Date: 5th September 2007 at 10:13pm
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Crewe were knocked out in the first round stage of the Johnstone Paints Trophy last night. A strong following of over 700 visiting fans were in attendance as Crewe crashed out of the competition on penalties.

As reported on Crewe Vital earlier this week we made several changes to the side that drew at Swindon. Stuart Tomlinson, Ben Rix and Eugen Bopp all started and Nick Farquharson made his Crewe debut up front.

Former Chester player Ryan Lowe put the visitors ahead shortly before half time. Billy Jones and Ben Rix combined well to create the chance, the Chester keeper palmed away the cross and it fell nicely in to the path of Ryan Lowe who made no mistake to put the visitors 1-0 up going in to the break.

Chester drew level just after the hour mark, a disputed free kick was taken whilst the Crewe wall was being organised. The goal was scored by former Liverpool player Ritchie Partridge.

Both sides had chance in the 2nd half to win the game but the finishing let both sides down. The game drifted towards a penalty shoot out as neither side carved out any chances of real quality.

So the game went to the lottery of a penalty shoot out, Billy Jones clipped the outside of the post and Julien Baudet blazed wide to give Chester a 4-3 victory and book a place in round two of the competition.

We have now been dumped out of the League Cup and the JPT. In my opinion is a blessing in disguise as i felt we paid the price last season for our early cup runs and will be glad to be able to concentrate on the league till the start of November.

Player Ratings

Stuart Tomlinson – 7
Dealt with everything that was thrown at him. Had no chance with the Chester equaliser. Saved 1 penaly but this time it was not to be his night.

Danny Woodards – 6
Worked hard and dealt with the threat of Kevin Ellison well. Struggled with injury again and was replaced by Ryan Lych after 50 minutes.

Danny O’Donnell – 6
Dealt with the aerial challenge of Chester and was largely impressive as the defence stood firm admist some late Chester pressure.

Julian Baudet – 6
Was miles wide with his penalty, but otherwise the captain had a steady game against the league two side.

Billy Jones – 7
Also missed a penalty but otherwise sound performance from the left back. Dealt with Partridge well and also offered support going forwards.

Eugen Bopp – 6
Neat and tidy but failed to stamp his authority on the game and may struggle to hold his place in the team for Saturday’s game against Huddersfield.

Ben Rix – 6
Some decent passing but didn’t impose himself against lower league opposition, another who is likely to drop out of the team on Saturday.

Ryan Lowe – 8
Was the only player in midfield who managed to get forward and support the strikers. Took his goal well and was the man of the match.

Steve Schumacher – 6
Steady game but nothing special. Perhaps feeling the effects of a rib injury sustained against Swindon last Saturday.

Nick Faquharson – 5
Struggled on Debut. Poor first touch and failed to create anything of note. He will get another chance but on tonight’s show he is someway off a first team spot.

Tom Pope – 5
Probably one game too many for the Stoke born forward. In need of a rest, his chance will come again.

Ryan Lynch – 6
Did okay when he came on for Woodards but didnt offer anything going forward.

Shaun Miller – 5
Struggled to make an impact in a wide position. Should revert to a central striking role for Saturday’s game against Huddersfield.
Little time to make an impact. Will be one to watch in weeks to come.

Manager Rating
Not sure if it was Gradi or Holland in charge! The decision to play Farquharson up front backfired somewhat. Lacked a cutting edge, hopefully Barnard can provide the spark required on Saturday.

Opponent Rating
Did well, Very organised outfit and will go well in League Two this season.