13/08/2019 7:45 pm
Referee: Michael Salisbury
|Fletcher, Bola||Porter, Kirk|
Goals from Chris Porter and Charlie Kirk saw Crewe Alexandra a first-half lead that was cancelled out by 2 goals in the final 15 minutes at the Riverside Stadium in the 1st Round of the EFL Cup last night but 4 penalties out of 4 saw the visitors advance through to Round 2.
Manager David Artell made 3 changes from Saturday’s 2-1 win at Oldham Athletic with Dave Richards replacing Will Jaaskelainen in goal, Callum Ainley in for Paul Green in midfield while Owen Dale made his full debut replacing the ill Daniel Powell. Will and Greeny drop down to the bench while Lewis Reilly, after scoring at QPR for the Under-23s on Monday, makes up the matchday 18.
The opening effort of the game came in the fourth minute of the game with Ste Walker shooting straight at Richards before the first Alex chance came 3 minutes later with Dale heading over a Pickering free-kick. After a period that saw both teams match each other, Rudy Gestede heading over a Marcus Tavernier cross before we took the lead with 4 minutes of the first-half remaining. A corner was cleared back out to Kirk whose cross found Olly Lancashire at the back post with his centre headed home by Porter before the lead was added to in stoppage-time after a great run from Dale picked out Kirk who found the bottom corner.
Into the second period, which saw Britt Assombalonga and Paddy McNair come on at the break for the hosts, with Ainley shooting just wide from distance before Boro came back into the game with Lancashire making a block. Ryan Wintle headed a Pickering corner straight at goalkeeper Aynsley Pears before Ainley had another shot that went just wide.
The Boro would halve the deficit 15 minutes before time with substitute Ashley Fletcher curling the ball in from the edge of the area before debutant left-back Marc Bola would convert from close-range after a low cross from the right.
Onto penalties with Chris Porter converting the first before Assombalonga missed the target with the hosts’ first, Green, Pickering and Jones would all score their penalties before Marcus Browne would have his penalty saved by Richards with the Alex going through 4-2 on penalties.
The second round draw was made later in the night with Crewe being drawn at home to Aston Villa in a game that is set to take place in a fortnight.
What can we take from this game?
To be honest, it was a tie that I would have been happy to escape without any injuries (Lancashire going off just before their first didn’t help) or suspensions but I didn’t see us getting through at all.
Dale brought an energy to the team which saw him impress on his full debut and great to see us score all penalties.