Lowery's stunning equaliser seals a deserved point against Ipswich.
A wonderful strike from Tom Lowery gave Crewe Alexandra a deserved point to end their home campaign.
The diminutive midfielder hit an unstoppable shot from just over 20 yards that flew past a helpless Christian Walton in the Ipswich Town goal. There were just four minutes left on the clock and it was justification for the way we played second half.
Crewe trailed at half-time after conceding in first time stoppage time after Conor Chaplin tucked home the opener past Dave Richards.
Mika Mandron was denied an equaliser after Walton made a fantastic save to somehow keep out his header after Chris Long did superbly to cross from the left hand side.
Crewe also had Richards to thank for making two one-v-one saves to deny Norwood.
Crewe Alexandra’s final home game of a desperately disappointing season ended in a point. for the Railwaymen.
Crewe’s last four matches of the season has evidently been used to plan for next season and for belief and momentum to return following the dismissal of David Artell following relegation.
Despite a sub-standard season, the Alex faithful still showed their appreciation to the recent work of Alex Morris and his staff and the effort the players have shown, especially in recent weeks.
The encounter at the Mornflake Stadium got off to a frenetic pace and it needed someone to get a foot on the ball in the early exchanges. The wind blast was hardly helping Crewe get up the pitch either and both sides were finding it hard to bring their central forwards into the game. Billy Sass-Davies was marshalling James Norwood and Cameron Burgess likewise on Mikael Mandron. Norwood’s first real effort saw Sass-Davies deflect it behind for a corner. From the set play, Callum Ainley volleyed it away at the near post.
The game needed a spark and the lively Uwakwe shot against a defender’s head as Crewe began to make inroads into the Ipswich half of the field. Norwood was booked for a late challenge on Offord after just 14 minutes and Alebiosu did superbly to apply a decisive touch to a deep cross before the prowling Norwood.
Ipswich had a spell on the ball but defensively Crewe restricted them to long range efforts. Joe Piggott shot well over the crossbar from the edge of the box and Lowery did likewise to divert a shot away from Sam Morsy spinning for a corner. Sass-Davies also made a timely interception from a cross by Kane Vincent-Young.
Tyreeq Bakinson was booked for a foul on Albebiosu and Dominic Thompson for a similar foul on Uwakwe.
Crewe looked threatening in the transition and only an over hit pass prevented Morris’ men from getting in behind. On 34 minutes, a flat free-kick from Lowery found Ainley and his touch was deflected behind for a corner. From the resulting short corner, Ainley pulled off and fired straight down the throat of Christian Walton.
A couple of minutes later, Crewe needed Dave Richards to stand up for as long as possible to deny Norwood after his run saw him clean through. Richards got enough on it to make the save.
Crewe’s best move of the first half saw Lowery and Murphy combine in the centre of the pitch and the captain released Long. He went for power and lashed just wide.
Offord made two splendid blocks to deny Morsy from the edge of the box before a late turn from Long after good work from Zac Williams and Ainley saw him shoot over.
Crewe looked to be heading in at the break on level terms but in the one minute of stoppage time, we conceded a sloppy opener to Conor Chaplin. Ipswich’s Janoi Donacien’s was involved in the build up down the Crewe left and Chaplin found enough space to guide his shot into the bottom corner of Richards’ net. It was so frustrating after all Crewe’s good work.
The second half started with Piggott heading straight at Richards before Chaplin shot over.
Crewe were forced into an early change with Alebiosu unable to continue after picking up an injury and Oli Finney replaced him. Uwakwe moved back to full-back.
On 58 minutes, Crewe conjured up a fantastic move down the left hand. Long did superbly down the flank, drifting past two bodies before crossing for Mandron. His bullet header was saved by Walton and Finney couldn’t keep the rebound down. It was a chance missed.
Lowery was booked following a tussle with Morsy before Griffiths replaced Murphy. Griffiths soon joined Lowery in the book for a pull back on Piggott’s shirt.
Norwood showed flashes of his talent, spinning on the edge of the box and firing just wide with just 20 minutes remaining.
Three minutes later, Crewe kept the ball really well in a move down the left. The final ball from Uwakwe found Mandron and after his shot on the turn was blocked, Long poked his follow up just wide of the post.
On 76 minutes, Norwood helped create a move in and around the box before being slipped in but again he was denied by the legs of Richards. Morsy’s shots from the edge of the box continued but again his effort was straight at the Crewe number one.
Crewe held in the game and after losing Williams through injury, the equaliser finally came on 86 minutes. Ainley was the creator, producing a sublime touch to come in off his wing and his cross into the box found Mandron. He couldn’t quite get a grip of it and Luke Woolfenden managed to smuggle it away from Finney. The danger looked to be over but the loose ball rolled into the path of Lowery and he unleashed an unstoppable shot past Walton. The place erupted.
Crewe went in search of a later winner. Burgess did well to deny Long inside the six yard box and Walton came and collected a couple of corners with real assurance.
Deep in stoppage time, Sass-Davies was booked for fouling Celina on the edge of the box but the former Manchester City youngster struck the free-kick into the Alex wall. The whistle soon went to end our home campaign and Crewe’s recent momentum continues.