13/04/2019 3:00 pm
Referee: Matt Donohue
|Crewe Alexandra||Notts County|
|Taylor-Sinclair, Wintle, Jones|
Two late goals from Ryan Wintle and substitute James Jones wrapped up the points for Crewe Alexandra against bottom-of-the-table Notts County yesterday afternoon at the Alexandra Stadium adding to Aaron Taylor-Sinclair’s 2nd goal in as many home games had given the hosts a first-half lead.
Manager David Artell made 3 changes from last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Port Vale as Tom Lowery, Callum Ainley and Charlie Kirk all came into the team with James Jones and Ollie Finney both dropping down to the bench whilst Jordan Bowery was left out of the matchday 18 altogether. Lewis Reilly and Billy Sass-Davies, who were recalled from loan spells at Curzon Ashton and Altrincham respectively, were both on the Alex bench. For the visitors, defenders Matt Tootle and Sam Stubbs both started while David Vaughan was on the bench for the Magpies.
The opening chance of the game came in the 8th minute with Taylor-Sinclair’s left-wing cross was headed goalwards by Paul Green and saved by on-loan West Brom goalkeeper Alex Palmer (who signed on an emergency loan on Friday after regular keepers Ross Fitzsimons and Ryan Schofield were both ruled out of the game) before stand-in captain Perry Ng and Kirk had chances in the opening quarter-hour.
We did take the lead on 32 minutes with a corner from Taylor-Sinclair headed away to Kirk with his cross headed home from the on-loan Motherwell full-back as he got his second goal in 3 games before Matt Tootle forced Garratt into his first save of the afternoon with a volley from outside the area.
Into the second half where it was more of the same with the Alex having the majority of the ball and County happy to stop us from trying to play. Ainley got in behind full-back Rob Milsom early on to fire a shot over before the best chance for the visitors came on the hour mark with Jon Stead setting up Kane Hemmings who sliced it wide from 6 yards out.
Chris Porter had the ball in the net on 65 minutes but it was disallowed as he was offside from Lowery’s pass. Substitute Owen Dale set-up the second goal 12 minutes before playing a 1-2 with Perry Ng before picking out Wintle for his second goal of the season with fellow substitute Jones, 2 minutes after coming on for Taylor-Sinclair, added the third of the game 7 minutes before time with a deflected effort off Stubbs.
The next two games occur across the Easter weekend with Yeovil Town travelling north on Good Friday before we travel to Swindon Town on Easter Monday.
What have we learnt from this game?
It was a comfortable game against a team that had come to stop us from playing and succeeded for large parts of the first half but a good header from Taylor-Sinclair set us up for an easy afternoon against a side that wasn’t at the races and lacking in fight (the exact opposite from what is required to get them out of trouble and remain in the Football League).
While it was good to see Dale and Reilly gain more minutes on the pitch for the first team, it would have been nice to see Sass-Davies make his league debut for the club (having made his debut in the EFL Trophy 18 months ago in his only appearance to date) but there are other opportunities for that between now and the end of the season.
It was also interesting to see that both Bowery and George Ray were left out of the matchday 18 yesterday which is probably Artell looking more towards next season with both unlikely to re-sign for the club with their contracts up this summer.