Crewe: Garratt, Sterry, Raynes, Ng, Bakayogo, Green, Pickering, Ainley (McKirdy, 66), Kirk, Miller (Barlaser, 79), Bowery
Unused Subs: Richards, Ray, Walker, Lowery, Reilly
Attendance: 1,254 (120 Crewe)
Crewe Alexandra fell to a harsh 1-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley despite dominating for large periods.
The Alex had chances galore to equalise, and even win it in the second half, but Kayden Jackson’s strike late in the first period proved enough for high-flying Stanley.
Dave Artell was forced into one change from the side that drew with Yeovil Town, Michael Raynes returning to the starting XI after Eddie Nolan was ruled out through illness.
In a closely fought opening 45, Crewe gave a good account of themselves, but could’ve gone behind on eight minutes when the ever-lively Jackson rolled his one-on-one wide from an acute angle after Jordan Clark had played him in behind.
Shaun Miller had the ball in the net a minute later after Paul Green’s through ball set the striker in on goal, but the linesman’s flag for offside denied The Alex.
The match entered a quiet period, with both sides enjoying spells of possession but without creating any serious opportunities.
That was until the 36th minute when Crewe created two good chances in five minutes. First, Jordan Bowery received the ball to chest on the left-wing, before doing well to take on Stanley defenders to get into the box. With a clear opening, he hit the shot straight at goalkeeper Chapman when he could’ve perhaps forced the stopper into a more difficult save.
In the ascendancy, Green then went close after receiving the ball on the right from Bowery following another clever jinking run. The midfielder steadied & struck goalwards, with the strike hitting the side-netting via a clear deflection from a Stanley player.
Neither referee nor linesman gave the correct decision & it was from the resulting goal-kick that the hosts started their move for the opener. The ball found its way to the right flank to Clark who turned a ball inside for Jackson to run in on the angle & coolly slot low into the far corner.
That 42nd minute strike proved a real sucker-punch for the Alex to end the first half with after producing their fair share of quality onto the game.
Crewe came flying out the blocks second half and dominated the majority of the second 45.
Charlie Kirk forced Aaron Chapman into a smart stop to his left on 47 minutes to beat away the shot after Bowery had fed in Charlie & he turned inside to shoot.
Crewe continued to create chances & it was Kirk who went mighty close again in the 63rd minute, blasting a first time shot from Jamie Sterry’s low ball from the right that took a deflection & flashed narrowly wide. From the resulting corner, Crewe looked to have been given a clear penalty for handball, but the linesman flagged for an Alex player in an offside position.
Moments later, Bowery turned and ran from half-way, taking on several Stanley defenders to rocket a shot on goal from 25-yards that Chapman had to be at his best to parry away as The Alex desperately searched for an equaliser.
The best chance of the second period fell to Bowery again on 72 minutes. Kirk’s shot from distance hit Jordan & fell to his feet, giving the striker a free shot on goal from 12-yards – but he arrowed the effort narrowly wide.
Crewe continued to press and had Stanley camped inside their final third inside the final ten minutes, but the side who sit second in the Sky Bet League Two table clung on for all three points.