17/11/2018 3:00 pm
Referee: Carl Boyeson
|Crewe Alexandra||Tranmere Rovers|
Callum Ainley was the star of the show as Crewe Alexandra beat Tranmere Rovers at the Alexandra Stadium with two goals and an assist for Charlie Kirk’s winner.
Manager David Artell made 3 changes from Tuesday night’s defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the EFL Trophy as midfielders Ainley, Ryan Wintle and Kirk came in for George Ray (who injured his ribs), Kevin O’Connor and Alex Nicholls as we went back to a 4-4-2 with Perry Ng moving to centre-back and taking the captain’s armband as well as Harry Pickering moving to left-back. O’Connor and Nicholls dropped to the bench where they were joined by Michael Raynes, Chris Porter, Ollie Finney, Nicky Hunt and goalkeeper Dave Richards.
The opening chance came on the quarter-hour mark with Ainley forcing a save out of Rovers keeper Scott Davies before the Alex wide-man opened his account for the season with an effort from just outside the area following good work from the stand-in skipper. He would undo his good work though later in the half, giving the ball away with James Norwood getting in behind and finishing past Ben Garratt for his 13th league goal of the season.
After the break, the entertainment continued as Ainley got on the end of a flowing move involving Kirk and Jordan Bowery to beat Davies at his near-post before he almost set up the Nottingham-born forward with a cross from the right that Bowery couldn’t quite get onto.
Ainley would get his assist though mid-way through the second period as a corner was cleared back to Ainley whose left-footed cross was turned in by an unmarked Kirk for his 5th of the season. Tranmere would get one back through substitute Paul Mullin who finished from a tight angle but the Alex held on for first win in 5 games in all competitions.
We head to Crawley Town next Saturday in the next league game.
What have we learnt from this game?
That we need to play Tranmere every week! On a serious note, we played better yesterday that a lot of the games so far this season but more importantly we’ve taken chances whereas in previous games we’ve either not taken them or got to the edge of the box and been dispossessed. It’s disappointing that we conceded the first goal the way we did with Perry dribbling the ball out from the back (something that isn’t too costly when he’s in midfield but is a massive risk when he’s at centre-back) but good to see that he’s prepared to take players on and carry the ball forward if required. Both Kirk and Porter also did well at the end of the game too (that’ll be the game management that Artell was on about the other week) with Kirky winning a number of free-kicks and Ports holding the ball up well in the corner late on.