Alex Revival Continues As Bees Are Stung
The Alex rose to 16th in League Two with our fourth win on the trot, our third in the league, following a 3-1 win at home to Barnet on Saturday.
It was a far cry from the 7-0 drubbing we handed out in this tie last season but it was possibly much, much sweeter. Despite having endured our worst to star to a season in decades, it still seems so long ago that we were wondering if we would ever rise from the foot of the Football League.
The team is now looking comfortable across the pitch and whilst there's certainly going to be a few bumps and stalling along the way this season, we certainly don't look like a team heading to the Blue Square Premier anymore.
Yesterday's performance was remarkably similar to the victory over Oxford. A almost dominant first half display allowed us to get our noses in front, thanks to Luke Murphy's thunderbolt from the edge of the area.
The second half was a more even affair but with a bit of graft we doubled our lead, Shaun Miller took advantage of a goalkeeping spillage to tap in from 5 yards.
2-0 was almost unassailable but Steve Phillips was once again in the thick of it with some outstanding saves and Barnet did ensure there were some nerves in the final ten minutes.
However, a makeshift defence that was missing David Artell stood up to the test fine and, having put in a splendid performance at the other end, Adam Dugdale provided the finest moment of the match to seal the win in stoppage time. A move started by Dugdale surging the length of the pitch with the ball was ended by Dugdale who, after playing in Miller and Moore, was there to pick up the scraps from less than couple of yards.
By no means was it a performance we'll be looking back on in May, never mind for years to come, but it was comfortable and the job was done. The turn around is pleasing to watch but even with 35 wins on the trot from now, as Crewe fans we will forever be thinking 'when's it going to go wrong?'.
At the moment it seems the squad is determined to make sure we're heading in the right direction. One plus (against the many negatives) of signing next to no-one is we have a close-knit group of players, most of whom have grown up together through the academy. It could prove the difference.
The next couple of weeks now bring three big games that could suggest where our season is heading. Away trips to Burton and Accrington are never easy, Accy in fact brings only but bad memories, and are followed swiftly by the Battle of Gresty Road as the Port Vale Circus comes to town.
There's no predicting them but they will be taking us to that 10 game mark, where everyone starts evaluating the season, and let's hope the bottom two are out of sight and out of mind.