Double trouble for Alex
Sat 13th Apr 3pm
Crewe Alexandra suffered a 2-1 home defeat to the leaders after Doncaster Rovers' substitute Billy Paynter scored twice during five second-half minutes.
Teenager Max Clayton had earlier given the hosts the advantage shortly after the break but Paynter claimed a 66th minute equaliser before soon adding his second of the afternoon.
Manager Steve Davis was earlier forced into five changes due to a number of key absences and included a full debut for young defender George Ray.
The Alex had already twice defeated their latest opponents this season but it was James Coppinger wide from distance for the visitors. John Lunstram also twice produced saves from recalled goalkeeper Alan Martin while both Chuks Aneke and Clayton were off-target with replies.
But the hosts created a much better chance with just over ten minutes of the opening half remaining as Aneke sent through Byron Moore to fire against the oncoming Neil Sullivan.
However, back came the league leaders to finish the first period particularly strongly, with Iain Hulme shooting wide and also calling keeper Martin into action after David Cotterill saw a shot diverted behind. Big defender Rob Jones then helped on a Coppinger corner and Hume was again denied by the reactions of Martin.
Striker Hume was also the danger when sliding another effort wide following the restart, although it was the hosts taking the lead when Aneke allowed Clayton to claim his ninth goal of the season with a clean finish into the corner.
Doncaster striker Chris Brown soon had the ball in the net at the opposite end but was ruled offside before the visitors replaced Hume with Paynter, who following Martin already keeping out a Jones header, intercepted Harry Davis' pass and drove in an equaliser.
Four minutes later the visitors were in front when a corner was knocked on for substitute Paynter to add his second despite home appeals for offside.
Crewe were now the side searching for a way back and Kelvin Mellor's claims for a pull back inside the area went unrewarded before decent work between Matt Tootle and Nathan Ellington witnessed fellow substitute Ollie Turton sidefooting a late opportunity wide.
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Tootle, Davis, Ellis, Ray, Mellor, West (Turton 67), Aneke (Ellington 78), Inman (Colclough 75), M. Clayton, Moore
subs (unused): Garratt, Stewart, Waters, Leitch-Smith
Goals: M. Clayton (54)
Doncaster Rovers: Sullivan, Husband, Jones, Spurr, McCombe, Cotterill, Lundstram, Coppinger, Furman, Brown, Hume (Paynter 60)
subs (unused): Maxted, Wakefield, Harper, Howieson, Bennett, Ball
Goals: Paynter (66, 70)
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