Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Blackpool
Crewe slumped to a damaging defeat to relegation rivals Blackpool at Gresty Road despite the Tangerines playing with ten men from the 35th minute.
Jack Redshaw put the visitors ahead on the 34 minute mark, reacting quickest to nod in from four-yards after Mark Cullen's initial header hit the bar from a cross.
The striker was booked for his celebration and then was dismissed two minutes later for a challenge on David Fox.
The Alex leveled seven minutes from time through Marcus Haber, but lost that foothold within two minutes, Tom Aldred's deflected shot regaining Blackpool's lead.
The day was summed up in injury time when Brad Inman smashed a penalty kick high over the bar after Tom Hitchcock was felled.
Charlie Kirk was handed his full senior debut for the vital clash, with Brad Inman also returning to the fold after missing last week’s trip to Gillingham with a groin strain.
Blackpool started on the front foot and could’ve been ahead inside two minutes, Danny Philliskirk smashed a swerving shot down Ben Garratt’s throat that was spilled but gathered just ahead of the onrushing Redshaw at the second attempt.
Crewe’s first shot came on the nine minute mark, Harry Davis scooping wide from eight-yards following constant pressure from a corner.
The Alex then grew into the half and had their best chance on 16 minutes, a mix-up in the visitor’s defence between White and Clark Robertson gifting Inman a one-on-one, but his low shot was saved by the legs of Colin Doyle.
Against the run of play, Blackpool were ahead on 34 minutes. White’s right-wing cross was met powerfully by the head of Mark Cullen, but it bounced down off the crossbar for Redshaw to nod in from inside the six-yard box.
Redshaw was booked for his celebrations after jumping in with the visiting fans and that proved costly for the striker.
Just two minutes later, he went in high-footed on David Fox and received his marching orders for a second booking – giving The Alex the opportunity to play against ten men for the remaining 55 minutes.
Despite dominant pressure and possession in the remainder of the first half, the score stayed the same at the break before Crewe should’ve been awarded a spot-kick on 50 minutes.
George Cooper was upended in the box by a clumsy challenge from White, only for the referee to wave away the protests.
Crewe continued to throw men forward in the pursuit of an equaliser and almost drew level on 55 minutes, Zoumana Bakayogo thumping a header against the bar from Cooper’s corner.
A mix-up in the box by Kirk and James Jones on 64 minutes gave Blackpool a get out of jail free card, with both players appearing to leave the tap-in to one another.
It started to feel as if it wasn’t going to The Alex’s day on 69 minutes when Bakayogo hit the woodwork again, this time the outside of the post with a right-footed snap-shot from 16-yards.
It was The Tangerines’ turn to hit the frame of the goal four minutes later on the counter, sub Billy Bingham giving the ball away to Cullen who raced away before shooting near post.
The end-to-end theme continued, another sub Callum Ainley dragging one just wide of the far post from the corner of the 18-yard box as Crewe tried to keep up the pressure.
Left wide open at the back, Philliskirk should’ve made the game safe nine minutes from time, skewing well wide from inside the six yard box when he should’ve scored.
Crewe finally broke the lock and equalised seven minutes from time, Ollie Turton breaking into the box on the right & feeding Haber whos cheeky back-heel squeezed in.
But pretty much straight from the restart, Blackpool surged forward & Aldred’s shot from 18-yards took a huge deflection to loop over Garratt & nestle in for Blackpool to regain their goal advantage at 2-1.
Crewe didn’t give up and were rewarded in injury time when Tom Hitchcock was fouled in the area, leaving Inman to step up to the penalty kick. But the Aussie smashed it high over the bar to sum up a dampening day at Gresty Road as the Tangerines walked away with the points.
Crewe: Garratt, Turton, Davis, Guthrie, Bakayogo, Fox (Bingham, 72), Jones, Kirk (Ainley, 75), Cooper (Hitchcock, 59), Inman, Haber
Unused subs: Richards, Ray, Nugent, Dalla Valle