- Tough test against a side two leagues above
- The return of Amanda Fallon
- A performance that can help improve league form
A depleted Crewe side with only one substitute available were beaten 4-0 by West Bromwich Albion in the Women's Vitality FA Cup despite valiant display.
The Alex started brightly and minimised West Brom's threat as an attempt at goal from Laura Garner hit the side netting moments before an offside flag foiled a one v one chance for the Reds.
Crewe 'keeper Hannah Holloway followed up her superb performance last week up with another strong outing as she was equal to the West Brom number nines shot on target. The home side were able to open the scoring on 21 minutes as the Baggies striker weaved her way before being brought down by Kirsty Stafford to concede a penalty, which was converted.
Crewe reacted well to the setback and stuck to their philosophies. They moved the ball around well, but WBA remained solid at the back. Shortly before half time the hosts grabbed a second when Mariam Mahmood grabbed her second of the game after beating three players before bending the perfect shot around Holloway and into the top corner.
Matt Fisher's side were forced into a change 20 minutes into the second period as the lively Beth Grice limped off with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Laura Pearce. WBA ended the game as a contest with two quick fire goals as less than 15 minutes were left on the clock.
Speaking post-match, Head Coach, Matt Fisher said: "That was our toughest challenge yet, but I'm so proud of how we've faced it. The girls have worked very hard and competed for every ball.
"I must say, West Brom are a superb outfit and they are something we aspire to be in the future."
He added: "What a cup run it has been and I couldn't be prouder of the girls. Our focus now turns back to league action where we need get some points on the board."