Crewe Alex Vault - Memory No. 1
Monday 5th April 1999
West Bromwich Albion 1 - 5 Crewe Alexandra
After two consecutive 3-0 away defeats to Tranmere and Wolves, Crewe travelled to the Black Country on a Bank Holiday Monday to face West Brom.
Crewe went into the game second from bottom in the Championship with 34 points from 39 games. After finishing eleventh in the league the previous season, that been their first ever in English football`s second tier, the Alex were finding their second term much tougher.
Without a win in three games Dario Gradi`s men were desperate for a result from The Hawthorns and with West Brom sitting comfortably in tenth position and a play off place looking unlikely, Crewe could see a result there could help to start a revival to try and save themselves from relegation.
Crewe romped home to a 5 - 1 victory and the healthy amount of travelling Alex fans were in awe of how their team tore apart a team of West Brom`s calibre, with such players as Kevin Kilbane and Richard Sneekes in their starting line up.
David Wright opened the scoring when he uncharacteristically hit a 30-yard piledriver into the top corner, stunning the Hawthorns regulars and sending the Crewe fans into ecstasy.
This became a familiar feeling for the West Brom fans throughout as Crewe proceeding to score another four goals. The executors were Jermaine Wright (2), Seth Johnson and Mark Rivers.
Seth Johnson goal was particularly sweet, as he had just previously turned down a multi-million pound move to Derby County, in favour of staying with the Alex to help with their relegation battle. This was a truly commendable and loyal action by Seth, who will be fondly remembered at Crewe for the gesture, especially as it eventually led to Crewe`s escape from the relegation zone and safety for the season.
West Brom pulled a goal back through Richard Sneekes but the result was academic. Baggies fans ran on the pitch and threw season tickets at their management on the bench, while Crewe fans jubilantly joined in with chants of 'sack the board`.
The result started a recovery of their season by Crewe, who lost on one of the last six remaining games, leading them to a 18th place finish above rivals Port Vale and now Premiership giants Portsmouth.
What Alex fans witnessed that day was Crewe playing football at their very best, passing the ball well and playing with outstanding intelligence. A game that will live long in the memory.
Crewe team that day: Kearton, D Wright, Smith, Lightfoot, Walton, Charnock (Street, 60), J Wright, Seth Johnson, Murphy, Jack, Rivers
Subs not used: Newell, Macauley