George Ray & Ryan Wintle marked their long-awaited comebacks from injury for Crewe in a 5-1 defeat to Hull City at North Ferriby.
Ray played the opening 37 minutes of the contest, with Wintle lasting the first 45, with the pair both set to feature at Runcorn Linnets in the Cheshire Senior Cup on Wednesday.
For Hull, Will Keane marked his long-awaited comeback from injury with a goal and Greg Luer netted a hat trick. For Keane, it was a first appearance since suffering a serious knee injury against Southampton in November 2016.
Crewe had the first chance of the game as Burton tipped away Charlie Kirk’s shot from the left, but it was the Tigers who opened the scoring with their first real chance in the 16th minute. Tyler Hamilton created the opportunity with a great run down the right and his cross found Hinchliffe who volleyed in at the far post.
Luke Walsh fired over the bar for the visitors after Burton had beaten away a Crewe shot and Annan headed wide at the far post after Hamilton had again done well down the right.
The Tigers doubled their lead in the 25th minute when the Crewe defence failed to deal with Adam Curry’s long ball from the back, allowing Keane to collect before guiding the ball over keeper Dave Richards and into the back of the net with a well-taken lob.
Fleming and Greg Olley combined well down the left but Richards saved at his near post before the visitors pulled a goal back against the run of play three minutes before the break. A ball in from the left was deflected into Lewis Reilly’s path and he fired low past Burton.
Luer fired a left-foot shot wide at the start of the second period before Crewe almost gifted the home side a third goal. Richards’ attempted clearance cannoned off a team-mate but rolled agonisingly wide of the post.
However, it wasn't too long before the Tigers restored their two-goal advantage. With an hour played, Hinchliffe headed down Josh Clackstone’s cross from the right and although Luer’s first effort was blocked, his second found the back of the net.
The former Burgess Hill Town striker netted his second and City’s fourth goal eight minutes later when Hamilton’s pass gave him the opportunity to round Richards and role the ball into the net from an acute angle.
Crewe replied with Reilly having a free-kick deflected just wide for a corner before Luer completed his hat-trick on 78 minutes when he latched onto a long ball, rounded the keeper and fired a left-foot shot into the roof of the net.
Burton saved low to his left to deny Kirk a consolation goal whilst at the other end, Richards saved well from Luer in the closing minutes after James Yates and Liam Edwards had combined well down the right.
Crewe: Richards, Offord, Adebisi, Lundstram, Ray (T.Johnson 37), Sass-Davies, Walsh (Griffiths 56), Wintle (Lynch 46), Reilly, Finney, Kirk.