Dagnall on target again as Crewe draw latest friendly against Bolton.
Crewe 1-1 Bolton XI
Garratt, Turton, Guthrie, Davis (c), Bakayogo, Jones, Bingham, Cooper, Kirk, Lowe, DagnallCrewe:
Crewe Alexandra drew 1-1 with a Bolton Wanderers XI side that did contain some experienced professionals, Ben Amos, Lawrie Wilson, Dorian Dervite, Liam Trotter and Chris Taylor.
Crewe deservedly took the lead just before the half-time interval through summer signing Chris Dagnall after he had put through by Ryan Lowe.
Bolton equalised just after the hour mark following a scramble inside the Crewe penalty area, with the final touch coming off the Alex captain Harry Davis to take it beyond Ben Garratt.
The only negative was the late injury to Liam Wilson, who seemed to suffer an ankle injury after being caught by Alex Samizadeh.
Steve Davis recalled striker Ryan Lowe, winger Charlie Kirk and midfielder James Jones to his starting eleven for this evening’s pre-season encounter against a Bolton Wanderers XI. Callum Saunders, loan signing Liam Smith and Callum Ainley were named amongst the collection of substitutes after all starting at Nantwich on Tuesday.
The more recent loan signing, winger Alex Kiwomya, started on the bench after only joining us from Chelsea on Wednesday afternoon. Defender George Ray was fit again to take his place in the squad.
Phil Parkinson named goalkeeper Ben Amos, defender Dorian Dervite and midfielder Liam Trotter in his starting line-up.
Dagnall had an early chance to give Crewe the lead, but he was denied by Ben Amos after racing clear of the Bolton back line.
Crewe had to survive a flurry of early corners but Ben Garratt came and gathered a couple of Captain Harry Davis headed another clear of a crowded box. The Railwaymen continued to dominate more of the possession but early on we were just lacking the final pass.
A splendid pass from Billy Bingham found Dagnall, who quickly found Lowe but his return pass wasn’t quite accurate enough to find the run of Cooper.
Cooper found some great positions in the pocket behind the front two and his clever pass nearly released Kirk in behind but Amos read the situation and did well to get a strong hand to it. Cooper then lifted a pass over to Lowe but it was just too strong.
Lowe turned provider again with a twist and turn on the edge of the Bolton penalty area but his cross was just a little too high for Kirk at the far post. Jones also had a lofted shot held by the busier Amos.
Dagnall was also denied twice from close range but he diving Amos and the covering Dorian Dervite.
Crewe played some excellent football at times and deserved the half-time lead given to us by Dagnall but Bolton did conjure up a couple of opportunities themselves. Garratt held a free-kick strike from Tom Walker and the Alex goalkeeper was called into action again to push away a powerful effort from Kayne Wollery.
Crewe finally broke the deadlock in the final minute of the half and it was our new front two combining again. Lowe hit a precise pass through the middle of the Bolton defence and it squeezed through to Dagnall to put him clean through. The experienced striker went one-on-one with Amos and on this occasion finished splendidly well into the bottom right hand corner.
Crewe remained unchanged as the second half started. Early on some more good passing from the Alex nearly saw Kirk feed the ball into the willing runner Lowe.
A flurry of substitutions from the Alex saw Cooper, Guthrie, Lowe, Jones and Kirk make way and Ray, Udoh, Kiwomya, Ainley and Smith come on just before Bolton equalised. A long ball into the Alex box seemed to confuse Bakayogo at the far post and after a scramble, Harry Davis’ outstretched leg diverted a low cross past the helpless Garratt.
The hard working Dagnall received a standing ovation for his efforts when he was replaced by Saunders but it was evident that the substitutions and the stoppages in play halted the flow of the game and chances late on were few and far between.
The only downside on what was a promising display from the Alex was the late injury to Smith, who was sadly stretched off after appearing to roll his ankle after being caught at Bolton sub Alex Zamizadeh.