Ainley, Wintle & Cooper sink O'sCrewe: Garratt, Turton, Bingham, Ng, Bakayogo, Jones, Cooke (Udoh, 87), Wintle, Ainley (Pickering, 63), Cooper (Kirk, 90+1), Dagnall
Unused Subs: Dawber, Saunders, Kiwomya, Finney
Goals: Ainley (26), Wintle (30), Cooper (45+1)
Attendance: 3,745 (407)
Crewe Alexandra simply blew Leyton Orient away to confirm the Club’s participation in the EFL next season, whilst also condemning the sorry O’s to The National League.
The Alex ran riot against their beleaguered visitors, romping to a comfortable 3-0 score-line with Callum Ainley, Ryan Wintle & George Cooper doing the damage in the first half.
Boss Dave Artell made two changes from the side that succumbed 3-0 to Yeovil, both enforced. George Ray missed out with a back injury, whilst Jordan Bowery was ineligible to play against his parent Club – George Cooper & Ryan Wintle coming in.
The Alex created their first chance in just the second minute, Olli Turton getting to the by-line & fizzing over a low cross that just evaded the onrushing Chris Dagnall.
Cooper had then had a couple of half chances, collecting the ball on the edge of the area, turning & shooting straight at O’s keeper Sam Sargeant before scooping a tame effort over the bar from Wintle’s cut-back.
Crewe did make the pressure tell though on the 26 minute mark & it was Ainley who got his name on the score-sheet. Callum Cooke did well down the right to twist his man inside & out before curling over a cross that Ainley cushioned first time into the corner.
One became two just four minutes later, Wintle scoring his first goal for Crewe, & his first in professional football, after the linesman deemed his back-post header from Cooper’s corner had crossed the line before the O’s defender hacked ball clear.
Dagnall seemed determined to add his name to the goal scoring against his former Club & would have done so had it not been for Sargeant producing a fine save at the back-post from his low strike on 39 minutes.
The O’s didn’t even threaten an attack on the Alex goal in the first half & Crewe’s dominance was confounded in stoppage time when the lively Cooper cut in from the right & unleashed a daisy-cutter from 20-yards that flew into the corner leaving the keeper with no chance.
The second period was an altogether more low-key affair, Crewe missing three good chances early on through Cooke, Cooper & then Dagnall.
But from then on the remainder of the half was played out like a training exercise, with a debut for Crewe youngster Harry Pickering a highlight.
Orient to their credit kept going, & registered their first real shot of the game on the 80 minute mark, Tristan Abrahams thrashing a wild effort high & wide from 20-yards.
The Alex came alive again in the final five minutes, Cooke forcing Sargeant into a world-class one-handed save before Cooper hit the post from the following attack when his right-wing cross sailed past everyone.
Cooke’s last contribution before being substituted was to leave two Orient defenders for dead to work himself a goal-scoring opening, only to roll his shot wide of the near post.
That was that for the action as Crewe confirmed their participation in Sky Bet League Two for another season, with Leyton Orient’s relegation to the National League also made official.