Saunders on target but Stockport's senior players run out deserved 4-1 against Morris' yopungsters.
Alex Morris’ Crewe Alexandra side exited the Cheshire Senior Cup at the quarter-final stage as Stockport County proved too strong for his young side. Jim Gannon made just one change from Stockport County last competitive match and they ran out deserved 4-1 winners on the night.
Crewe found themselves behind as early as the second minute after a bouncing shot from Karl Ledsham deceived goalkeeper David Richards from distance. The Crewe captain on the night knew he should have done better when trying to apply a stronger hand on it.
right. Richards didn’t get enough distance on his punch and as the ball dropped inside a crowded six yard box, the robust Lewis Montorse forced the ball over the line. It was another disappointing goal to concede but Crewe responded well to halve the deficit again just two minutes later. The home side doubled their advantage on 16 minutes after Crewe failed to clear a corner from the
The creative midfielder Tommy Lowrey fed Callum Saunders through the middle of the Stockport County defence and he calmly slotted past Dean Henderson. The young Welshman took his goal superbly well but the Stockport County players felt he had strayed offside. It was tight but full-back Danny Morton was deep when the ball was played.
In search of an equaliser before the break, Charlie Kirk whistled a free-kick just wide of the far post and Saunders was always a threat with his runs in behind.
Richards made amends for his early error with a fine save with his legs to deny Obi Anoruo and from the resultant corner he produced an excellent tip-over from Sean O’Hanlon’s far post header. It was an agile save at a crucial stage of the game.
Richard Brodie also curled one just wide as County aimed to retreat their two goal advantage before the half time interval.
The Crewe youngsters tried to remain in the cup tie as much as possible but struggled to carve out too many genuine chances and with their physical edge, Stockport always looked the more likely to score the next goal.
After the lively Anoruo was denied again by Richards and Montrose struck over from distance, they extended their lead just before the hour mark. Joe Kearns surrendered possession a little too easily to leave the Crewe defence exposed and Joe Garvin quickly fed Brodie, who side stepped a challenge to guide his shot into the bottom corner.
The front two of Brodie and Anoruo were certainly a physical handful on the evening but it would have been a valuable experience to the likes of NG and Kearns.
Crewe had some joy in the final third of the pitch when young Owen Dale replaced Joe Howell to allow him to offer some support to Saunders. Dale has great pace and he forced a fine save from Henderson after racing in behind. The young forward was certainly a bright spark on the night.
Midfielder Callum Ainley had a late chance to make it a tense finale but he dragged his shot wide of the right hand post from a good position.
In fact, it was the home side adding to their tally in stoppage time with sub John Mardsen tucking home a fourth goal after Richards had made an initial good save.
Crewe: Richards, Baillie, Neal, NG, Kearns, Finney, Howell (Dale), Ainley, Lowery, Kirk, Saunders