10/10/2020 3:00 pm
Referee: Martin Coy
|Crewe Alexandra||Wigan Athletic|
|Offord, Pickering, Mandron|
First-half goals from Academy products Luke Offord (his first senior goal for the club) and Harry Pickering were added to by Mikael Mandron on the hour mark against Wigan Athletic at the Alexandra Stadium yesterday afternoon.
Manager David Artell made 6 changes from the 1-0 victory against Newcastle United in the EFL Trophy last time out as Perry Ng, Offord and Pickering replaced Olly Lancashire, Billy Sass-Davies and Travis Johnson in the back 4, Luke Murphy replaced Josh Lundstram in midfield with Daniel Powell (making his first appearance of the season) and Mandron replacing Tom Lowery (Callum Ainley moving into the midfield) and Offrande Zanzala. The bench saw goalkeeper Sam Booth joined by Lowery, Zanzala, Lundstram, Sass-Davies, Omar Beckles (back after testing positive for Covid) and a first appearance of the season for Chris Porter in the matchday squad.
The opening chance of the game came in the 10th minute with Ng and former Latic Donervon Daniels both having efforts saved by the impressive Jamie Jones in the visitors’ goal (unfortunately Daniels would have to go off with a hamstring injury and be replaced by Beckles).
Mandron and Powell were both denied by Jones before the Alex took the Alex would eventually take the lead on 27 minutes as a corner was played short to Callum Ainley whose cross was headed in by Offord from close range before the second was added 5 minutes before the break with Wintle playing the ball out to Kirk with his ball inside the full-back allowing Pickering to curl the ball in with his right foot.
The third came just before the hour with Ainley flicking the ball past a Wigan defender before bringing a save out of Jones, Powell had his rebound saved before Mandron would turn the ball in from close range for his fourth of the season. A couple of subs with 10 minutes to play for the Alex would see run-outs for Porter and Lowery as they look to get back to match fitness.
The next games for the Alex see us return to league action with a trip to Oxford United on Tuesday before hosting Blackpool next Saturday.
What can we take out of this game?
Another impressive performance, especially in the first period, saw us easily beat the last of the teams that got relegated from the Championship last season.
Credit must go to the midfield, especially Murphy who had his best game since returning, for getting hold of the ball early on and the two first-half scorers who were both their assured selves (Offord’s already played 200+ career games, right? – what do you mean it’s only about 20 for the Alex so far). Mandron was also good, granted he didn’t really get too many opportunities in front of goal but held the ball up well and won a number of free-kicks to get the team up the pitch when necessary.