Date: 18th February 2018 at 4:27am
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Shaun Miller`s first goal at the Alexandra Stadium since returning on loan from Carlisle United was enough for the hosts to get 3 points against Colchester United yesterday afternoon.

Manager David Artell made 1 change from Tuesday night`s defeat at Accrington Stanley by recalling defender Eddie Nolan after illness kept him out on Tuesday, Michael Raynes dropping back down to the bench.

The opening chance of the game came in the 11th minute as Drey Wright, son of former Alex midfielder Jermaine, cut in from the left firing a shot that was tipped wide by Ben Garratt before Crewe`s first effort of the afternoon came 5 minutes later as Nolan curled an effort wide from just outside the area. The Irish defender also had the next chance as his header from captain Paul Green`s free-kick is tipped over by Sam Walker in the United goal. Ben Stevenson was next to test Garratt but the midfielder`s drive from distance was saved easily by the Alex number 1.

After a half-time change that saw Tom Lowery replace the ineffectual Charlie Kirk for the hosts, it was his ball that found Harry Pickering with the youngster fizzing the ball past the post. The only goal of the game came on the hour-mark as an Ainley free-kick was deflected by the wall into the path of Miller who finished from 12-yards out. The next chance came on 72 minutes as Harry McKirdy, on for the goal-scorer, found Lowery with a through-ball but he couldn`t give it back to McKirdy as Colchester applied pressure in the final quarter-hour but to no avail.

Crewe`s next game is on Tuesday night for the visit of Exeter City before a trip to Lincoln City next Saturday.

Crewe: Garratt; Sterry, Ng, Nolan, Bakayago; Ainley (Walker 86), Green ©, Pickering, Kirk (Lowery 46); Bowery, Miller (McKirdy 70)

Colchester: Walker; Kent, Prosser ©, Eastman; Jackson, Comley, Stevenson (Murray 70), Wright; Senior (Dickenson 64); Ogedi-Uzokwe (Mandeville 66), Mandron