Mullarkey at the double as U21's return to winning waysA brace from young defender Toby Mullarkey helped to fire Crewe Alexandra's Under 21's to victory at home to Birmingham City to end their two game losing streak.
Fellow scholar Joe Howell hit a third late on to clinch the victory for James Collins' side after the Blues had drawn level in the first half.
Collins named a mixed side for the clash with a clever balance of seniors and youngsters, and it paid off after just three minutes when a cleverly worked corner routine ended in Mullarkey stroking the ball home from ten yards.
The Alex had the chance to double the lead after 36 minutes when Will Packwood tripped Callum Saunders in the box, but the young striker clipped the top of the crossbar with the penalty.
And Crewe were made to rue that missed opportunity as the Blues levelled four minutes later through Reece Brown after Scott Shearer could only parry the initial effort into his path.
After the break the visitors began to get on top but Mullarkey headed home his second from Brad Inman's cross to put the Alex back in control and Howell lobbed home a minute from time to seal the victory.
Crewe Alex U21: Scott Shearer, Perry Ng, Matthew Neal, James Jones, Toby Mullarkey, Trialist, John Johnston, Jamie Ness, Callum Saunders, Brad Inman, Billy Waters