- Railwaymen fight back from behind again
- Goals from Nevitt and Powell earn point
- Unbeaten start to 2023-24 continues
Jack Powell’s late goal capped another fightback from behind for Crewe Alexandra.
For the third time this season, Lee Bell’s men found themselves trailing as Walsall took charge at Mornflake Stadium.
Goals from Freddie Draper and Isaac Hutchinson put the visitors in charge 2-0 at the break.
But the Alex again dug deep to launch a comeback. First, Elliott Nevitt ran onto Shilow Tracey’s pass and tucked away his second in five days.
And deep into injury time Powell found the net with a super cross that evaded everybody on its way home to send the Crewe fans into raptures.
The Manager and his staff will no doubt want to work on slow starts which keep giving the side mountains to climb.
However, they will again be delighted at the spirit and character of the players who scrapped right to the end to maintain an unbeaten start to the season.
Bell named the same starting 11 that earned the midweek success against Newport County, but striker Courtney Baker-Richardson has picked up a knock in training and was not among the subs.
Walsall, led by former Alex defender Donervon Daniels, made a stunning start and led in 37 seconds.
Danny Johnson’s clever lob was palmed down by keeper Harvey Davies and Draper was on hand to poke home from close range.
Nevitt nodded wide from a Rio Adebisi cross as the Alex tried to respond, but Davies had to get down well to his left to fend off a Johnson strike on 18 minutes.
The Alex showed encouraging signs going forward and came close to putting decisive moves together, but on 29 minutes it was 2-0.
Draper and Liam Gordon combined to tee up Hutchinson on the edge of the box and his drilled effort came off the inside of both posts before nestling in the net.
Christopher Long, who had been a thorn in Walsall’s side throughout the first half, had the ball in the back of the net just before the break but the assistant referee’s flag cut celebrations short.
Bell made a change at the break, introducing Matus Holicek for Zac Williams and switching to a 4-3-3 formation.
Walsall started the second half strongly and the Alex looked short of ideas fora time.
But when Ryan Cooney combined with Tracey to send Nevitt racing through just after the hour the striker showed power and composure before sliding home from an angle.
Mickey Demetriou made a superb block to deny Hutchinson, but then missed a chance himself at the far post after a great cross from Joel Tabiner.
Hutchinson fired one inches over the bar and sub Joe Riley brought a decent stop from Davies as the visitors tried to find the killer goal.
The clock ticked down and the visitors defended well heading into the six minutes of injury time.
But just as all looked lost, Powell’s powerful whipped cross beat everybody in the box and crashed into the corner.
Nevitt hooked an effort over the bar as Crewe pressed for a winner but the referee’s whistle brought an end to a exciting finale.
Crewe (3-4-3): Davies; Williams (Holicek, 46), O’Riordan, Offord; Cooney (Finney, 66; O’Riordan, 90), Powell, Tabiner, Adebisi; Tracey, Long, Nevitt.
Subs not used: Booth, Woodcock, Griffiths, Billington.
Walsall (3-5-2): Evans; McEntee, Daniels, Hussey; Gordon, Foulkes (Williams, 87), Stirk, Hutchinson, Tierney (Riley, 75); Draper (Oteh, 69), Johnson (Matt, 69).
Subs not used: Smith, James-Taylor, Allen.
Referee: S Allison.