- Railwaymen fight back from two down again
- Tabiner and Nevitt on target in dramatic finish
- Alex end the evening seventh in table
Elliott Nevitt’s 101st minute goal salvaged a precious point in dramatic circumstances at AFC Wimbledon.
The Alex slipped two goals behind for the fourth time this season, when Josh Neufville and James Tilley put the hosts in charge.
But Joel Tabiner, a day after he signed a new deal with the club, halved the deficit with his first goal of the season just after the restart.
And deep into added time Nevitt produced a magnificent finish with his left foot to notch his fourth of the season and earn a share of the spoils.
Lee Bell’s men were second best for large periods of the game but their never-say-die spirit shone through again.
Crewe are now three games unbeaten and sit seventh in League Two.
Bell made one change to the side that won at Forest Green last time out with Ryan Cooney replacing Aaron Rowe. It meant a switch in position for Rio Adebisi as he pushed forward to operate as a wide attacker.
The hosts, who were looking for their first home win of the season, started strongly and got a few early sights of goal.
Captain Luke Offord and defensive partner Connor O’Riordan made important blocks, and on 13 minutes a super last-ditch tackle from Jack Powell denied the Dons a certain opener.
On 20 minutes Tabiner and Christopher Long combined nicely to free Courtney Baker-Richardson down the right but the striker’s cross was intercepted by keeper Alex Bass.
Crewe benefited from a real let-off when possession was lost in midfield and Ali Al-Hamadi squared for Tilley. But keeper Harvey Davies raced off his line and narrowed the angle enough to force the forward to fire wide from a great position.
Wimbledon broke the deadlock on the half hour when Al-Hamadi surged down the right and his cross found Neufville at the far post, and he made no mistake.
Davies saved from Charlie Lakin and then leapt to his left to push away an Al-Hamadi strike, but he could do nothing about Wimbledon’s second on 38 minutes.
The Alex failed to clear the danger and Tilley showed quick feet to create an angle before firing home from close range.
Davies made a point-blank save from an Al-Hamadi header, while Tabiner was off target with a dipping volley at the other end before the break.
O’Riordan couldn’t continue and was replaced by Zac Williams at the break, as Crewe switched to 3-5-2 for the second half.
On 51 minutes the Alex pulled one back when Cooney’s superb cross was met by the onrushing Tabiner who finished first-time with aplomb.
The game tightened up somewhat, and Bell reacted by swapping midfielder Connor Thomas for forward Nevitt just after the hour.
Omar Bugiel headed over from a corner and Neufville drilled wide after beating his man, as the hosts looked for a third.
Mickey Demetriou made a superb block to deny Al-Hamadi and sub Aron Sasu fizzed one over in the closing stages.
Crewe forced a number of corners in injury time and Williams bundled the ball in the net from one of them, but the assistant referee raised his flag for offside.
But Crewe refused to be denied and when the ball was helped forward to Nevitt in the 101st minute he crashed it home from just inside the box.
Wimbledon (4-4-2): Bass; Ogundere, Lewis, Johnson, Currie (Sasu, 74); Tilley (Davison, 90+2), Lakin, Ball (Pell, 74), Neufville (Brown, 83); Bugiel (Evans, 90+2), Al-Hamadi.
Subs not used: Tzanev, Pearce.
Booked: Ogundere, Lakin
Crewe (4-2-3-1): Davies; Cooney (Rowe, 72), O’Riordan (Williams, 46), Offord, Demetriou; Powell (White, 85), Thomas (Nevitt, 62); Tabiner, Long, Adebisi (Finney, 85); Baker-Richardson.
Subs not used: Booth, Holicek, Rowe.
Booked: White, Rowe.
Referee: Lewis Smith.
Attendance: 8,137 (619).