Crewe out of Johnstone Paint's Trophy after home defeat
Keith Hill’s Rochdale side followed up their League victory last month with a 3-0 victory in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy this evening. Matt Done added to his hat-trick in the League with the opening goal this evening three minutes before half-time, but Crewe Alexandra were still very much in the tie going into the second half.
Midfielder Anthony Grant went close to equalising just after the hour mark when his low drive hit the foot of the post and Billy Waters missed with his follow up when he knows he should have scored.
Minutes later, Peter Vincenti headed home from a corner to make it 2-0 and when Scott Shearer’s short pass out to Adam Dugdale didn’t reach its intended target and substitute Calvin Andrew gratefully tapped home to seal the tie with two minutes left on the clock.
Due to the International call-ups for Marcus Haber and George Ray, manager Steve Davis was forced into two changes for the visit of Rochdale in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Section.
Jon Guthrie moved into a central defensive position alongside Adam Dugdale and with Greg Leigh ruled out with a hip injury, a backline reshuffle was needed. Captain Matt Tootle again showed his versatility by switching across to left-back and Oliver Turton moved to right-back from his normal midfield role.
Anthony Grant’s second half performance against Gillingham understandably saw him earn a recall to the starting line-up and Scott Shearer was handed a start ahead of Ben Garratt.
Forward Vadaine Oliver showed some early intent with a promising run and shot but it wasn’t troubling Rochdale’s on-loan goalkeeper Conrad Logan.
The visitors went close to taking an early lead when a free-kick from Jamie Allen was completely dealt with and Dugdale had to make a telling block from a shot from Ashley Eastham and Shearer did well to save his follow up effort.
On 7 minutes a clever ball from Allen was headed back by Done but Shamir Fenelon fired over the crossbar.
Grant injected some purpose from midfield after Brad Inman won possession back in the final third with his low drive was deflected behind for a corner.
Dugdale was booked for a foul on Done and had to watch his step from then on.
On 22 minutes, Rochdale’s Stephen Dawson burst through the middle of the Crewe defence and on to a clever lay off from Vincenti, but was denied superbly by Shearer.
A Waters corner was flicked on by Oliver and Guthrie’s volley back across goal was pounced upon by an alert Logan.
Moments later Vincenti curled a shot straight at Shearer before Crewe produced their best move on the game. There was some wonderful one touch football involving half the team and Oliver’s fine cross to the far post had to be turned behind by the covering Joseph Rafferty before Inman could reach it.
Rochdale opened the scoring on 42 minutes. Jamie Allen’s far post pass was nodded back from the advanced Rafferty and our chief tormentor Done was there to lash it home.
The first half concluded with Rochdale on top and searching for a second goal and Tootle had to do superbly well to cover a cross aimed for Vincenti.
With Thierry Audel replacing Atkinson at the break, Crewe made a promising start to the second half with Waters forcing Logan to tip over his effort. The half time change saw Audel move to right-back and Turton shift back into midfield. Rochdale soon made a switch of their own with Callum Camps replacing Fenelon.
The real turning point of the tie came on the hour mark. The young midfielders Turton and Nolan were both involved in the build-up with Grant and after Oliver had cleverly flicked the ball back into Grant’s path, his low shot smacked the foot of the post and the rebound should have been tucked home by Waters. He couldn’t guide his shot home to level things up.
With Crewe actually pressing and looking for an equaliser, it was Rochdale who doubled their advantage via a corner. Allen was the provider once again and Vincenti rose unmarked to head home via the underside of the crossbar with Grant unable to apply enough contact to keep it out.
Done made way for Calvin Andrew as Keith Hill looked to freshen up his attack with some fresh legs. Steve Davis introduced George Cooper for Inman. The young winger was handed his senior debut for the club and showed his promise with a decent shot from distance after he had drifted in from his wing.
The introduction of Cooper saw Crewe switch to a 4-3-3 with him on the right and Waters wide left but we didn’t get a rub of the green. A mass scramble in front of Logan’s goal saw Vadaine Oliver win an initial knock down and then Guthrie and Waters both had shots blocked inside the six yard box. It just wouldn’t go in, to give us a break.
Waters also slipped as he made his way into the box after Grant had found the overlapping Tootle with a good pass wide. There was also a half-hearted appeal for a penalty when Grant appeared to have been blocked off.
It was another avoidable goal with Shearer under-hitting a pass out straight to Andrew, who simply returned it into his unguarded net.th minute.Callum Saunders was given a late run out for Oliver but it was Rochdale’s substitute Calvin Andrew who would get his name on the score-sheet in the 88