What the press made of the 3-2 defeat at the Ricoh
THERE always seems to be a sense of occasion when Crewe Alexandra travel to the Ricoh Arena.
Crewe arrived to face a Sky Blues side full of confidence after 2-0 and 4-0 wins over promotion favourites Wigan Athletic and Millwall saw them top the pile after two games.
Indeed, such was the positivity around the around the hosts the game was delayed by 15 minutes due to large queues outside the ground.
Crewe’s visit in April saw a crowd of 13,987 packed in to the Ricoh as both sides tried to secure safety from League One, while the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy northern final first leg of 2013 saw 31,054 in the stands.
And Steve Davis’s side were to certainly play their part in yet another Ricoh classic this time around, but came out on the wrong side of a five goal thriller.
Crewe had twice pegged back the hosts with goals from Brad Inman and Marcus Haber, but a late Jim O’Brien strike, adding to earlier efforts from John Fleck and Adam Armstrong saw the hosts make it three wins from three.
Manager Steve Davis felt Crewe Alex deserved better than coming out on the wrong side of a five-goal thriller at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday night.
The Railwaymen twice battled back from behind through goals from Brad Inman and Marcus Haber, and looked set to take a share of the spoils from the early League One leaders.
But Jim O'Brien's brilliant 23-yarder on 83 minutes snatched maximum return and sent the vast majority of the 11,511 crowd into raputres.
It was a third straight defeat for the Alex. Afterwards, Davis said: "I do feel deflated, it was a pulsating game, played at a high intensity and with lots of quality and a great game to watch for everyone.”
The Sky Blues pulled two points clear at the head of the embryonic League One table after making it three wins in three starts.
In contrast to their runaway victories against Wigan and Millwall, they had to pull out all the stops for this one as jinx side Crewe threatened to puncture their early-season bubble by surviving a relentless first-half barrage to go in all-square at half-time.
But Jim O’Brien – a man who no longer wears the armband but is every inch an on-field leader – fired home a late winner before departing to a standing ovation from a jubilant Ricoh Arena crowd.