A well-taken brace from forward Lewis Reilly gave Crewe Alexandra Under 23’s all three points against Leeds United at Reaseheath.
His first half header and late direct free-kick won the game 2-1 for the Alex after Mallik Wilks had drawn the Whites level midway through the second period.
Ryan Wintle played the full 90 & George Ray got 69 minutes under his belt as the pair continued to step up their fitness on return from long term injury.
In an even first half, Dave Richards twice had to be on hand to keep Leeds out inside the opening eight minutes.
First he made himself big to block Jack Clarke’s attempt from a narrow angle before saving Mallik Wilk’s shot from distance at full stretch.
Crewe were well in the game though, looking menacing themselves going forward, & took the lead on the 17 minute mark.
As he did throughout much of the first half, Charlie Kirk twisted & teased the United back line before teeing up Harry Pickering to deliver an outswinging peach of a cross which Reilly expertly headed over the top of goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell into the net.
Leeds came close to levelling ten minutes before the break when Oliver Sarkie whistled a 20-yarder marginally over the crossbar, but Crewe went into half-time with the advantage.
After some heavy Leeds pressure during the opening 20 minutes of the second period, Crewe almost stretched their lead on 68 minutes when Reilly beat the offside trap & thundered a first time bouncing ball that left the keeper rooted but whacked off the crossbar.
But after getting away with that chance, United continued to push their ascendency & found the equaliser in the 74th minute, striker Wilks rifling one into the far corner across Dave Richards.
After conceding the leveller, Crewe fought back commendably & were rewarded with the winner with seven minutes remaining on the clock.
Being felled 20-yards out, left of centre, Reilly picked himself up to curl the direct free-kick with whip & pace over the wall & into the corner – leaving Peacock-Farrell with no chance.
Leeds piled on the pressure in search of a second in the dying minutes, but the Alex defended resolutely to see out the victory, full-back Bryce Hossanah coming closest for the visitors when he curled a 20-yarder over the top from a partially cleared corner.
Crewe: Richards, Lundstram, Ray (Sass-Davies), Ng, Pickering, Wintle, Griffiths (Lynch), Finney, Kirk, Woodford (Offord), Reilly