Manager Alex Morris picked Will Jaaskelainen in goal with a back 3 of Billy Sass-Davies, Ray and Matty Fenton in front of him. Travis Johnson started on the right, a middle 3 of Regan Griffiths, Luke Offord and Joe Lynch with Rio Adebisi on the left while Jordan Bowery partnered Reilly up front. On the bench were sub goalkeeper Andy Walklate, Connor Heath, Malachi Linton and Joe Robbins.
The opening chance of the game saw the visitors test Jaaskelainen early on through midfielder Noah Chilvers before the Alex’s first chance came midway through the half with Reilly shooting wide after a long-ball had found him before both Adebisi and Bowery were denied on the line after more good work from Reilly.
The deadlock was broken 10 minutes after the break with Ray heading home a free-kick before the lead was doubled 6 minutes later as Reilly rolled the ball past home goalkeeper Ethan Ross.
We can still make the playoffs at Under-23 level by finishing 2nd in the Northern section and play against Southern champions Ipswich Town if both Burnley fail to beat Charlton Athletic away tomorrow afternoon and Birmingham City fail to beat Hull City on Friday afternoon.
Crewe (3-5-2): Jaaskelainen; Sass-Davies, Ray, Fenton; Johnson, Griffiths, Offord, Lynch, Adebisi; Reilly, Bowery
Colchester: Ross, Triallist, Sayer, Wright, Kensdale, Barnes, Miller, Chilvers, Triallist (Ager 77), Triallist (Hyde 77), Dunne (Clampin 46)