Under-23s Beat Burnley At Home At Alexandra Stadium
Goals in either half from Alex Hurst and Lewis Reilly saw Crewe Alexandra Under-23 side pick up their 3rd win of the season at this level in the Professional Development League at the Alexandra Stadium this afternoon.
First team assistant manager Kenny Lunt was in charge of the team this afternoon, accompanied in the technical area by David Artell, named Ben Garratt (also captain) in goal with a back 5 of Under-18s captain Travis Johnson at right wing-back, Luke Offord, Sam Stubbs and Billy Sass-Davies as centre-backs and Hurst at left wing-back. In midfield Josh Lundstram partnered Harry Pickering whilst Owen Dale and Charlie Kirk started either side of Reilly in a front 3.
The opening effort of the game came in the 6th minute with Dale getting in behind Burnley left-back Ali Kioki with the Alex wide-man shooting wide of the target before Kirk tested Clarets keeper Aiden Stone with a left-footed effort from 20 yards which was palmed wide for a corner.
The hosts took the lead on 20 minutes as Dale got in down the right with his cross evading everyone but Hurst at the back post, who chested and half-volleyed the ball home from 12 yards. Burnley's best chance of the opening period saw Harry Limb unable to take advantage of a bit of mis-communication between Garratt and Offord with the forward scuffing his effort towards goal that Garratt gathered easily.
With both sides making changes at half-time, Rahis Nabi replacing Freddy Ulvestad in midfield for the Clarets and Joe Lynch, Rio Adebisi and Luke Walsh replacing Johnson, Hurst and Sass-Davies, we saw Crewe move to a back 4 of Offord, Stubbs, Lundstram and Adebisi with Walsh playing from the right, Lynch in the centre of the park with Pickering and Dale join Reilly up top.
Dean Marney was booked 8 minutes into the second period for a crude challenge on Kirk before Tinashe Chakwana headed a Jamie Thomas free-kick wide of the goal just before the hour. Pickering produced the next save out of Stone with a long-range drive with Walsh unable to turn in the rebound which came back to him before he could set himself.
Burnley's next chance came with 20 minutes to go with Adebisi under-hitting a back-pass with Garratt denying the Burnley player with a save to keep the clean-sheet intact. After the resulting corner was headed away for a corner on the other side, Marney's corner was headed over by substitute Dwight McNeil following a Oliver Younger flick-on at the near post.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, Kirk brought another decent save out of Stone before Reilly scored the second of the game 3 minutes from time with a 25-yard left-footed effort as he slipped as he scored his 7th of the season at this level.
The next game at this level is a week on Friday (10th November) at Barnsley with a 2pm kick-off.
Crewe: Garratt (c); T.Johnson (Walsh 46), Offord, Stubbs, Sass-Davies (Lynch 46), Hurst (Adebisi 46); Lundstram, Pickering; Dale, Reilly, Kirk
Burnley: Stone; Birch (c), Flowers, Younger, Kioki; Bayode, Marney (Wood 83), Ulvestad (Nabi 46), Chakwana; Thomas, Limb (McNeil 63)