Crewe twice lose advantage
New York Stadium
Sat 11th Jan 3.00pm
Crewe Alexandra twice led before eventually succumbing to a 4-2 defeat against Rotherham United at the New York Stadium.
Brad Inman earned them a twelfth-minute advantage that was cancelled out by Kieran Agard close to the half-hour. Kelvin Mellor duly restored the visitors' lead sixteen minutes into the second-half but Lee Frecklington soon equalised from the spot.
Harry Davis then saw his penalty saved and Alex Revell headed the home side into the lead for the first time before Frecklington added a late fourth goal.
Agard dragged an early opportunity wide for the hosts before Chuks Aneke released AJ Leitch-Smith in the opposite direction - but he shot straight at goalkeeper Adam Collin.
However, Leitch-Smith broke again two minutes later and after his effort came back off an upright the supporting Inman snapped up the chance to give the visitors the lead.
Revell almost immediately equalised with a firm header against the crossbar, with Davis crowding out Agard as he attempted to profit from the rebound.
Frecklington next hoisted over before the Alex failed to clear on the half-hour and the ball eventually fell for Agard to equalise into the far corner.
Goalscorer Agard then drove straight at Ben Garratt and Revell lifted over as the clearly boosted home side chased another.
Teenage keeper Garratt was once more in action when comfortably saving from Haris Vuckic after the break, until Matt Tootle's determination gained the visitors a 61st minute corner from which full-back partner Mellor restored their lead from close-range.
Aneke screwed another effort wide after former Crewe loan striker Tom Hitchcock had entered the action. And the young Queens Park Rangers forward soon earned his new side a 68th minute penalty following a collision with Mark Ellis - with Frecklington levelling from the spot.
Three minutes later United's on loan defender Miles Addison was cautioned for his challenge on Leitch-Smith but Davis' penalty was this time saved by Collin.
And worse was to follow for the visitors when Revell headed in at the far post from Ben Pringle's 73rd minute cross.
Crewe responded with Aneke threatening on a couple of occasions before Mathias Pogba made a welcome return from the bench for the final ten minutes.
But it was Garratt soon denying Revell at the other end, until in added time Frecklington was released to finally settle another high-scoring encounter between the sides.
Rotherham United: Collin, Bradley (Brindley 90), Tavernier, Frecklington, Addison, Arnason, Agard, Milsom (O'Connor 83), Vuckic (Hitchcock 61), Revell, Pringle
subs (unused): Shearer, Skarz, Walker, Rowe
Goals: Agard (29), Frecklington (pen 68, 90), Revell (74)
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Mellor, Davis, Ellis, Tootle, Osman, Grant, Inman, Moore, Aneke, Leitch-Smith (Pogba 81)
subs (unused): Ray, Guthrie, Nolan, Oliver, Evans, Martin
Goals: Inman (12), Mellor (61)
Ref: K. Hill
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