Crewe Out Of Cheshire Senior Cup At Nantwich
Substitute Matt Bell`s 115th minute goal was enough for Nantwich Town to avenge last season`s Cheshire Senior Cup final defeat to a young Crewe Alexandra side that included several players that have been first team regulars this season.
Manager Alex Morris named Dave Richards in goal as captain, second year scholar Luke Offord started at right-back with George Ray, Perry Ng and Zoumana Bakayago in the back 4 (the latter two getting game time after their first team suspensions are over), Josh Lundstram and Oliver Finney started in centre midfield with Regan Griffiths and Joe Lynch on either wing with Newcastle United loanee Daniel Barlaser playing off Lewis Reilly. Will Jaaskelainen (back on the ground where he spent 2 months on loan earlier in the season), Alex Hurst, Billy Sass-Davies, Luke Barlow and Oliver Harrison were all on the bench.
The first effort came on 18 minutes as Reilly headed a cross from the right that was saved well by Nantwich keeper Myles Boney before Nantwich almost levelled straight away but Caspar Hughes, one of several Nantwich players that have also been on the books of Crewe, couldn`t turn his volley from the edge of the area goal-wards.
Crewe took the lead on 31 minutes as Ng`s ball into Reilly was turned into the path of Barlaser who slid the ball under Boney to give the Alex the lead against the run of play. The Dabbers equalised a couple of minutes later as Boney`s ball forward found David Forbes on the left with his square ball lofted over Richards into the top corner.
After the break, Reilly had the ball in the net but was disallowed for offside before Toby Mullarkey hit the outside of the post with a header and a Jamie Morgan effort was blocked in a 3-minute period. With 10 minutes to go, another move between Reilly and Barlaser saw the midfielder hitting the side-netting with the final chance of normal time.
Into extra time with Bakayago going off injured leaving the Alex a man light for the final 15 minutes, both teams were evenly-matched as Clayton had an effort saved by Richards with Morgan firing over before the winner came 5 minutes from time with Bell finishing from the edge of the area through the legs of a defender past Richards.
The Under-23 team are back in action a week today against Barnsley at Reaseheath (1pm kick-off).
Crewe: Richards ©; Offord, Ray, Ng (Harrison 91), Bakayago; Griffiths (Hurst 86), Lundstram, Finney, Lynch (Sass-Davies 61); Barlaser; Reilly
Nantwich: Boney; Morgan, Bourne, Stair, Wildin; Mullarkey (Bell 89), Hughes ©; Mwasile (Cotterell 82), Cooke (S. Jones 100), Clayton; Forbes