Crewe Alexandra 7 [Seven] Barnet 0
Crewe collected their first three points of the season in spectacular fashion with a (incase you haven't heard already) 7-0 win over Barnet.
After the 3-2 defeat at Cheltenham Town last week, expectations for the season had been somewhat quelled. We sat 23rd and remained one of only two sides to remain without a point - Lincoln being the other, who also got a good win against Gillingham today.
News that Calvin Zola was ruled out with a knee injury split fans opinion and whilst there was talk that 16 year old Nick Powell would fill in for him, Dario opted for the tried and tested option of Joel Grant. The selection meant that Clayton Donaldson moved to a more central role, allowing Shaun Miller and Joel Grant to operate the flanks.
The question over whether Zola's absence would leave us sparse up front was answered pretty much immediately, Shaun Miller netting just four minutes into the game. Connecting with a Blanchett cross, Miller's looping ball was headed back across goal for Miller to head home from just a couple of feet out with Donaldson ready to sweep up any Miller spillage.
Fans knew though that a fourth minute lead was nothing to get too excited over, Ada had given us an early lead against Cheltenham only to be soundly beaten down in Gloucestershire.
Fortunately there was no repeat, though we had to wait 30 minutes for the second of the game to arrived. Catching Barnet playing musical statues, when Joel Grant dispossessed a Barnet midfielder on the half way line it was just a matter of a sweeping move. Grant playing in Miller to slide the ball through to Donaldson to run on to and slot into the back of the net from the edge of the area.
2-0 at half time was a comfortable score but with Miller, Murphy and Donaldson all wasting goal scoring chances whilst Barnet offered little in return, there was definitely a feeling that more goals were to come.
It took no more than two minutes for the goal scoring to resume in the second half. Joel Grant taking a loose ball 25 yards out and one touch before lashing it into the bottom right corner at the Gresty Road End. Grant turned provider 10 minutes later for the fourth. Picking up a cleared corner on the left side of the penalty area, Grant sent the ball straight back in for David Artell to nod home from six yards out.
4-0 is usually the point that teams ease off the gas but there were points to prove by the RIlwaymen and little over two minutes later Clayton Donaldson netted his second, heading home a long Ashley Westwood free kick from six yards out, though he'd have had few easier chances as Barnet left him completely unmarked.
Crewe eased off the pressure a little but Barnet didn't threaten the Alex defence nearly enough, but at 5-0 there couldn't have been much spirit left in them.
Shaun Miller resumed the goal scoring after a little 20 minute break. It was another easy header for the Alex striker, this time Miller collecting the scraps after Ashley Westwood's curler from the edge of the area was palmed into the path of Miller at the far post.
Whilst 6-0 was spectacular enough going into the last ten minutes, it was no better than the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea on the day - so AJ Leith-Smith ensured our result secured the Sunday headlines (in the League Two sections at least). A one touch passing movement between four or five players, just like the good old days, saw Murphy send Leitch-Smith free to calmly roll the ball past the keeper from inside the area. It was the Academy graduate's first professional goal for the club.
Final Score; Crewe 7-0 Barnet.
It was great tonic for what has been a frustrating start to the season and there is nothing better than seeing the mighty Railwaymen mentioned all over the place for scoreline.
What it means for the long run however is a different matter. Barnet were clearly a poor side not playing at their best, some of the defending for the goals was woeful to say the least. They do now sit bottom of the division and you can't help but wonder, was this that great a result or will Barnet become the whipping boys this season? It could, after all, have been double figures yesterday.
7-0 against anyone in any division is no mean feat though, no question about that and it'll go some way to improving team spirit and confidence. It may just be what's needed to kick start the season and deliver the promises from pre season.
Tuesday's visit from Ipswich in the Carling Cup now provides an (un)welcome distraction. How do you see it? A chance to boost confidence further with another Championship cup scalp or a chance for confidence to be dented by higher quality opposition?
For me, I'd rather be getting points on the board again. Bring on Lincoln.