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Match Reports

Preview: Crewe (A)

14 February 2015

Crewe 2-0 Fleetwood Town

Goals from Nicky Ajose and Marcus Haber confirmed a 2-0 defeat for Fleetwood Town away at Crewe Alexandra.

The Cod Army dominated for large periods, however Ajose slotted Alex in front just before the half time whistle.

Town were then dealt a final blow midway through the second half as Ajose’s strike partner Haber got in on the act to seal a third win in seven days for the Railwaymen.

Antoni Sarcevic returned to the starting line-up for Fleetwood Town to face his former team, Nick Haughton dropping down to the bench.

Jamie Proctor was also included in the matchday 18 after missing the win at Barnsley, Tyler Forbes not available for the game.

David Ball partnered Liam McAlinden in attack and it was his 100th appearance for Fleetwood Town.

Like Fleetwood, Crewe came into the League One contest at Gresty Road off the back of three points, with an encouraging victory against Yeovil Town on Tuesday night.

The Cod Army made a decent start in north Cheshire. On a tricky surface at the home of the Alex, Jeff Hughes had the visitors first effort on goal, an ambitious 30-yard strike from a central position flying over the cross bar.

Fleetwood’s first effort on goal came on the 12th minute. A nice passage of play on the right hand side resulted in former Crewe man Sarcevic hitting a 25-yard strike but it was right down the throat of Ben Garratt.

One minute later, Oliver Turton directed a header from 10-yards out just over Chris Maxwell’s frame after positive work on the wing by Anthony Grant.

Midway through the first half, Sarcevic was yet again in the thick of the action. Possession was given cheaply away by the hosts backline, allowing the midfielder to skip past two red shirts, his 20 yard shot was easily claimed by the goalkeeper.

In search of his second goal in the past five days, Wolves frontman Liam McAlinden was only a fraction away to realising his target.

The striker confidently ran at the Crewe defence to fire a left footed piledriver at Garratt to turn over the cross bar.

Another glorious chance went missing for Town before the half time interval. An intelligent pass by McAlinden threaded Ball through on goal but from a difficult angle, the Town centurion’s shot was parried away.

Town were dealt a cruel blow in the 41st minute as Crewe took an undeserved lead. Despite being on top for the majority of the first half, Ajose, enjoying a purple patch in front of goal of late, took advantage of a cutting through ball to slot past Maxwell from point blank range.

The second half began with Town once again taking control of possession but finding it difficult to break down the Crewe backline.

On the hour mark, Crewe doubled their advantage. Ajose, the architect this time, turned provider to play a cross to the back post for Haber to head home leaving Fleetwood with an uphill mountain to climb.

Alexander immediately reacted by bringing on Proctor and Haughton for Ball and Gareth Evans as Town looked to alter their fortunes.

Ajose nearly stuck another thorn into Fleetwood’s side. A simple ball over the top beat the offside trap but the frontman was denied by a smart save from Maxwell.

With the last throw of the dice, Ashley Hunter was introduced for Stephen Crainey. The youngster had a late sight on goal in the final minutes but fired well wide of the mark.

Crewe held on to their two goal advantage and Town now get ready for next Saturday’s home contest against Notts County.

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