On loan Fulham striker Lauri Dalla Valle took his tally to four goals in five games with a rapid double against Crawley Town at Gresty Road.
The Finnish Under-21 international netted twice during a four-minute period midway through the second-half to maintain Alex’s recent improved form.
Manager Steve Davis included newcomer Brad Inman amongst the substitutes but received an immediate scare as opposing striker Gary Alexander struck the outside of a post within the opening minute.
When Crewe replied it took some frantic defensive work from the visitors inside their own area to keep them out, while Matt Tootle, Chuks Aneke and Dalla Valle went on to have further efforts which missed the target.
Crawley’s Nicky Adams forced goalkeeper Alan Martin into action by way of reply while Billy Clarke and Michael Jones similarly tried their luck before the break.
The Alex went desperately close upon the restart when skipper Luke Murphy struck the crossbar after keeper Paul Jones had already denied Mark Ellis. Aneke was also wide until Dalla Valle opened the scoring when heading in Murphy’s 62nd minute free-kick.
Three minutes later Byron Moore’s miscued shot from inside the area fell invitingly for Dalla Valle to add his second of the afternoon. He could have even completed his hat-trick when curling wide of the top corner before his later header from Tootle’s cross failed to properly extend the keeper.
Crewe’s influential skipper Murphy also struck wide from distance while attempts from Nicky Adams and Clarke for the visitors weren’t enough to seriously concern Martin.
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Tootle, Davis, Ellis, Robertson, Murphy, Osman, Aneke, Pogba, Moore, Dalla Valle
subs (unused): Phillips, Dugdale, Turton, Guthrie, Inman, M. Clayton, Colclough
Goals: Dalle Valle (62, 65)
Crawley Town: Jones, Sadler, Connolly, McFadzean (Walsh 39), Byrne (Ajose 67), Akpan, Clarke, Simpson, Adams, Jones (Clifford 84), Alexander
subs (unused): Kuipers, Hunt, Torres, Bulman
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