Holders Crewe Alexandra were hit for another four goals as their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy reign came to an abrupt end at Fleetwood Town.
The hosts scored three times during a seven-minute period either side of the interval through David Ball, Jon Parkin and Nathan Pond before substitute Matty Blair added a late fourth.
The Railwaymen gifted their opponents an early opportunity when goalkeeper Steve Phillips blocked with his feet from Parkin after Mark Ellis dropped a backpass short.
Home midfielder Stewart Murdoch then tried his luck from distance while Byron Moore hoisted over and Anthony Grant dragged wide at the other end. Ollie Turton also called Fleetwood keeper Scott Davies into action.
Gareth Evans and Conor McLaughlin both replied without the necessary direction before Max Clayton was thwarted by Davies and Abdul Osman stabbed behind.
But then disaster struck as the League Two side scored twice ahead of the break, with David Ball afforded too much room and clearing Phillips before the burly Parkin headed another from Evans’ cross.
Two minutes into the second period Pond turned onto a long ball forward and fired past Phillips to put the home side even further out of sight.
The Alex tried to respond and Ellis’ header produced a fine save from Davies while Matt Tootle struck a 20-yard free-kick wide. In between times Ball went close to his second with a shot narrowly missing.
Substitute Brad Inman later forced a parried stop from Davies, who also kept out both Kelvin Mellor and AJ Leitch-Smith, until Blair added a fourth goal from Murdoch’s cross in the final minute.
Fleetwood Town: Davies, McLaughlin, Pond, Roberts, Hogan, Crowther (Sarcevic 83), Brown, Murdoch, Evans (Blair 71), Ball, Parkin
subs (unused): Lucas, Cresswell, Matt
Goals: Ball (40), Parkin (44), Pond (47), Blair (90)
Crewe Alexandra: Phillips, Tootle, Dugdale, Ellis, Mellor, Grant, Osman, Turton (Inman 67) , Moore, Clayton (Aneke), Oliver (Leitch-Smith 67)
subs (unused): Guthrie, Nolan
Ref: E. Ilderton
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