How the press reported a thrilling 2-2 draw
AJ LEITCH-Smith insisted nobody blames Chuks Aneke for the red card which arguably cost Crewe Alex two points at Stevenage on Saturday.
Leitch-Smith's brilliant double got the Railwaymen off to a flyer inside eight minutes.
The hosts pulled a goal back through Luke Freeman but, with 20 minutes left, Crewe looked on their way to an excellent three points.
That was until Arsenal loan man Aneke's moment of madness saw him dismissed. His two-footed lunge on Anthony Grant gave referee Gavin Ward no option.
That put the visitors on the back foot and, when Robin Shoot made it 2-2 on 81 minutes, it took a backs-to-the-wall defensive effort to ensure a point.
Despite that, Leitch-Smith refused to point the finger. He said: "I think before Chuks went off we were in control and making chances. But when he went off it was a different game. Still, we stood up to the challenge.
CREWE boss Steve Davis admitted to feeling a sense of injustice after loanee Chuks Aneke was dismissed on his full debut and Stevenage came from two behind to grab a draw.
Davis' troops appeared to be handing Stevenage their first league defeat of the season after an opening 10 minutes which saw Ajay Leitch-Smith net twice in quick succession.
However, Boro had other ideas and pulled one back before the break through Luke Freeman before Aneke, on loan from Arsenal, was dismissed for a lunge on Anthony Grant in the 73rd minute.
Less than 10 minutes later substitute Robin Shroot pounced to fire home the equaliser.
However Davis wasn't angry with Aneke and revealed he will be appealing the decision.
"Stevenage only really came into the game when Chuks got sent off. I felt it was a slip rather than going in two-footed," said Davis.
"So we will have a look at that and see if we can appeal it and get it rescinded. I didn't think it was malicious.”
CREWE boss Steve Davis laughed off any suggestions of malicious intent in Chuks Aneke’s red card.
The Arsenal loanee, 19, had a full debut to forget as he was dismissed in the 73rd minute for a two-footed lunge on Anthony Grant.
By that time Stevenage were trailing 2-1 — Luke Freeman thumping home a vicious 25-yard drive after AJ Leitch-Smith hit two inside the first seven minutes.
However, Aneke’s dismissal proved costly as Stevenage sub Robin Shroot equalised in the 81st-minute — but Davis insists he should feel hard done by.
He said: “Stevenage only really came into the game when Chuks got sent off. I felt it was a slip rather than going in two-footed.
“So we will have a look at that and see if we can appeal it and get it rescinded. I didn’t think it was malicious.
“I thought it was a really good spectacle from a neutral’s point of view — two good teams really going at it.
“They were two great strikes from AJ. We all know what he can do with his finishing.
“I just wish he could keep going for 90 minutes.”
Gary Smith seemed bewildered with a decision by match referee Gavin Ward to rule out a late Greg Tansey ‘goal’, a strike which would have given Stevenage all three points in their match against Crewe.
Two Ajay Leitch-Smith goals in the first seven minutes – 60 seconds apart from each other – gave Crewe a stunning early lead, but Boro hit back through Luke Freeman and Robin Shroot before they had a goal disallowed in the dying moments when Tansey had appeared to have won them the three points.
The Tansey strike, which came after James Dunne’s shot had seemingly taken two deflections on its way into the path of the Boro man, was ruled out for offside, but afterwards Smith said he was not thoroughly convinced of the explanation given to him by Gavin Ward.
Stevenage manager Smith said: “The explanation I’ve had is a strange one; a shot struck a Stevenage player then ricocheted off of a Crewe player into Greg’s path who was offside since the first ricochet.
“Well I’m telling you, if the referee has seen two touches there [including] one from our player with a ball that is moving that quickly I’d be really surprised.
“The linesman has given it thinking it had come off a Crewe player. If the referee has overruled it, and he’s right, it’s a fantastic decision, but I don’t know too many people that have got the wherewithal to see exactly what is going on there and how it’s all come about.”