A strong Hull City Under 23 side proved too hot to handle for Alex Morris’ young guns, going down by a 3-1 score-line at Gresty Road.
Crewe held a 1-0 half-time lead through Lewis Reilly, but strikes after the break from Jon Toral & Greg Olley in quick succession & then a late effort from sub Greg Luer won it for The Tigers.
With the international break in full-swing, Hull brought a strong side to Gresty Road, packed with first-teamers including Adama Diomande, David Marshall & Jarrod Bowen.
The Alex were actually much the better side in the first period against their experienced opponents & should’ve took the lead on 17 minutes when Charlie Kirk missed the target from a couple of yards after good play from Reilly & Josh Lundstram.
But Kirk atoned for the miss two minutes later, sliding a pinpoint through-ball for Reilly to steady himself before unleashing a measured shot into the top corner from just inside the box.
The visitors had a couple of half chances from Diomande & Toral headers, but Kirk almost spectacularly doubled the Crewe lead five minutes shy of the break when he expertly plucked a ball out of the sky, kept the ball up with a second touch, before rifling a volley from the corner of the 18-yard box that deceived goalkeeper Marshall & dropped just inches past the post.
No doubt given a blasting from watching Hull First Team Manager Leonid Slutsky at the interval, Hull emerged a different beast after the break & drew level on 51 minutes when Toral fired Brandon Fleming’s cut-back from the by-line low into the bottom corner.
Parity didn’t last long though, as the visiting Tiger’s struck again just four minutes later to take the lead, Toral capitalising on hesitancy in the Crewe defence to bear down on goal & lay on a perfect ball across the face for Olley to tap into the net.
Will Jaaskelainen made a fine save at his near post from Bowen just two minutes later to deny Hull three quickfire goals, but the visitors did find their third of the game on 78 minutes.
Substitute Luer steered in at the near post after the play was recycled following another good Jaaskelainen stop to deny Diomande from close range.
Diomande once again had a chance to add his name to the score-sheet six minutes from time, but he sliced his shot wide at the back post from a low cross as The Tigers ran out 3-1 winners.
Crewe: Jaaskelainen, Sass-Davies, Offord, Stubbs, Walker, Lundstram, Pickering, Griffiths (Walsh), Kirk, Dale, Reilly