Crewe youngsters through in Youth Cup after thriller at Gresty Road
Crewe Alexandra’s youth team won a thrilling second round tie against Scunthorpe United this evening to set up a third round tie against either Rochdale or Sheffield United. Crewe’s youngsters made things hard for themselves by conceding twice after we scored and also in the opening minute of the second half to set up a real eight-goal thriller.
Crewe finally pulled away in the scoring stakes thanks to an accurate drive from winger James Jones before Liam Nolan finally secured the win with arguably the outstanding strike of a really entertaining evening. Nolan arrowed a shot into the top left corner after Crewe had acted quickly at a free-kick after a foul on Billy Waters.
That was the start of some truly great goals on the night, especially from Crewe. Crewe had originally taken a lead after 15 minutes when full-back James Baillie showed a touch of a skill before cutting inside and unleashing an unstoppable shot with his left foot that smacked the Scunthorpe United post and gave Danny Waring absolutely no chance.
Baillie’s wonderful strike should have been the catalyst for a spell of possession football from Crewe but barely a minute later, Scunthorpe were level, after a defensive slip allowed the ball to find its way through to Luke Hornsey and he guided his finish beyond a helpless Robbie Johnson. It was back to square one and that set the tone for the night.
Crewe regained the lead again through a stunning individual effort from winger Brandon Moores after some good approach play from Jones and Liam Wilson, operating in the hole behind the physical presence of Dom Smith. On 40 minutes Moores showed real skill and composure to evade a couple of challenges before he slipped his shot past Waring. It was a fine finish that gave Crewe a 2-1 lead at the break.
At the beginning of the second half, a cheap corner given away by Louis Johnson gave Scunthorpe saw another lapse of concentration inside the Crewe penalty area and that allowed Jamie Wootton to steal a yard to head past Johnson. Crewe had again let the Iron back into the game barely a couple of minutes after the restart. They nearly went ahead too but Fabio Snow shot straight at the Crewe goalkeeper.
A twist and turn from Waters saw him fire just wide before the influential Wilson curled a good effort just wide of the top corner.
Crewe took the lead for a third time just after the hour mark. Full-back Appleton found Wilson and his instant pass released the hard working Smith. He looked to have taken it to close to the by-line, but with the assistance of a defection it looped over Waring for 3-2.
Again, it took the young visitors barely 60 seconds to draw level again. Hornsey got a shot off from a tight angle and Johnson could only palm it into the path of the impressive Hakeeb Adelakun and he slide in a third equaliser! It was real topsy-turvy stuff and again the Crewe youngsters had failed to build on their advantage.
After being pinned back three times and usually pretty quickly as well, the Crewe youngsters had to show some real character and mental strength to pick themselves up and go again. Moores just was offside when Wilson fed him through again before Levi Sutton shot over for Scunthorpe.
Surely Crewe couldn’t let a fourth lead slide? The really decisive strike came from the boot of James Jones on 71 minutes. He created a yard of space to allow the ball to run across his body and his low drive was accurate enough to nestle nicely in the bottom corner.
A head working James made way for the even younger George Cooper and Callum Saunders replaced Dom Smith, who had worked tirelessly for the cause as a target man up there.
Scunthorpe had another chance to equalise but Wooton slipped at the crucial moment and Johnson had to push away a shot from full-back George Grayson before Nolan wrapped the tie up with the shot of the night. The tall midfielder unleashed a perfect shot from 25 yards to give Waring no chance and Crewe Alexandra were into round three.