Crewe Alexandra’s twenty-match unbeaten run was shattered as Notts County came out on top despite having goalscorer Yoann Arquin sent-off at Gresty Road.
Francois Zoko struck just before the break to give the visitors an interval lead and Arquin extended it before being dismissed on the hour following a late challenge on Ashley Westwood.
Mathias Pogba headed in his third goal of the season to instil fresh hope into the hosts on 73 minutes but their opponents held on for the win after substitute Lee Hughes later cleared off the line from Westwood.
And it was Westwood seeing an early effort diverted behind by Bartosz Bialkowski and then setting up a lob for Max Clayton which forced the Polish goalkeeper to safely gather, while Pogba turned well and called Bialkowski into further action.
At the other ened Zoko was denied under the challenge of Adam Dugdale and Alan Judge then drove narrowly wide before delivering for Zoko to complete a close-range volley and open the scoring.
Former Alex loanee Alan Sheehan cleared just in time after Byron Moore had found Clayton upon the restart. But the visitors were still a threat and Zoko struck wide on the break and then headed straight at Alan Martin from Judge’s delivery.
Their second goal arrived just ahead of the hour mark when Arquin got on the end of Judge’s deflected cross to beat the helpless Martin.
But the latest goalscorer saw red only a couple of minutes later and after Luke Murphy had been called from the bench, Pogba rose to head in Westwood’s corner and ensure a frantic final seventeen minutes.
He later headed over another Westwood delivery and the new skipper then saw his late shot blocked as Crewe’s proud unbeaten record fell.
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Davis (Mellor 90), Ellis, Dugdale, Robertson, Westwood, Osman (Murphy 66), Clayton, Pogba, Leitch-Smith, Moore
subs (unused): Garratt, Turton, Ray, Daniels
Goals: Pogba (73)
Notts County: Bialkowski, Kelly, Sheehan, Leacock, Bishop, Liddle, Judge, J. Hughes, Williams (Labadie 13, Mahon 89), Zoko (L. Hughes 64), Arquin
subs (unused): Mitchell, Regan, Boucaud, Waite
Goals: Zoko (40), Arquin (58)
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