Alex boss praises players and away fans after penalty shoot-out success.
David Artell was a proud man this evening after his Crewe Alexandra side secured a second round home tie against Premier League side Aston Villa thanks to a penalty shoot-out win at the Riverside Stadium. His excellent Crewe side had deservedly led 2-0 at the break and were seconds away from securing a 2-1 win before Marc Bola drilled home in stoppage time to level it up.
They dusted themselves off though to hold their nerve to convert all four of our shots from the spot and with Britt Assombalonga completely missing the target and Dave Richards saving from Marcus Browne, it was Crewe through to round two.
After the dramatic win at the Riverside Stadium, the boss said: “I am proud of the players because that was a terrific performance from all of them. It took a penalty shoot-out to decide it in the end but I thought we deserved to win in 90 minutes.
“They threw their forwards on and went more direct but it was two mistakes from us that have cost us the goals. It is those little mistakes at this level that are punished but the penalty shoot-out is a mental and technical challenge. I just told them it was just like Reasheath with a few red seats and four sweet strikes later and we are into round two.
“All credit to John Dillon for doing the research on the penalties and what way they might go and Dave Richards did what he had to do. He will get the plaudits for the save but it was a whole team performance, they really were terrific out there.
“I don’t think Dave had a real meaningful save to make until their first goal. He made a save low down from Walker in the first five minutes but other than that I thought we defended really well.
“Kirk’s feet for the first goal were exceptional and what a finish for the second. He looked a Championship player in a big stadium tonight. Chris Porter at 35 was the best forward on the pitch, he was terrific for us again and Owen Dale was immense.
He added: “These nights are important and allows us to build some momentum. The fans were terrific. They have come up here on a Tuesday night and sung their hearts out. I hope those who have to get up early in the morning are not bleary eyed. I hope they all enjoy their trip home and their day tomorrow.
“The Boro fans clapped our team off at the end, they know their football up here and they knew how well we had played, especially for the first hour.”