Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell felt his side should have won their final group game in the Leasing.com Trophy- but only had themselves to blame for not doing so, by conceding two soft goals to David Unsworth’s Everton Under-21s.
The Merseysiders were certainly boosted by their £13.5 million striker Oumar Niasse, who was handed game time by Unsworth and the Senegalese punished two lapses in our defending to hit a brace at Gresty Road.
Crewe, who dominated much of the possession on the night hit back through goals from Callum Ainley and Owen Dale to force a draw and a penalty shoot-out that was eventually decided by another smart stop from Dave Richards and a calmly taken winner from captain Perry Ng.
The two points that takes us to four points in the group will fall short with Mansfield and Burton still to play.
After our exit from the competition, David told the club’s official website: “I thought we should have won the game, 100%. I thought we had more of the ball and were the better side on the night but we have given them two goals. There was a poor piece of control on the edge of our box when we tried to play out and the ball ends up in our net and then it’s a long goal kick, a touch and he is in again for the second goal.
“They were two terrible goals to give away and it doesn’t matter at what level you play, you will get punished when you make mistakes like that.
“We tried something a bit different tonight and credit to the players they took it on board very quickly. They picked things up from the work we have been doing and that was the most pleasing thing for us.
“I don’t want to give too much away on that but I was pleased with how that went. There were some good performances and that was the real positive.
“We have won a penalty shoot-out and our goalkeepers both have good records of saving penalties, that is not a flash in the pan thing. They have both been good at that this season and our five penalty takers did their jobs as well. They were all excellent penalties.
On the one downside, the injury to Eddie Nolan, the gaffer said: “Eddie has rolled his ankle. He has gone up with their goalkeeper and landed on his ankle. We gave him some time to run it off but he couldn’t so we took him off as a precaution really. I’m sure he will be fine.”