26/12/2018 3:00 pm
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
A first-half Chris Porter penalty, given away by former Alex defender Ben Nugent, was enough for Crewe Alexandra to finish 2018 with back-to-back home wins at the Alexandra Stadium yesterday afternoon.
Manager David Artell named an unchanged starting 11 from Boxing Day’s home win against Lincoln City with the only changes seeing Tom Lowery and Corey Whelan on the substitute bench in for Lewis Reilly and Nicky Hunt.
The first chance came in the 4th minute with Jordan Bowery having an attempt saved after being played through by Charlie Kirk before the Alex would take the lead on 21 minutes. A great run down the right saw Perry Ng tripped in the area by Nugent with Porter sending goalkeeper Paul Farman the wrong way from the spot.
The visitors were close to equalising 6 minutes later as Nugent headed an in-swinging corner against the crossbar before Porter would set-up Jones to shoot over the bar on the half-hour. The next decent chance came 5 minutes before the break with a Jones free-kick headed back across goal by Porter with none of neither centre-back nor Bowery getting the touch needed to double the advantage.
The second half saw the visitors get back into the game a little more with Joel Byrom and Kurtis Guthrie both having early chances before Stevenage substitute Alex Reid was sent off, their 6th red card of the season including one for Nugent in the reverse fixture, with 10 minutes to play for raising his foot (a sending off that looked harsh both at the time and looking back on replay).
The next 2 games see back-to-back away games, first to Bury on Tuesday then to Morecambe next Saturday.
What have we learnt from this game?
Yesterday was another game that was run from the Alex midfield (in particular the distance that Greenie covered again) although it wasn’t as good as Lincoln the other day. Good to see Porter on the scoresheet again, the first time that he scored in back-to-back games that he’s played since January (2 home games against Grimsby and Wycombe) and that’ll help with his confidence now that he’s back in the team.