Old Boys Round Up
Michael Higdon continued to draw plaudits north of the border in Scotland with new club Falkirk and followed up his brace on debut last week with a goal after five minutes against Celtic yesterday. Falkirk couldn`t hold on though and Celtic took control of the game not long after and romped home to an eventual 4-1 victory.
Ex Crewe striker Dean Ashton made his long awaited return for West Ham yesterday coming off the bench in the second half but couldn`t help them to a result as they went down 2-0 to Manchester City. Ashton looked sharp though and missed a good chance to make it 1-1 before City doubled their advantage and will hope the watching England manager Steve McClaren will bear him in mind for the next international squad.
Two former Crewe defenders lined up in their respective squads for a Championship clash at Deepdale. Preston, Billy Jones` new club and Norwich for who Jon Otsemobor now represents fought out a 0-0 draw with Semmy playing the full 90 minutes for Norwich on debut. Billy Jones had to settle for a place on the bench and didn`t make an appearance for Preston on a day that ended in a frustrating stalemate for both teams.
In the same league ex-Crewe captain Kenny Lunt came on at half-time for Sheffield Wednesday that finished in a crushing 4-1 defeat at Ipswich but neither former players Steve Jones or Steve Foster were in Burnley`s squad for their 2-1 home victory against West Brom.
Ex-Crewe striker Luke Rodgers took his fine pre-season form into the league by smashing home a penalty for rivals Port Vale after 66 minutes. Crewe`s next League One opponents Bristol Rovers were The Valiants opening game yesterday and fought back to equalize in the 77th minute in a game that finished 1-1.
Two Crewe defenders who left this summer to move down a division were Darren Moss and Darren Kempson who both turned out for Shrewsbury yesterday in a 4-0 victory at Lincoln and both played 90 minutes. Ex-Alex veteran Colin Murdock made his debut for the Shrews alongside Kempson at the back after a summer move from Rotherham. Former Crewe loanee Michael Symes also turned out for Shrewsbury, coming off the bench late in the second half. Another ex-Alex centre-half Adie Moses was an unused substitute for Lincoln at Sincil Bank and had to watch on as Shrewsbury made an impressive start to the season.
At Valley Parade Bradford marked their return down to League Two with a 1-1 draw with Crewe`s Cheshire counterparts Macclesfield, former Crewe trainee Gareth Evans coming off the bench to make his League debut for Macc after 77 minutes. Former Alex forward Eddie Johnson played the full game, starting his second season at Bradford since choosing not to stay at Gresty Road.
Also in League Two, released Crewe midfielder Lee Bell played 90 minutes on his league debut for Mansfield in a 1-1 draw at Brentford.
In the Football Conference Paul Bignot made his debut for Kidderminster in a 2-1 loss against Aldershot as did ex-Crewe full back Anthony Tonkin for Forest Green, losing 1-0 at Oxford.
Former midfielder Gareth Whalley who had trained with Crewe over the summer lined up alongside ex-Alex fans favourite Colin Little for Altrincham yesterday, but had a rude introduction to Conference football as they were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Exeter at home. Whalley was replaced in the game after 74 minutes.
Crewe trialist from pre-season Greg Stones lined up alongside ex-Crewe players Richie Sutton, Chris Flynn and Kevin Street for new club Stafford Rangers yesterday but couldn`t stop them from going to a 1-0 defeat at Farsley.
Also to finish, ex-Crewe midfield stalwart Neil Sorvel returned to league football with Morecombe yesterday as they made their Football League bow in a 0-0 draw at home to Barnet.