Crewe Alexandra moved out of the drop-zone as leading goalscorer Chuks Aneke netted twice in a 3-1 victory at Gillingham.
The on loan Arsenal youngster opened his account after only five minutes but Amine Linganzi levelled before the break.
Shortly after it Aneke headed his second of the contest, and Mathias Pogba added a late third before team-mate Anthony Grant was sent-off for a second yellow card.
Adam Dugdale was recalled in the absence of Harry Davis while Uche Ikpeazu replaced fellow loanee Cameron Park as the visitors made a couple of changes.
Following Cody McDonald dragging wide early for the Gills, their opponents went ahead as Aneke slotted in after Ikpeazu’s break found a deflected Grant shot from the edge of the area.
Michael Harriman soon had the ball in the net at the other end but only after goalkeeper Ben Garratt had been fouled, while Ikpeazu was close to a John Guthrie cross after Brad Inman was charged down.
Gills responded with McDonald heading wide and Adebayo Akinfenwa nearly reaching Harriman’s cross before calls for Garratt handling outside his area remained unanswered.
But the equaliser soon followed when Mark Ellis conceded a needless corner and Elliott Hewitt’s cross from a short routine was nodded in by Linganzi.
Home keeper Stuart Nelson then twice saved from Inman and George Evans also cleared the target, while Myles Weston replied at Garratt and McDonald tried a couple of efforts.
Following the break Akinfenwa soon nodded at Garratt, although it was the visitors going back in front when Aneke headed his seventeenth goal of the campaign from Matt Tootle’s excellent cross.
Gills keeper Nelson then denied Evans before their skipper Adam Barrett headed a Joe Martin free-kick directly towards Garratt. Barrett later drove narrowly wide while Ikpeazu couldn’t find the target having raced beyond Nelson.
With seven minutes remaining the Railwaymen sealed victory courtesy of Aneke slipping in Ikpeazu and his cross was flicked home by Pogba.
Grant then received his marching orders for picking up a couple of rapid cautions and Garratt superbly kept out McDonald as the visitors earned a crucial victory.
Gillingham: Nelson, Hewitt, Martin, Gregory (Lee 63), Legge, Barrett, Harriman (Dack 63), Linganzi (Pigott 81), McDonald, Akinfenwa, Weston
subs (unused): Davies, Fagan, Hessenthaler, Baxter
Goals: Linganzi (30)
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Tootle, Dugdale, Ellis, Guthrie, Grant, Evans (Osman 77), Inman, Pogba, Aneke, Ikpeazu (Mellor 90)
subs (unused): Leitch-Smith, Moore, Ray, Park, Phillips
Goals: Aneke (5, 53), Pogba (83)
Ref: S. Bratt
|LATEST ON THE VITAL CREWE FORUMS …|