A goal in either half from Owen Dale, his 10th of the season, and a Chris Porter penalty saw Crewe Alexandra defeat Fleetwood Town at Highbury last night with Will Jaaskelainen saving a first-half penalty from Kyle Vassell.
Manager David Artell made three changes from Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat at Wigan Athletic with Rio Adebisi and Olly Lancashire returning into the defence with Porter partnering Mandron up front as we moved to a 5-3-2 formation. Out of the team were Antony Evans and Charlie Kirk, who both dropped to the bench, as well as the suspended Omar Beckles.
The opening chance of the game came in the opening minute with an effort from Barrie McKay having an effort that was easily saved by Jaaskelainen before Dale should have opened the scoring on 18 minutes with a volley from a corner knocked down by Porter.
The opening goal came midway through the first half with Luke Murphy’s tackle finding its way into the path of Dale who finished into the top corner before Jaaskelainen would make his 3rd penalty save in 4 games to deny Vassell following a trip from sub Donervon Daniels on Callum Camps.
The Alex would double the lead 6 minutes from time as the other Alex sub, Antony Evans, was fouled by Callum Connolly with Porter beating Alex Cairns into the keeper’s bottom-right corner.
The next games for the Alex see us host Rochdale on Saturday before a trip to Charlton Athletic next Tuesday.
What can we take out of this game?
It was a better performance than we’ve seen competed to recent weeks, though that’s not a particularly high bar, but sometimes you have to grind out results.
We started with a back 3 or 5 (depending on how you look at it), matching up against the hosts, and it offers another different tactic that we can play against certain opponents and/or teams playing in certain ways against us.