Alex Morris' Development Squad defeat Blues 4-1.
Returning striker Lauri Dalla Valle marked his return from injury with a real poachers’ finish in the Under-21s 4-1 over Birmingham City. The Finland striker nodded home from close range to make it 2-0 after Charlie Kirk produced an exquisite chip from the edge of the box that deserved better. Kirk’s effort hit the underside of the bar and LDV reacted quickest to score. It was his first outing since sustained ankle ligament damage against Leeds United’s U-21s back in November.
A bright start from Alex Morris’ side had seen us take the lead through Andre Brown, after he raced clear on goal from a pass from Joe Howell. Brown calmly slotted against his hometown team before Dalla Valle made it 2-0.
The reaction from the Blues saw them half the deficit though before the break following a strong run from number 10 George O’Neill. He glided past too many bodies for Crewe’s liking before placing his low shot beyond the diving Dave Richards.
Crewe dominated much of the play in the second half and Howell scrambled home a third goal for the Alex from close after an initial shot from Kirk was kept out by Blues goalkeeper Connal Trueman. Substitute Tommy Lowery forced the rebound towards the line with Howell applying the final touch.
Callum Ainley completed the scoring with a superb drive from a free-kick. Kirk touched the ball to him to unleash a low shot from over 20 yards and it flew past Trueman to seal the points for the Alex.
Crewe went in search of further goals and young Lowery couldn’t have gone any closer when his excellent header hit the underside of the bar after an accurate cross from Brown’s cross into the box.
Crewe: Richards, Baillie, Ng, Kearns, Ray, Bingham, Howell, Ainley, Brown, Kirk, Dalle Valle
Subs: Mullarkey, Hilton, Finney, O’Neill, Lowery