Matt Dolan's free-kick inflicts Crewe's first home defeat of the season.
Crewe Alexandra suffered their first home defeat in the League this season when we were undone by a direct free-kick from Matt Dolan on 62 minutes. It was a sucker punch for the Alex, who had enough chances during the 90 minutes to have made the game safe by that stage.
It just wasn’t Crewe’s day today in front of goal with Chris Dagnall hitting the woodwork twice and Ryan Lowe being denied twice by the Yeovil goalkeeper Artur Krysiak.
The visitors also hit the post through substitute Francois Zoko in the second half. Crewe huffed and puffed but couldn’t find that equaliser on this occasion to leave us in 12th position.
After scoring the equalising goal at Meadow Lane last weekend, Alex Kiwomya was recalled to the starting line-up for the visit of Yeovil Town. Youngster Tom Lowery, who made his full debut against Notts County, dropped back down to the substitutes’ bench.
James Jones continued on the bench after missing a couple of games due to his International commitments with Scotland Under-21s. Versatile defender Perry Ng was also named in the squad of 18.
With a full squad to choose from, the boss had a selection headache in deciding his match day squad and the likes of George Ray and Charlie Kirk missed out.
Chris Dagnall was booked inside the opening few minutes after a late challenge on Alex Lacey and the defender needed some treatment before he could resume.
Crewe Alexandra’s best opening of the early exchanges saw Ryan Lowe hit a wonderful crossfield pass to George Cooper and his shot was deflected behind for an early corner. Following a knock down from Danny Holland, Dagnall also had an effort deflected behind for a corner.
More early pressure from the Alex then saw Zoumana Bakayogo hit a fine cross to the far post. Dagnall won his header above Nathan Smith but Cooper could not keep his follow up header down enough to trouble the Yeovil goalkeeper Artur Krysiak.
Darren Way’s Yeovil side had a concentrated work ethic that made things difficult for Crewe to impose their passing game on the proceedings.
The visitors’ most clear cut opening saw Tahvon Campbell hit the side-netting after he took advantage of a lapse pass from Hollands. Campbell would have been disappointed not to have forced Garratt into a save after he had twisted away from Davis.
The pace of Kiwoyma threatened to get in behind the Glovers defence and the on-loan Chelsea starlet managed to poke a pass through to Lowe on 22 minutes. The striker probably didn’t think it was going to run through and his first touch was a little heavy and that allowed Krysiak to smother the ball away from the feet of the Crewe striker.
Lowe’s next touch in front of goal was sublime, after he pulled down an excellent pass from Cooper. Lowe was denied by the foot of Krysiak as he tried to place it beyond him.
Otis Khan was booked for dissent, kicking the ball away and there was a lull in the game, as it became littered with some niggling fouls. Crewe looked the more likely to score but there was a period when we were a bit wasteful in possession or over hit a pass.
Cooper was excelling though and his free-kick so nearly picked out Guthrie at the far post, but the centre half just lost it in flight and couldn’t get anything on it.
Yeovil’s chances were limited but Khan did fire a shot from 25 yards that was dealt with by the diving Garratt.
Another splendid delivery from Cooper should have seen Crewe open the scoring. His cross to the far post was touched on by Guithrie, and only needed a touch from the rushing in Lowe and Davis, but the players ended up in the back of the net rather than the ball.
Crewe’s best chance to go in at the break arrived in the final minute of the half and Dagnall was so unlucky to see his wonderful effort hit the underside of the crossbar after he and Lowe had broken onto a loose ball that had been caused by the pressurizing of Bingham in central midfield.
A bright start to the second half from the Glovers saw Garratt push a well struck shot from Campbell away for a corner. The Alex goalkeeper came and collected the cross.
Otis Kahn also curled a decent effort just over the top of the crossbar.
Crewe tried to get going with full-back Bakayogo firing over the top of the ball. Crewe made the first change of the afternoon with James Jones replacing Bingham.
Yeovil also introduced the towering centre-forward Tom Eaves for Campbell.
Frustration started to engulf the Alex with Yeovil taking time to take anything. That frustration became even more so when the Glovers took the lead on 62 minutes. Bakayogo conceded a needless free-kick 25 yards from goal. Dolan curled it and although Garratt seemed to get a strong hand to it, he couldn’t keep it out. Now Crewe, were again chasing the game.
Those clear-cut chances though were limited and Yeovil had chances through Kevin Dawson who shot wide and the skilful Khan, who fired at Garratt after a mazy run.
Crewe continued to try and force it and the closest we came to an equaliser saw Dagnall head onto the bar after substitute Callum Ainley had picked him out with a splendid cross. It just wasn’t going to be our day when it pinged off the woodwork for a second time.
Ainley did inject some life into the proceedings after replacing Hollands. Crewe certainly had more attack-minded players on but we struggled to create anything worthwhile in the closing stages against a compact Yeovil defence.
In fact, the visitors were also unfortunate not to double their lead when substitute Zoko hit the post from close range via a free-kick.
Crewe huffed and puffed in the closing stages, but the result slipped away from us.