Crewe Alexandra moved through to the area quarter-finals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a 2-1 victory at Shrewsbury Town.
Skipper Luke Murphy gave the visitors an early lead and Max Clayton added to it before the hour. Substitute Asa Hall swiftly replied but the Alex remained firm for the remainder of the contest to book their passage into the next round.
Clayton was actually first to show when receiving from AJ Leitch-Smith and forcing an early save from Joe Anyon. And when the teenager then saw another effort blocked by the keeper on ten minutes, the supporting Murphy was on hand to knock in the rebound for the lead.
Shrews then lost keeper Anyon through injury and he was replaced by Chris Weale – that shortly after Marvin Morgan had already threatened with a header from a Jon Taylor cross. And the deputy shot-stopper was soon rescued by his crossbar as Murphy came close to doubling his personal tally with a curling shot while Aaron Wildig and Darren Jones both saw efforts at the other end.
The visitors attacked through Leitch-Smith at the start of the second-half and his volley was claimed by Weale, while on loan Chuks Aneke also nodded over before Mathias Pogba set-up Clayton for a second goal on 58 minutes.
But just three minutes later Alex keeper Alan Martin couldn’t stop substitute Hall’s driven attempt and the home side were suddenly back in with a real chance.
However, the former Scotland Under-21 international soon blocked another effort from the same player and then denied Taylor as the visitors maintained their narrow advantage to progress through.
Shrewsbury Town: Anyon (Weale 20), Grandison, Jones, Summerfield, Wright (Hall 58), Collins, Parry, Richards, Taylor, Morgan, Wildig
subs (unused): Purdie, Doble, Hector
Goals: Hall (61)
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Mellor, Davis, Ellis, Tootle, Murphy, Aneke (Daniels 80), Bond, M. Clayton, Leitch-Smith, Pogba
subs (unused): Garratt, Dugdale, Turton, Robertson
Goals: Murphy (10), Clayton (58)
Ref: P. Tierney
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