Crewe Alexandra couldn’t halt the progress of leaders Brentford as Alan Judge scored twice in a 3-1 victory at Gresty Road.
Adam Forshaw was also on target with another quality finish for the visitors before Chuks Aneke pulled a goal back from the spot after former Alex striker Clayton Donaldson handled inside the area.
The Bees wasted little time imposing themselves on proceedings when on loan Judge produced a great strike into the top corner from the edge of the area within the opening ten minutes.
George Saville and Marcello Trotta both threatened further reward when drilling wide while Mathias Pogba failed to really test David Button in reply
Brentford continued to look for more goals and Judge was denied by a timely block before Donaldson lifted over. Home keeper Ben Garratt also saved well at the feet of the lively Judge.
Leading marksman Aneke could only find the clutches of Button after the break, until Judge unleashed another strike from distance past Garratt to extend the visitors’ advantage.
Then after George Evans had replied straight at Button, Brentford went further in front with an even better finish through Forshaw from around 35-yards.
Crewe tried to respond and Button was required to block Harry Davis before Donaldson was ruled to have handled and Aneke converted the penalty.
Both Evans and Aneke saw later efforts but the visitors could have won by an even clearer margin as Garratt denied Forshaw and Donaldson (twice), while substitute Will Grigg and skipper Tony Craig also went close.
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Tootle, Davis, Ellis, Guthrie, Grant, Evans, Osman (Moore 77), Inman (Waters 87), Pogba, Aneke
subs (unused): Phillips, Mellor, Dugdale, Nolan, Oliver
Goals: Aneke (pen 70)
Brentford: Button, McCormack, Bidwell, Forshaw (Reeves 83), Craig, Dean, Saville, Douglas, Donaldson, Judge (Dallas 90), Trotta (Grigg 74)
subs (unused): Lee, O’Connor, Tarkowski, Yennaris
Goals: Judge (9, 52), Forshaw (61)
Ref: G. Salisbury
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