26/12/2019 3:00 pm
Referee: Peter Wright
|Salford City||Crewe Alexandra|
|Towell, Asante, og||Pickering|
A sloppy first-half, which saw the hosts lead by 2 at the break, was the catalyst to Crewe Alexandra’s defeat at Salford City yesterday. Harry Pickering would get a goal late on before an own goal from Ryan Wintle gave Salford the margin that they deserved across the game.
Manager David Artell made one change from Saturday’s 5-1 victory at Stevenage with Christian Mbulu replacing Eddie Nolan at the back through a slight knock and with Paul Green also missing out (illness), youngsters Billy Sass-Davies (back from a loan spell at AFC Telford) and Rio Adebisi coming onto the bench.
The first goal came on 7 minutes with midfielder Richie Towell curling the ball into Jaaskelainen’s bottom-left corner from 25 yards before the lead was doubled 5 minutes later with Brandon Asante scoring his first Football League goal after out-muscling Mbulu out of the way into the other bottom corner.
After a half-time change saw Mbulu replaced by James Jones (with Ryan Wintle moving back alongside Nicky Hunt at the heart of the defence), it was a contain job by the hosts with them happy to sit behind the ball and make the Alex try to break them down. Pickering and Perry Ng would be the first to test Chris Neal with the keeper denying both full-backs in separate moves before he would also keep out a Chuma Anene effort with a great diving save to his left.
After the resulting corner was cleared out to the half-way line, it came back with a 1-2 played between Pickering and Jones with the left-back scoring with a strike from outside the area. 3 minutes later the game was over after a shortly-played corner was crossed in with Wintle turning the ball into his own net. The Alex would hit the post after Pickering’s right-wing cross was turned against his own post by a defender with the ball ending up in the gloves of Neal.
Our next two games see a couple of home games, first against Scunthorpe United on Sunday before hosting Carlisle on New Year’s Day.
What can we learn from this game?
Well, we have to start much better over the next few games that’s for certain.
I think that’s the last time that we see Mbulu in an Alex shirt, his contract runs out in the next few weeks, and his performance (he wasn’t the only player that was below standards yesterday) isn’t going to convince many that he’s worth a new deal until the end of the season – maybe bringing on Sass-Davies or Johnson (and moving Perry inside) would have been a better option to help with their development instead of moving Wintle into defence.
That said, I think Mbulu’s contract situation will depend on how Lancashire’s injury status is whether we offer Mbulu a new deal or bring in another body to play at the back.