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Single goal enough

Crewe Alexandra
1 - 0
Carlisle

Gresty Road

Tue 1st Jan 3pm

Attendance: 4,802

Referee:

On loan striker Lauri Dalla Valle's first goal in six games was enough to earn Crewe Alexandra a narrow 1-0 victory against Carlisle United at Gresty Road.

The 21-year-old Fulham youngster headed in what proved the winner after visiting goalkeeper Mark Gillespie had already blocked from another loanee, Brad Inman, just before the break.

Crewe had enjoyed a bright start with Inman having a shot charged down and Mathias Pogba drilling over while Matt Robson sliced wide in reply. Carlisle keeper Gilliespie then had to block from the recalled Byron Moore from the edge of the area.

The Cumbrians themselves went close when Jon-Paul McGovern forced keeper Steve Phillips into action. Dalle Valle headed over at the other end but there was to be no mistake from the Finnish Under-21 international when looping another header over the keeper to open the scoring late in the first-half.

Experienced Crewe keeper Phillips was required to save again from Lee Miller following the interval and a Luke Murphy reply at a free-kick was too close to Gillespie before Pogba was wide from distance. But back came the visitors for Brad Potts to see another effort deflected behind and substitute Rory Loy to force another stop from Phillips.

Carlisle skipper Danny Livesey next failed to find the target when well-placed at a corner before Chris Chantler and Loy both tried long-range attempts that failed to seriously test Phillips.

Home substitute Ryan Colclough later headed over from another Murphy free-kick but it didn't matter as the Alex successfully held onto their advantage and moved into the top ten in the division.

Crewe Alexandra: Phillips, Mellor, Davis, Ellis, Tootle, Murphy, Osman, Inman (Robertson 85), Moore, Pogba (Colclough 85), Dalla Valle (M. Clayton 76)

subs (unused): Martin, Dugdale, Aneke, Leitch-Smith

Goals: Dalla Valle (44)

Carlisle United: Gillespie, Simek, Robson, Livesey, Edwards, McGovern (Symington 89), Noble, Potts (Loy 70), Berrett, Chantler, Miller

subs (unused): Collin, Murphy, McGinty, Welsh, Beck

Ref: Madley

Att: 4,802

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 19 12 3 4 39 14
2 Carlisle 19 10 8 1 38 14
3 Plymouth 19 12 2 5 38 8
4 Portsmouth 19 9 4 6 31 12
5 Luton 19 8 7 4 31 10
6 Yeovil 19 8 4 7 28 1
7 Wycombe 19 8 4 7 28 1
8 Blackpool 19 7 6 6 27 11
9 Stevenage 19 8 3 8 27 1
10 Barnet 19 6 9 4 27 0
11 Grimsby 19 7 5 7 26 2
12 Crewe 19 6 8 5 26 -3
13 Cambridge 19 7 4 8 25 -2
14 Mansfield 19 6 7 6 25 -4
15 Colchester 19 6 5 8 23 1
16 Crawley 19 6 5 8 23 -11
17 Morecambe 19 7 2 10 23 -13
18 Hartlepool 19 5 7 7 22 -4
19 Notts County 19 6 4 9 22 -8
20 Accrington 19 5 6 8 21 -5
21 Exeter 19 6 2 11 20 -5
22 Leyton Orient 19 5 3 11 18 -5
23 Cheltenham 19 3 9 7 18 -8
24 Newport 19 4 5 10 17 -7
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