Crewe Alexandra came from behind to record their third victory over Coventry City this season.
The Sky Blues were searching for an immediate revenge for their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy aggregate defeat to the same opponents earlier in the week and went in front through Leon Clarke on twelve minutes.
But Mark Ellis swiftly equalised to help erase memories of his midweek own-goal and substitute Max Clayton grabbed a second-half winner shortly after his introduction.
Alex were forced into early defensive action when Adam Dugdale blocked well from Gary McSheffrey after goalkeeper Steve Phillips had already punched clear. Phillips also fended away a Carl Baker drive following on from Clarke heading over.
However, Clarke then chested down a Cyrus Christie delivery and drilled wide of Phillips to open the scoring. But the reply was instant with goalkeeper Joe Murphy turning over a shot from Gregor Robertson, whose resultant corner was volleyed in by Ellis.
The visitors threatened again from another Robertson corner as keeper Murphy blocked a Harry Davis cross and then kept out Mathias Pogba, although former Alex midfielder James Bailey should have done better when knocking wide at the other end.
Good work following the interval soon witnessed Stephen Elliott finding an upright for the home side before James Jennings was denied by Phillips at the expense of a corner. Skipper Baker also hoisted well over and Ellis charged down from Nathan Cameron as Coventry continued to press.
Byron Moore suggested danger with a break towards the other end until keeper Murphy came out to clear while Brad Inman sliced wide before Robertson covered well to head Baker’s reply away from the line.
But a couple of changes from the bench and a switch in formation soon had the visitors taking the lead when substitute Clayton chipped over Murphy with his first touch following good work from Moore.
And Coventry couldn’t respond to that despite their substitute Callum Wilson sending a late injury-time header wide, leaving the Alex just three point behind their hosts with still a couple of games in hand.
Coventry City: J. Murphy, Dickinson, Cameron, Christie, Edjenguele, Baker, Jennings (Wilson 82), Bailey,
McSheffrey (Fleck 79), Elliott (Moussa 74), L. Clarke
subs (unused): Dunn, J. Clarke, Willis, Thomas
Goals: L. Clarke (12)
Crewe Alexandra: Phillips, Davis (Aneke 73), Ellis, Dugdale, Mellor, L. Murphy, Osman, Inman (Turton 89),
Robertson, Pogba (M, Clayton 76), Moore
subs (unused): Martin, Ray, Leitch-Smith, Colclough
Goals: Ellis (16), M. Clayton (78)
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