Murph And Max Put Alex Through
Goals from Luke Murphy and Max Clayton were enough to give Crewe Alexandra a 2-1 win at Shrewsbury Town, and book a place in the Area Quarter Finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
A strike from Shrewsbury sub Asa Hall gave the Alex a scare, but the Alex defended well to book their place in the next round.
Alex boss Steve Davis named an unchanged team following Saturday's 2-1 win over Hartlepool. But the Crewe manager did opt for a change in tactics. Chuks Aneke played off Mathias Pogba upfront, with Clayton and Ajay Leitch-Smith operating wide.
After a quiet opening, Clayton and Leitch-Smith showed their first real linkup play on eight minutes, with Leitch-Smith setting the ball nicely for his teammate, who's first-time effort was well saved.
Minutes later, Clayton again had a shot saved, only this time, Murphy was on hand to convert the rebound and give Crewe the lead. Leitch-Smith and Bond did well in the build up for the Alex, but it was a really composed finish from the Alex captain to give the Railwaymen an early advantage.
Shrewsbury responded well with Mark Wright having an effort well blocked in a crowded penalty, before Marvin Morgan came close with a header. The Shrews were then handed a blow on 20 minutes when keeper Joe Anyon was forced off with injury and replaced Chris Weale.
But it was Crewe looking the more threatening side, with skipper Murphy at the heart of their impressive display. On 29 minutes he came so close to doubling Crewe's lead. He picked the ball up in the left channel, cut inside and a launched a curling effort which hit the Shrews bar.
Clayton came close for Crewe before Shrewsbury twice came close to a leveller. Aaron Wildig had an effort from distance before Darren Jones somehow cleared the Alex bar from only a few yards out.
That was the last real effort of the half, but the Shrews did have their most prominent spell of pressure, without really troubling Martin in the Crewe goal.
Crewe repeated their good start to the first-half with a powerful Leitch-Smith volley well saved, as well as an Aneke header which drifted narrowly over.
A second goal was important for Crewe and it arrived on 57 minutes. A long ball from Martin found Pogba, who took his time in the box to find Clayton, who's first time left-footed strike had too much power for the Shrews keeper.
Crewe's two-goal lead was soon halved though, as Martin couldn't keep hold of a Hall drive. It was a mistake from Martin, but credit must go to Hall who worked hard to find space in the middle of the park.
Hall came so close to an equaliser minutes later with another drive, but this time Martin was able to get a boot in the way. But Martin went someway to redeeming himself on 73 minutes with an excellent stop from Jon Taylor.
With 12 minutes remaining, Aneke was replaced by Brendon Daniels, and while Shrewsbury then repeatedly pressed for a leveller, the Alex survived fairly comfortably to book their place in the next round.