Substitute Chuks Aneke scored a late winner to give ten-man Crewe Alexandra their first victory in nine games against managerless Crawley Town.
The on loan Arsenal midfielder headed in Matt Tootle’s 81st minute cross at the far post to bring some welcome relief to the home supporters.
Striker Vadaine Oliver had earlier been sent-off after collecting a couple of yellow cards; that followed new loan arrivals Tom Hitchcock and Buomesca Tue Na Bangna earning immediate debuts.
Byron Moore sent an early attempt through to visiting goalkeeper Paul Jones while Billy Clarke curled a 25-yard free-kick reply wide before Harry Davis covered the run of Jamie Proctor.
On loan George Evans soon delivered towards the opposite end and Oliver headed straight at the keeper, while debutant Hitchock lifted over before Proctor turned and struck against the underside of the home crossbar.
Alex pair Kelvin Mellor and Moore both saw further efforts blocked and next combined for the former to head wide.
A couple of early bookings for Oliver following the break soon witnessed his side reduced to ten-men, while on loan keeper Neil Etheridge saved from both Nicky Adams and Clarke.
Crewe were being forced to defend with their numbers now reduced and Adam Dugdale made a really important block, until Aneke helped a Tootle cross wide following his introduction.
However, with only nine minutes remaining it was Aneke who scored the winner after Moore and Tootle linked up to allow him to head in the decisive goal.
The same player soon went close to another as the hosts remained firm despite substitute Andy Drury heading a late chance wide.
Crewe Alexandra: Etheridge, Mellor, Dugdale, Davis, Tootle, Osman, Evans, Na Bangna, Oliver, Hitchcock (Aneke 78), Moore
subs (unused): Ellis, Leitch-Smith, Guthrie, Nolan, Waters, Garratt
Goals: Aneke (81)
Crawley Town: Jones, Sadler, Walsh, Simpson (Jones 66), Connolly (Hurst 83), McFadzean, Clarke, Bulman, Sinclair (Drury 66), Proctor, Adams
subs (unused): Torres, Alexander, Smith, Maddison
Ref: J. Adcock
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