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Crewe Alexandra 2-0 Accrington

23 February 2021

Goal in each half from Beckles and Porter seal the points for the Railwaymen.

Omar Beckles side footed home his first goal for the club to put Crewe on their way to a superb home win over in-form Accrington Stanley. Beckles took full advantage of a mistake from Nathan Baxter to tuck home the opener on 32 minutes.

Our night’s work was made slightly easier after defender Harvey Rodgers was sent off for a professional foul on Charlie Kirk just minutes into the second half.

Crewe had ample opportunities to kill the game with Baxter the busier of the two goalkeepers on the night but we eventually sealed the points with ten minutes to go. Tom Lowery left Mark Hughes in a spin before laying it across perfectly for Chris Porter to get his goal on his return to his side.

The Alex should have previous scored more than the two we did, with Baxter saving from Porter, Mikael Mandron, Luke Murphy and captain Harry Pickering with Lowery also hitting the post in the first half.

Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell made two changes to the side that lost in stoppage time at Swindon Town on Saturday.

After overcoming a long-term hamstring injury, Donervon Daniels, replaced Travis Johnson at right back. Chris Porter also returned to the starting line-up in place of winger Owen Dale as Artell reverted to a flexible 4-4-2 formation.

John Coleman’s named the former Crewe loanee defender Michael Nottingham in their starting line-up.

The game got off to a frenetic start at the Alexandra Stadium and the opening ten minutes were packed with offside’s and free-kicks. The away side were rewarded for their high pressing with the first half chances.

Dion Charles created an early chance for Adam Phillips but under pressure, he could only shoot wide of the target from inside the Crewe penalty area. The Alex had to avoid a dangerous looking delivery going across our six yard box and deal with a long throw from our former player, Nottingham raining into our box.

Nathan Wood registered our first effort on goal from a Harry Pickering free-kick but the header from the on-loan Middlesbrough defender was too close to Nathan Baxter in the Accrington goalkeeper.

Moments later, Daniels produced a deft touch with his head before he whipped over a fantastic cross that just missed out a stretching Porter. Pickering and Murphy then produced similar quality from the other side and again Porter was unfortunate not to apply a decisive touch.

After getting to grips with the game, Crewe’s pressure paid off in the 32nd minute. A ball into the Accrington penalty area was missed by the diving Nottingham and Kirk reacted to cross into the six yard box, and as Porter challenged Baxter the ball squirmed free and there was Omar Beckles calmly slotted home his first goal for the club. It was a fine finish from the centre-half and it gave Crewe a deserved lead.

Pickering and Kirk combined down the left hand side and the winger went for goal. He set himself to try and guide it into the far corner, but Baxter got a strong hand on it to make a fine save.

Crewe continued to match Accrington’s work ethic and obviously with the two taller forwards, we understandably went a bit longer at times.

In reply, Sean McConville volleyed at Richards just before half-time but after weathering the opening 15 minutes, we deserved to be ahead.

Our night’s work was made easier following Harvey Rodgers dismissal just minutes into the second half. Charlie Kirk was bought down when through on goal by the Accrington youngster and the referee did not hesitate to show him a red card. From the free-kick, Pickering hit the top of a stubborn wall.

The sending off forced Coleman into a quick change with Tariq Uwakwe replacing winger McConville. The formation saw the visitors switch to 3-4-2 and that left some promising gaps at the back for us to expose.

Kirk began to find some pockets of space and he had a growing influence on the game. He quickly found Mandron but his shot was blocked and spun away for a corner.

Crewe had to keep it tight at the back and we had a let-off when we failed to cope with a long clearance from Baxter and Colby Bishop got in behind to fire wide. It was a warning sign and Crewe promptly tightened up at the back with the partnership of Beckles and Wood were excellent.

The chances began to flow for the Alex. Kirk was again involved to find Porter in behind and after his initial effort was saved by the busier Baxter, Lowery’s follow-up thumped the outside of the post.

There was a scare at the Alex end when the ball seemed to be stolen out of the hands of Richards but we got enough bodies back behind the keeper to make superb blocks from Bishop and sub Uwakwe.

Porter soon shot straight at Baxter and after a promising burst from Ryan Wintle saw him glide past a couple of challenges before firing over the crossbar. It would have been some goal from the Alex midfielder.

Crewe had more chances to kill the game with Mandron shooting straight at Baxter again and Murphy forcing into a decent save with a thumping drive from 25 yards.

Crewe needed that second goal and it duly arrived on 79 minutes after a fantastic assist from Lowery. From a throw-in, Lowery ran rings around Hughes before putting it on a plate for Porter to tap home for 2-0. It was a wonderfully crafted goal from the dimintutive midfielder and Porter was in the right place again to score.

Accrington, tiring with 10 men, were trying to keep us at bay. Pickering had a shot saved by Baxter before in the final minute, Murphy  and Kirk combined superbly to present Wintle with a chance but he shot inches wide.














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