Tidy finish from the lively Dale not enough to seal win at Alsager.
The younger contingent of David Artell’s Crewe Alexandra squad were held to a 1-1 draw by a spirited Alsager Town side at Wood Park this evening.
Made up mostly of the club’s Under-23 Development Squad, the Railwaymen shaded the majority of the possession, but had to wait until the 53rd minute to break the deadlock through Owen Dale. The Bulllets, to their credit hit back to equalise from a Ryan header at a corner.
The club’s latest pre-season friendly began at a decent tempo with both sides having early chances to take the lead. Crewe had to rely on goalkeeper Dave Richards for keeping out early good efforts from his namesake Richards in a one-on-one situation and then from Josh Glover. At the other end, Lewis Reilly was denied twice early on when he would have expected to have scored.
Althought the game somewhat settled down a bit, Crewe continued to press forward but on occasions were guilty of straying offside at the crucial moment or just tried to force things a bit too much with a longer, often straighter ball for the runners, Kirk and Dale to run onto.
Kirk had an early shot in the second period deflected behind for a corner before the opening goal finally arrived.
It was the lively Dale though who gave Crewe the lead eight minutes into the second half. Some good approach play from Harry Pickering and then Tom Lowery saw the ball spill into Dale’s path and his awareness and pace turned a half chance into a goal. He latched onto the ball and although he was forced a little wide by the onrushing Alsager goalkeeper, he composed himself well to guide it home from a tight angle.
Alsager, who worked their socks off and were competitive throughout the 90 minutes got their just rewards from a corner with Ryan powerfully heading home and at that stage of the game it looked anyone’s to go and win.
Crewe had the better of the late opportunities to win it but Kirk shot straight at the goalkeeper before substitute Daniel Udoh forced the Alsager stopper into a good save with a late header on target.