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Crewe 1-2 Coventry

29 March 2014

Wilson double heartbreaking for Alex

Crewe Alexandra suffered their eighth home defeat of the season thanks to two goals from Callum Wilson but for their all effort and endeavour they certainly didn’t deserve to. With Crewe dominating the second half and looking the more likely side to go on and claim the three points, a lapse of concentration from Byron Moore saw his poor touch play Wilson through on goal and he made no mistake to seal the points on 81 minutes. To say it came against the run of play is an understatement.

Crewe had levelled through a quite bizarre own goal with Mark Ellis challenging Joe Murphy in the Coventry goal at a corner, forcing defender Jordan Clarke to head into his own net. Wilson’s clinical finishing was the difference and Crewe will rue chances missed or saved when on top. There was nothing wrong with the performance and Crewe can take positives from that certainly but it is another home game gone to get points from.

Anthony Grant returned from his one match suspension to regain his place in the Crewe Alexandra midfield. Grant was sent-off late on at Gillingham for two bookable offences and as a consequence missed Tuesday night’s disappointing 3-1 defeat to Notts County. The former Stevenage and Southend midfielder returned in favour of Abdul Osman.

game for the club, also wore the captain’s armband on the occasion. After overcoming a bout of illness, Byron Moore returned to the substitutes’ bench ahead of AJ Leitch-Smith. thMatt Tootle, celebrating his 200

Coventry needed made a dream start to the game after their new signing David Prutton clattered into Mark Ellis within the first 30 seconds of play. Ellis was injured and out of contention and perhaps Prutton was a little lucky to escape an early booking for the late challenge but instead of playing the ball out so the Crewe defender could receive treatment, Tootle and George Evans played on and lost possession.

Callum Wilson ran onto a loose ball but couldn’t keep his shot down. Prutton was then booked for a foul on Grant and if he had been booked earlier for the challenge on Ellis then he could have been heading for an early bath on his Coventry debut after signing on-loan from Sheffield Wednesday during the week.

appearance also had a dangerous looking cross cut out following a clever interchange with Chuks Aneke. thFollowing on from that early scare, Uche Ikpeazu turned a shot wide of Joe Murphy’s far post and Ellis stuck over after a free-kick from Jon Guthrie was cleared to the edge of the penalty area. Tootle, on his 200

It had been a fairly even opening 20 minutes but it would be Coventry taking the lead on 26 minutes. Goalkeeper Ben Garratt came for a cross but Ellis decided to take on the responsibility and decided to head the danger himself. Crewe didn’t quite set themselves up and the ball was quickly shifted out to winger Franck Moussa who shot through the body of Adam Dugdale, only to see his low drive hit the foot of the post, but there was Wilson to tap home into an unguarded net. It was his sixth goal in seven games since returning from a shoulder injury.

After conceding that opening goal, Crewe actually went on to enjoying the majority of the possession for the final 20 minutes of the second half. We enjoyed our best spell of football with Ikpeazu shooting into the side netting before Grant, Pogba and then Dugdale tried to battle their way through and get a shot off.

Moussa was cautioned for a trip on Tootle before Crewe had a really strong appeal for a penalty waved away after Andy Webster appeared to pull the shirt of Ikpeazu as he raced onto a through ball from Pogba. If he had gone down then surely it would have been given, but there lies the problem with players having to go to ground to get a decision inside the penalty area.

Crewe were applying continuous pressure but didn’t force the Coventry goalkeeper Joe Murphy into genuine saves on too many occasions, although he had to tip over a header from Pogba and watched a late effort from captain Tootle whistle past him after he had come and not got too much on his punch.

In first half stoppage time Moussa tripped the influential Grant and from the resultant free-kick Aneke curled his effort inches wide from really testing Murphy for the first time.

At the break, Steven Pressley took off Moussa, who had been booked, and had the luxury of replacing him with Carl Baker.

The powerful Ikpeazu made his way into the box and forced Murphy into an early save with a side footed shot before Pogba shot wide after scraping for possession. Crewe certainly upped their level of performance and were quickly on the front foot again with Brad Inman finding Tootle and his low shot was blocked.

Coventry were struggling to conjure up too many chances of their own and Garratt was a spectator for much of the second half. The bookings did flow for the Sky Blues though with seven cautioned, mostly for trips on Grant.

Webster was also a bit fortunate to see his interception spin just wide of his own goalkeeper’s right hand post as he tried to prevent an Aneke pass reaching Pogba.

Crewe’s pressure paid on 61 minutes via an Evans corner. Ellis challenged Murphy underneath the bar and the ball seemed to strike Jordan Clarke to take it over the line for the equaliser.

The commitment and drive from the Alex was excellent, best demonstrated by the tracking back of Ikpeazu and the work ethic of Grant. Ikpeazu and Pogba combined to give Tootle the chance to flick the ball up and force Murphy into pushing it away.

Dugdale had another shot blocked at a corner before Evans’s free-kick had to be tipped over by Murphy. Another penalty box scramble then saw Aneke and Ellis have efforts before Grant could only fire over the bar when the clearance dropped to him.

Steve Davis made a change with Byron Moore replacing Pogba. Coventry also made a change with Mark Marshall replacing Blair Adams.

Crewe looked the most likely to score again and Murphy had to save from Inman and then Ikpeazu after two powerful runs inside the box.

With nine minutes remaining though came the wrapped up gift. Moore misjudged his touch and when he looked up he could only look in horror as he saw Wilson racing between the two Crewe centre-halves and through on goal. Wilson tucked it home past Garratt and now from nowhere, Crewe were chasing the game.

A late surge saw Murphy just about get a well struck free-kick from Tootle over his bar and the Coventry goalkeeper push away a powerful shot from Aneke. In the dying minutes and with Crewe trying desperately to find that second equaliser, Moore just couldn’t control his late half volley.

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