Alex deservedly beaten by League Two Robins in the FA Cup.
Crewe Alexandra exited the FA Cup in the first round after League Two side Swindon Town deservedly won 3-0 at the Mornflake Stadium this afternoon. Louis Reed hit two spectacular goals in each half with Tyreece Simpson scoring the other after being played in by Harry McKirdy.
Crewe never really conjured up too many chances of our own to stay in the contest, but Luke Murphy went close with a volley from a corner but it certainly wasn’t enough with Jojo Wollactott never really tested in the Swindon goal.
For the visit of Swindon Town in the first round proper of the FA Cup, Crewe Alexandra manager, David Artell, made two changes to his starting line-up.
Madger Gomes, who was introduced early on against Doncaster Rovers after Chris Long was forced off with a groin injury, returned to the starting XI.
Donveron Daniels returned to the Crewe side at right wing-back with Scott Robertson handed a rest.
The former Crewe loanee forward, Harry McKirdky started for Ben Garner’s Robins.
The two sets of supporters observed an impeccable one minute silence ahead of kick-off to mark remembrance Sunday.
It was a tentative affair in the opening ten minutes with defences on top. There were a couple of early stoppages too that would result in six minutes of stoppage time at the end of the half. Swindon defender Mathieu Baudry was forced off through injury after 12 minutes and had to be replaced by Rob Hunt. Donervon Daniels needed treatment after taking a whack close to the touchline but was able to continue.
The best chances of the early exchanges certainly fell to the visitors and to McKirdy in particular. The former Crewe loanee got in behind the Alex back line twice but he mis-hit the first and it was deflected behind for a corner and he had another one-one-one opportunity saved well by the onrushing Richards.
From the first corner, a great delivery from Reed was volleyed wide by an unmarked Kane Kesler-Hayden.
It took a while for Crewe to conjure up any half chances of our own with the Alex looking to get Kashket in behind by going through the aerial presence of Porter. Kashket’s pace resulted in the Swindon goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott rushing from his goal to clear any potential danger.
Swindon were the better side in the first half of the first half and deserved their well-worked goal on 25 minutes. The busy Jonny Williams rushed into a crowded Crewe penalty area to take a ball on his chest and keep the attack alive. He found supportive full-back, Ellis Iandolo, and his instant pass into Reed on the edge of the box saw him strike an excellent first time shot past a helpless Richards. It was a great strike and Crewe found themselves behind again.
Offord and skipper Luke Murphy tried to ignite us into some life by trying to get to the ball first and nick possession back and Porter was his battling self up front. He won his fair share of flick ons and made a nuisance of himself when the ball was played up to him. We got some joy from Porter.
After being second best for the first half an hour, Crewe began to grow into the game. On 35 minutes, a corner from Lowery was headed out by Simpson and Murphy’s excellent volley just missed the crossbar.
That effort gave us a needed lift. Moments later, Lowery’s low shot was straight at Wollacott. From another corner, Porter rose highest to head back across goal and Billy Sass-Davies headed over the crossbar.
Saying that, Swindon were always a threat too and they could have gone in 2-0 up but Jack Payne fired against the post with two minutes of the half remaining.
Crewe came out on the front foot in the opening minutes of the second half. Artell switched to 4-3-3 with Daniels off and Bennett on to offer service to Porter from the left hand side. The tempo was better and the crowd lifted. An early scramble inside the Swindon box nearly saw it drop to Lowery and then the fresh on Bennett but the visitors managed to clear their lines.
Although Crewe had made a promising start to the half, we soon found ourselves 2-0 down. Full-back Kesler-Hayden drilled it in McKirkdy and he spun a yard before releasing Simpson in behind. The powerful striker showed real composure to fire past Richards via the far post and Crewe had an almighty mountain to climb.
Reed then had an early sighter from a free-kick on the edge of the box after McKirdy had been tripped by Offord. This time it took a deflection off the Crewe wall. McKirdy also had a shot on goal that drew a save from Richards.
Gomes flashed a shot wide as Crewe went desperately in search of a goal to get back into the tie.
On 65 minutes, Artell made a double change with Lundstram and Mandron on for Thomas and Porter. Offord returned to the centre with Lundstram at right-back.
Swindon thought they had made it 3-0 after a mass scramble inside our six yard box following a free-kick. In truth Crewe had Richards to thank for another fine save from close range and Iandolo was adjudged offside after he had lifted into the roof of the net from the rebound.
The physical Simpson was denied his second goal of the afternoon after being denied again by arguably Crewe’s best performer on the day, Richards. He stood up well in a one-on-one situation to make the save.
A flurry of subs occurred because of the five permitted in the FA Cup and there was a late introduction for Robertson and Finney. Robertson found himself in the book when his lunging tackle committed the foul that Swindon’s third goal was coming to come from. Reed stepped up from the edge of the Crewe penalty area and his technique to get the ball over the wall and past Richards with pace was top drawer. It was a wonderfully struck free-kick to make it 3-0 on 78 minutes and Crewe wanted the whistle to put us out of our misery.