Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell says his spirited side deserved to score a late equaliser through substitute Callum Ainley at The Moss Rose. Ainley was in the right spot to tuck home a 95th minute equaliser from a corner to cancel out Paul Green’s own goal on the stroke of half-time.
Artell was delighted with the fighting qualities his Crewe side showed once again to collect something from a local derby that looked like slipping from our gasp.
The Alex boss told the club’s official website: “It was the old cliché, it was a game of two halves. The first half was probably the worst 45 minutes I have seen all season and not just from us. I thought that both teams were terrible and I don’t know what you could talk about.
“They scored a terrible goal from our point of view and that about summed up the first half. It was a just of comedy of errors and that was for most of the half.
“We said to them at half-time that the pitch was getting into their heads and it shouldn’t. We said don’t panic and the second half was much more like us. We deserved to score at least the equaliser. We had some chances and a blatant penalty turned down. Oli Finney was fouled as he was about to tap into an empty net and you just wouldn’t do it. To score a goal is the greatest feeling so why would he go down?
“The referee said he initiated contact but he would have scored. We kept going and got the equaliser right at the end. I’ve got to give credit to Fred Barber, because he told Callum Ainley to stand on the goalkeeper. We had one before and Michael Nottingham won the header and there was no-one there to tap it in.
"Callum was there and those moments count, those little cameos certainly help and I said to them that the point could be vital at the end of the season. It could be the difference between automatic and the play-offs, 7th or 8th. Who knows?
“I must say the substitutes were excellent. They had a real impact. Callum scored the goal and I thought that Oli Finney was the best player on the pitch for the time he was. He was excellent for us.
He added: “It is a tough, tough place to come to. The pitch is tricky, they are fighting for their lives. They have lost one game at home all season and have a new manager, so it was all there for it being a tough night but our players showed that character again to make sure we didn’t get beat.”