Early goals from Reilly and Dale put Crewe through to last four in Senior Cup.
A young Crewe Alexandra side produced a performance of real class and merit to secure a place in the last four of the Cheshire Senior Cup this evening. Alex Morris’ side deservedly won 2-1 and were probably more comfortable than the score line actually suggested after producing a consistent display over Jim Gannon’s more experienced Stockport County side.
The current holders of the competition named a strong starting XI with the likes of Courtney Meppen-Walters, Kayodi Odejayi, John Marsden and Mark Ross all starting at Gresty Road.
Crewe were excellent throughout the 90 plus minute and made their early pressure count when Lewis Reilly was in the right place at the right time again to tap home a close range rebound after Owen Dale had seen his initial blocked saved.
The opening goal came after just 9 minutes and the Crewe youngsters would double their lead just four minutes later, when the impressive Dale struck off a shot that hit the post on its way past Ian Ormson.
Callum Ainley was the outstanding performer on the night and he continued to inspire attack-after-attack as Crewe went in search of more goals.
The only real blow from a dominant first half display was the loss of goalkeeper Dave Richards due to injury. He was withdrawn as precaution after receiving a knock to the head. He had to replaced by Youth Cup goalkeeper Scott Wardley.
Stockport with all their experience pulled one back on the half an hour mark through Jimmy Ball after his free-kick beat the Crewe wall and Wardley.
Crewe Alexandra had enough chances to put the contest beyond doubt with man-of-the-match Ainley forcing Ormson into a smart save and Dan Udoh being denied in a one-on-one situation just before the half time break.
The good football continued after the break from the Railwaymen but there were fewer clear cut chances. Harry Pickering and Callum Ainley tried their luck from distance and Dale was denied at the near post as Crewe aimed to go two goals ahead again.
Stockport were not going to keep up their trophy without a fight but Crewe were hardly troubled with Perry Ng and Billy Sass-Davies impressive at the back.
Crewe: Richards, Wilkinson, Pickering, Finney, Sass-Davies, Ng, Dale, Wintle, Udoh, Reilly, Ainley
Subs: Walley, Wardley, Griffiths, Lynch, Offord