- Railwaymen secure stunning fightback win
- Tabiner opens account with wonder goal
- Agyei moves to 12 for campaign with brace
Crewe Alexandra grabbed all three points in dramatic style with two goals in the dying stages of a pulsating game against Salford City.
Dan Agyei fired the winner, and his second of the game, in the 90th minute to spark rapturous scenes at Mornflake Stadium.
Connor O’Riordan’s clever backheel had made it 3-3 just two minutes earlier, after Salford thought they had won it with Stevie Mallan’s 85th minute goal.
Earlier, the first half ended 2-2. Salford hit the front through Louis Barry, but Crewe led thanks to Agyei’s penalty and Joel Tabiner’s magnificent chip. Callum Hendry made it level just before the whistle.
The victory is Crewe’s first in five, but Lee Bell’s side are now seven games unbeaten, and up to 16th in League Two.
Bell made two changes to the side that drew at Sutton at the weekend. One was enforced, with the suspended Rod McDonald replaced by O’Riordan, who has completed a one-match ban.
The other change saw Callum Ainley replace Sean Robertson, as the Manager shifted to a 4-3-2-1 system, with Elliott Nevitt leading the line.
The visitors hit the front on 19 minutes when Luke Bolton showed searing pace to race down the right and he squared to give Barry a simple tap-in.
Rio Adebisi was desperately close to levelling shortly after, when he met Tariq Uwakwe’s corner with a firm header. But keeper Alex Cairns pulled off a superb save, and tipped the ball against the post.
It was 1-1 on the half-hour mark after Nevitt was fouled in the box as he arrived to collect an Uwakwe cross. Cool and calm, Agyei was spot on from 12 yards.
The Alex went ahead on 40 minutes when Tabiner was presented with the ball by keeper Cairns, who had raced out of his box, and the Crewe teenager sent a sensational chip home from fully 30 yards.
But it was all-square at the break after Bolton smashed the frame of the goal from close range, and Hendry reacted quickest to acrobatically convert when the ball came back into the box.
Keeper James Beadle made a smart stop down at his near post to deny Bolton soon after the restart.
Tabiner was inches away on 54 minutes after good persistence from Nevitt helped him get through on goal, but his effort was just the wrong side of the post.
Uwakwe headed over from a Tabiner cross, Ainley drew a comfortable save from Cairns, and Rio Adebisi went close, as the Alex pressed for their third.
As the game approached the final 10 minutes, two superb bits of defending from Kelvin Mellor kept Salford at bay, and then a full-stretch Beadle clawed away a Bolton volley.
Mallan’s powerful strike from a free-kick was bravely gathered by Beadle at the second attempt on 82 minutes.
On 85 minutes it was 3-2 to the visitors when Mallan found the bottom corner from just inside the box.
But the Alex responded well and it was 3-3 on 88 minutes when O’Riordan showed great presence of mind to backheel home after a scramble in the box.
And the stadium erupted when Nevitt’s incredibly powerful strike cannoned off the keeper and Agyei kept his cool to control and hit the winner.
Crewe (4-2-3-1): Beadle; Mellor, O’Riordan, Offord; Adebisi, Uwakwe (Baker-Richardson, 87), Finnigan; Tabiner (Thomas, 87), Ainley (Colkett, 76), Agyei; Nevitt.
Subs not used: Richards, Griffiths, Amoo, Robertson.
Booked: O’Riordan, Agyei, Finnigan
Salford (4-3-3): Cairns; Tourey, Lowe, Vassell, Leak; Lund (Mallan, 58), Watt (Smith, 70), Galbraith; Bolton, Hendry, Barry (Moreton, 70).
Subs not used: Bellagambi, Bailey, Simoes, McLoughlin.
Referee: B Speedie