- Frustrating start to the season
- Injury crisis continues
- Summer signings Olivia Brookes, Kirsty Stafford and Megan Beech all handed debuts
Tough start for Crewe Alexandra Women as they lose 3-0 at home to newly promoted Curzon Ashton Women.
The Alex went into the first game of the season with a heavy injury crisis, 'keeper Hannah Holloway was given the news in the build up to the game that she will spend a considerable amount of time on the sidelines due to an ankle injury. Crewe were also without five first-team starts in Cerys Griffin, Laura Goom, Megan Ragdale, Beth Ragdale, and Shanice Finbow.
Head Coach Matt Fisher changed formation for this fixture but found out early on that they were being overloaded in midfield. Curzon took advantage of this and found ways to create opportunities on goal. A change of formation was needed and Kate Evans was replaced early on with Grace Duckworth coming on in her place.
Crewe didn't manage a single effort on target in the opening half of the game, so a huge improvement was needed but within two minutes of the restart a Curzon Ashton corner was nodded home from close range.
With limited options from the bench, Fisher was short of ideas. However, the home side did have a shout for a penalty on 67 minutes as the ball looked to have hit the arm of a Curzon defender but it was waved away by the referee.
As Crewe continued to find an equaliser and push bodies forward, Curzon were able to double their lead on 80 mins when a free-kick just outside the area was lofted over Brookes.
Moments later it was three and the damage was done on the opening day of the season.
Post-match Matt Fisher said: "We knew it was going to be difficult today, in fact we know it is going to be difficult this season. I hate to us cliches but this really is a transitional period for the club.
"So many good things are happening off the pitch but the summer has been testing. We have lost players we didn't want to lose and the injuries are getting even more frustrating each week.
"We have been very close to signing some top talent but have been pipped at the last minute when clubs have offered better deals but that is football.
Looking ahead to the next game, Fisher said: "We have a very committed and talented group and we will work incredibly hard to ensure that we quickly get up to speed."
Crewe travel to Cheadle Town on Wednesday 24 August (7:30pm).