Alex gunned down by ten-man ForestCrewe Alexandra Under 21's saw their three-match unbeaten run come to an end at the hands of a physical Nottingham Forest side at Reaseheath.
The visitors went in front after just seven minutes, burly striker Gerry McDonagh getting in behind the Alex defence before firing across Dave Richards and into the far corner.
Crewe failed to build any momentum in the opening 45, Callum Ainley's near post drive just before the break the only chance.
Into the second period and Crewe looked to have gained the advantage when goal-scorer McDonagh was sent off on 72 minutes for an off the ball altercation with Perry Ng.
Forest seemed to be galvanized despite their disadvantage and Richards was forced into a fine near post reaction save to prevent James Thorne from netting with ten minutes remaining.
The away side didn't have to wait long to grab the second though, and with it the points, as Joe Kearns was mugged in possession 20-yards out and winger Liam Adams fired a crisp effort into the far corner.
Crewe: Richards, Baillie, Kearns, Mullarkey (Neal, 75), Bakayogo (Finney, 45), Howell, Ng, Trialist (Kirk, 61), Ainley, Lowery, Saunders