Crewe Alexandra midfielder Ollie Turton scored his first senior goal but the visitors were eventually forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Oldham Athletic.
Turton drilled them into the lead on thirteen minutes before Charlie McDonald struck an upright and then volleyed an equaliser early in the second-half.
Manager Steve Davis earlier made changes and soon witnessed Brad Inman being denied by goalkeeper Mark Oxley, whose opposite number Steve Phillips, on his 600th senior appearance, kept out James Dayton midway through the half.
However, the Alex had already taken the lead by then when Turton scored with the aid of a deflection after his first attempt had been charged down. That could easily have been added to as Byron Moore headed against the crossbar from Max Clayton’s blocked shot.
But the visitors were themselves grateful for the woodwork when MacDonald fired against the near post, while Phillips thwarted Adam Rooney after Mark Ellis had headed over at the other end.
Oldham found their way back into the game when MacDonald turned and volleyed a 54th minute equaliser after the visitors had failed to clear.
Boosted by that the Latics pushed for another and their opponents worked hard to keep them out. Substitutes Ryan Colclough, Liam Nolan for his debut and Kelvin Mellor were each introduced from the bench, with Colclough and Clayton later threatening as their side held on.
Oldham Athletic: Oxley, Grounds, Tarkowski, Lanzoni, Mills, Wesolowski, Schmeltz, Smith, Dayton (Philliskirk 71), Rooney (Clarke-Harris 46), MacDonald (Millar 75)
subs (unused): Rachubka, Winchester, Joksts, Rodgers
Goals: MacDonald (54)
Crewe Alexandra: Phillips, Tootle, Davis, Ellis, Guthrie (Mellor 79), Osman, Turton (Nolan 79), Inman, Moore, Clayton, Leitch-Smith (Colclough 75)
subs (unused): Garratt, Ray, Molyneux, Aneke
Goals: Turton (13)
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