4/09/2018 7:45 pm
Referee: Graham Salisbury
|Tranmere Rovers||Crewe Alexandra|
|Harris, Stockton, Mullin||Porter (2), Nicholls, Jones|
Whether you support the competition in its current guise or part of the #BTeamBoycott, last night’s opening game for Crewe Alexandra and Tranmere Rovers in the Northern Group D was a topsy-turvy affair where the two thousand plus crowd certainly got their monies worth as Crewe edged a 7-goal thriller at Prenton Park last night, coming from 3-1 down with 20 minutes to play to win 4-3.
Manager David Artell made four changes from Saturday’s Cheshire derby victory against Macclesfield Town with Nicky Hunt coming into the team for the injured Eddie Nolan (who is set to miss a month of action with a calf injury), Alex Nicholls came in for Charlie Kirk on the wing, Tom Lowery in for Ryan Wintle in the middle of the midfield whilst Chris Porter replaced Jordan Bowery up front.
Porter gave the Alex the lead in the 20th minute as James Jones’ long-ball was flicked on with the veteran striker lifting the ball over the on-loan Liverpool goalkeeper Shamal George as the young keeper for some reason came to the edge of his area. After a long-stoppage for a head injury to left-back Kevin O’Connor, Tranmere lead at the break thanks to a long-range strike from Jay Harris and a poacher’s finish from Cole Stockton after Ben Garratt spilled a shot from Larnell Cole.
The teams were barely out of the dressing rooms before the lead was extended as Paul Mullin’s attempted pass rebounded off a defender back into his path with the striker rounding Garratt and slotting the ball home. The score-line stayed the same until 18 minutes from time as Alex Nicholls headed home a Jones free-kick before the Scottish midfielder delivered another free-kick that was headed home by Porter as George missed a punch. There was enough time for the Alex go on and get a winner as Callum Ainley’s square ball found Jones who finished left-footed from 10-yards out.
The next game sees the Alex travel to Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road a week on Saturday as there is no game at the weekend seeing as the home game against Mansfield Town was postponed due to the visitors having players on international duty. There is a game at the ground in the meantime as Alex Morris’ Under-23 team host Queens Park Rangers in the U23 Professional Development League on Monday, kick-off at 1pm.