Glovers secure points as Crewe exposed from set-pieces.
Crewe Alexandra’s Easter programme ended in real disappointed at Huish Park. The Railwaymen failed to build on what was a promising point achieved against an in-form Notts County on Friday and were well beaten 3-0 by a Yeovil Town side, who had been in desperate need of points themselves as the battle to remain in the EFL continued.
Crewe’s inability to defend from set-pieces again proved decisive with Matthew Dolan curling home a free-kick from the edge of our box and then Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro stealing in to head home a free-kick in first half injury time.
The third goal arrived via a corner with 20 minutes remaining with Otis Kahn reacting quickest to convert a rebound after Garratt had managed to touch a header from Francois Zoko on to his crossbar.
Crewe huffed and puffed in patches but really didn’t threaten Jonathan Maddison’s goal on too many occasions. To compound matters, we also lost our captain George Ray with a back injury. He was unable to re-appear for the second period and Billy Bingham had to fill in at centre-half.
appearance of the season.thDavid Artell made two changes to the Crewe Alexandra side that drew 2-2 with Notts County on Good Friday. One was a forced change with centre-half Ben Nugent ruled out with a knee injury. His place at the back went to promising youngster Perry Ng, who was making his 17
Dan Udoh was named on the substitutes’ bench alongside Charlie Kirk. appearance of the season on Friday. Callum Ainley returned to the starting line-up for his first start since November. thGeorge Cooper was rested after he made his 49
An early burst into the Yeovil penalty area from Ainley nearly created half a chance for the Railwaymen but Alex Lawless came over to cover the ensuing danger. A confident start from Crewe saw us quickly settle into the task and pass the ball carefully.
Yeovil’s first break into the Crewe half of the pitch resulted in full-back Liam Shephard winning a corner but from the delivery, Francois Zoko was penalised for an obvious handball.
minute but it was a straight forward gather for Garratt. A minute later, an excellent delivery from full-back Turton caused mayhem inside the Yeovil penalty area as goalkeeper Jonathan Maddison came for it, but the loose ball wouldn’t quite drop nicely enough for James Jones. thZoko registered the first genuine shot on target in the 13
More good play from the Alex then saw Ainley and Cooke break from the centre of the pitch before Bakayogo’s low cross was cut out for a corner. The referee had played a good advantage in the build up after Ainley had been caught when playing in Cooke down the left hand side.
On 27 minutes, a low shot from Cooke was deflected through a crowd of players and nearly fell invitingly for Dagnall. Maddison rushed from his line to oppose the Crewe forward but didn’t quite gather it neatly and he needed Shephard to help him complete the clearance.
Two minutes later, Yeovil Town opened the scoring. Skipper George Ray was penalised for a foul on Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Matthew Dolan bend in a superbly hit free-kick past Garratt. There had been nothing in the game but another free-kick conceded on the edge of our own box proved our undoing.
Zoko was the first player to be cautioned for kicking Perry Ng after he beat the Yeovil striker to the ball.
After James Jones challenged in the air, the loose ball fell to young Ainley but he didn’t catch his shot as well as he would have liked and his deflected effort bounced tamely through to Maddison.
On the stroke of half-time, Crewe’s task became even greater and yet again it arrived from a set-piece after Jones had conceded a free-kick. The cross from the Alex right hand side was accurate enough to find Akpa Akpro at the far post and he guided his header past a helpless Garratt. Although, we had enjoyed arguably the better of the possession throughout the first half, two free-kicks had killed us.
Artell made two changes at the interval. George Ray was forced off with a back injury to be replaced by Ryan Wintle and Callum Cooke made way for Alex Kiwoyma. Billy Bingham switched to centre-half.
An early break from the willing runner Dagnall allowed him to tee up Wintle but his fierce shot was blocked and Ainley lost his footing as he tried to make the most of the half chance.
At the other end, Garratt had to be alert to collect a low cross from Zoko after he swiftly turned Turton close to the by-line. Otis Khan also sent a free-kick sailing over the Crewe crossbar.
The tenacious Dagnall fired wide of the mark after scrapping to get the ball back in our favour. It was better from Crewe. There was more urgency in the final third of the pitch just before the hour mark, Cooper was introduced into the action for Ainley. At that stage the next goal was going to be absolutely crucial.
On 64 minutes, Akpro forced the ball into the Crewe net but he had deliberately used his hand to do so. There was a brief moment when it appeared that referee Lee Swabey hadn’t seen it but thankfully he had and booked the offender.
A Jones corner nearly reached Bowery at the far post but it was really well defended and the second delivery was well cleared by Dolan.
It was game, set and match for the home side on 70 minutes. Garratt saved Zoko’s initial header onto the underside of his crossbar but it was Kahn reacting the quickest to convert the loose ball. That crucial third goal, this time from a corner, had wrapped up the points for the Glovers.
Turton tired to muster some hope but his shot from 25 yards whistled wide of the mark. Garratt soon had to stand firm to deny Zoko a fourth goal. The Crewe goalkeeper got his angles right to push his shot away.
Frustration saw Cooper booked for bumping into the Yeovil captain Ryan Dickson. It was a bit harsh for a first offence. Better from Cooper saw him have a shot blocked after some good work from Bowery.
Dagnall kept going for the cause and deserves great credit for his spirit up there but we were lacking that quality to unlock the Yeovil back four and really test Maddison, who had a fairly easy afternoon.