Stevenage 1-1 Crewe; Nick Powell Arrives
The biggest story to come out of yesterday's 1-1 draw against Stevenage is without doubt the emergence of Nick Powell. Well, I say emergence like he's taken us by surprise, it seems like years since we were hearing about him and Max Clayton in the young sides in the academy.
After playing a brief role against Blackpool in pre-season, followed by a 5 minute cameo against Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago, Powell was called off the bench today to play the final 25 minutes at Broadhall Way. And he impressed. A lot.
Graham McGarry on Radio Stoke was quick to compare him with a 16 year old Dean Ashton, which is on par with saying he is the second coming, whilst the BBC reporter Paul Fletcher both tweeted and blogged about the 16 year old's performance. In short, he's yet another kid at Gresty Road with the world at his feet.
Once on the pitch, he simply ran the show showing sublime vision, a great range of passing and was unlucky not to snatch the win for the Railwaymen in the dying moments.
Dario said mid-week that Powell had to play games; well, he's surely done his chances no harm today, how long before Dario's tempted to put him in his starting 11? Next week we hope!
It's such a shame that he wasn't wearing the red of Crewe in all this.
Nope, as we said earlier, a complete mix up meant the Alex were sporting the yellow of Stevenage for the 90 minutes.
With Stevenage's home kit mostly white with red trim there was a bit of a pickle. Our white and orange away kit clearly wasn't an option but neither, the referee said, was our home kit of red and white. It would also appear that our old blue and yellow away kit was also rejected by match officials.
After a series of discussions between match officials and club representatives, the Alex ran out of the tunnel in the yellow away kit of Stevenage.
On to the match itself. Before the match I said I'd take a point and yesterday's result delivered but I don't believe it's anything to be overjoyed about.
Stevenage were down to 10 men for the majority of the second half and we failed to break them, never mind the fact we yet again had to come from behind.
Something has got to 'click' soon because we can't survive on coming from behind to take a point every week.
There does seem to be a bit more quality about us than there was last season but we just don't seem to be getting the results and, whilst everyone's being patient, with the team I think there's only a matter of a couple of weeks before the frustration starts to show.
Today we were partly unlucky and partly not good enough. Unlucky when it came to the Stevenage goal, giving them a 1-0 lead at half time. Westwood had just had an excellent chance saved, then Stevenage went up the other end and got all the luck. Rhys Taylor had produced a good save to push a shot from the edge of the area onto the post but could do nothing as it bobbled to the feet of Odubade, who had the easiest of jobs tapping the ball into the empty net.
Thankfully we were never out of the game and 10 minutes after half time Ashley Westwood produced a beauty, curling it in to the top corner from 20 yards out and putting us back on level terms.
We should have taken advantage when Stevenage went down to 10 men five minutes later when Stacy Long was shown red after two rash challenges. It proved frustrating though as Stevenage set up stall and made it hard for the Alex.
Powell, Donaldson and Zola all went close but Stevenage held out.
Attention now turns to Bury at home next week. They won 5-4 at home to Gillingham today, Ryan Lowe netting a couple. Could be quite an interesting game at Fortress Gresty!