helping himself to a brace and trialist Paul Taylor amongst the goalscorers. James Jones scored the goal of the night after spotting that the Whitchurch goalkeeper had strayed from his line before hitting a shot from 40 yards over his head for the seventh goal.Youngster Connor Heath completed the scoring on the night.
The Alex were keen to give something back to the local community and to their credit the Whitchurch fans came out to watch a strong looking Alex side take on their side.
Crewe were in the mood to practice their decision making and finishing in the final third and four first half goals from Eddie Nolan, Paul Taylor, Chris Porter and Harry Pickering ended the game as a contest - but it wasn’t about that as Crewe continued their pre-season preparations.
Chris Porter added his second goal of the night with a close range header after Oliver Finney had met Harry Pickering’s far post cross. Finney also got himself another pre-season goal with a close range header after Owen Dale’s effort had smacked the crossbar from distance.
Late goals from Jones and Heath showed Crewe were in the summer mood to be ruthless in front of goal.
It was another useful 90 minutes of game time for the Alex players and the sapping heat would have been a test too.
David Artell was in attendance at Whitchurch Alport FC and he split his squad into two strong looking sides for our latest double friendlies with Welsh side Bala Town providing the other opposition.
Crewe operated in a 4-4-2 system over the two games with Chris Porter and Owen Dale leading the attack at Whitchurch and Daniel Powell and Lewis Reilly over at Bala. Dave Richards started in goal at Yockings Park and there were run-outs in central midfield for James Jones and Tom Lowery. Oliver Finney started on the right of midfield following on from his pre-season hat-trick at Altrincham.
With Artell watching in North Shropshire the two trialists, Paul Taylor and Christian Mbulu started on the night.
Crewe Alexandra made a perfect start after Harry Pickering won an early corner off the head of Luke Goddard. The Alex attacked the set-piece with a real desire and after Eddie Nolan’s first effort had struck the foot of the Whitchurch post, the Irishman was alert enough to poke in his own rebound for his first goal of pre-season. Barely 60 seconds had surpassed and Crewe had the lead in the bright sunshine.
Moments later after Taylor was swamped by numbers at the far-post, Finney’s run across the Whitchurch box finally saw the ball break to Pickering but instead of electing to strike it first time, the left-back cut back on his left and dragged his shot to Atkinson’s near post.
A splendid pass from Pickering released Porter over the top of the Whitchurch back line but he couldn’t quite keep his shot down enough to test Atkinson again.
It didn’t take too long for Crewe to double their lead with Dale keeping the ball alive down the left hand side. Crewe kept possession well in and around the box and after Taylor and Lundstram combined, the trialist had a decisive touch to create enough space to drill home. It was a fantastic finish that drew warm applause from the healthy crowd.
Crewe were conjuring good chances and from a set-piece, Porter was inches away from scoring a third after he shook his man off to make a solid contact with his side-foot.
Whitchurch produced a fantastic move down the Crewe right hand side. The counter-attack saw Ashman just miss the incoming cross and Pickering was able to clear the danger.
Atkinson was called into action again after a defensive slip in front of him. Dale made a nuisance of himself again to keep the ball alive and the supportive Finney drilled his effort into the legs of the Whitchurch goalkeeper.
The third goal was not short in coming though and Finney turned provider with his long searching cross giving Porter a simple tap in over the line. The experienced forward used his presence to get ahead of his man and simply made sure that the ball hit him as he closed in.
The threatening Pickering got his name on the growing scoresheet after a forceful run and finish. The left back was allowed to roam forward virtually unintended and Whitchurch were made to pay as the Alex youngster elected to drill home a shot rather than look for a team-mate placed in the middle of a crowded box. It was another clinical finish from Crewe.
Whitchurch had a chance to pull a goal back when Ellis threatened to shoot from close range but Mbulu came across and got enough on it to make sure it divert safety through to a well placed Richards.
A back header from Nolan then saw Crewe in danger as Ellis read it and Mbulu had to pull him down or he was in behind us. The referee was lenient and only cautioned the trialist defender. In a competitive match he would have surely seen red as he was the last man and had prevented a goalscoring opportunity. The free-kick was drilled straight at Richards and the half ended 4-0 to the Railwaymen.
At the break, youngster Connor Heath replaced Taylor for his next stage of development. Heath had started at Altrincham following the late withdrawal of Porter.
An early chance saw Finney carry the ball forward with purpose and after he had linked up with Dale, his eventual shot took an unfortunate deflection off Porter and diverted wide.
To their credit, Alport continued to try and create chances of their own and kept probing looking for openings but Richards wasn’t called into serious action.
Crewe were certainly not as threatening in the early exchanges of the second half but we did make it 5-0 after more good approach play from Pickering. His tricky on the left and then deep cross invited Finney to head at the far post and his goal bound effort was made sure by Porter at close range. Whitchurch perhaps had a case for an offside against Porter but the goal stood.
Finney then got the goal he should have been credited with moments before when he helped himself to a close range header after he had followed in a wonderful hit from Dale that was unfortunate to struck the crossbar and bounce down.
Finney nearly added another with a powerful shot but the Whitchurch stopper made his finest save of the evening to deny him.
Crewe had to remain concentrated and organised to make sure we protected our clean-sheet and we did give away some unnecessary fouls that allowed Whitchurch to load our box. Richards confidently came for the high balls enough and he made two smart saves to deny our former Academy youngster Luke Whalley. His second saw him produce the stop of the night. He got a strong enough hand onto to somehow spin it past the post.
Owen Dale was persistent all night and he forced Atkinson into another save as his pace took him clear down the right hand side. The busy goalkeeper stood up well to make a smart save with his legs. Moments later Dale got in yet again but from a similar position the Whitchurch goalkeeper denied him again.
James Jones hit the goal of the game from 40 yards to make it 7-0. A defenders' clearance was rash and landed at the Crewe man's feet and he didn't hestiate to show the ability to strike it over the advanced Whitchurch goalkeeper. It was some finish from that distance as it dropped home.
Young sub Connor Heath got his first goal of the summer with a really tidy finish, shot across goal to make it 8-0 as Whitchurch really began to tire but credit to them as they continued to try and play the right way.