29/09/2020 7:00 pm
Referee: Robert Lewis
|Crewe Alexandra||Newcastle United Under-21s|
Substitute Harry Pickering scored the only goal of the game as Crewe Alexandra took a massive step towards qualifying for the next stage of the EFL Trophy following a victory against Newcastle United’s Under-21 side at the Alexandra Stadium last night.
Manager David Artell made 9 changes from Saturday’s 2-0 home win against MK Dons as Dave Richards started in goal behind a defence of debutant Donovan Daniels, Olly Lancashire, Billy Sass-Davies and Travis Johnson, Tom Lowery and Josh Lundstram came into the midfield with Callum Ainley and Offrande Zanzala playing as part of the front 3. Will Jaaskelainen, Perry Ng, Pickering, Mikael Mandron, Owen Dale and Luke Murphy all dropped down to the bench while Oli Finney, Luke Offord and Omar Beckles were not involved at all.
The opening chance of the game came in the 6th minute with Ryan Wintle having a shot saved by Newcastle keeper Will Brown before Yannick Toure would be denied by Richards a few minutes later. A couple of chances each fell to Kirk and Daniels, the former having an effort clearly off the line by defender Ludwig Francillette before Lancashire was replaced by Ng on the half-hour mark after the former Swindon captain went off injured.
The Alex would take the lead in the 65th minute as Pickering, who came on for Wintle at half-time, would curl in an inswinging free-kick from the touchline with Brown under pressure that sailed into at the far post while Sass-Davies would have a header straight at Brown.
The next games for the Alex see us return to league action with a trip to Oxford United on Saturday before hosting Wigan Athletic the following Saturday.
What can we take out of this game?
Another £10,000 and we’ll qualify for the next round with either Bolton Wanderers not winning against Shrewsbury Town next Tuesday or us not losing inside 90 minutes against the Shrews at the start of November.
As far as the game goes, it was good to see how strong the team was with us making as many changes as we did. It was good to see Lowery return to the first-team fold (after 45 mins for the Under-23s last Wednesday) and Daniels make his debut even if it wasn’t at his favoured centre-back role. That said, it was strange to see our team the more experienced team with their side having mostly teenagers with the oldest player being 21.