There was only one change to the team that lost to Telford and that that was Luke Varney out and Justin Cochrane in…
B.Jones - Foster - Wright - Tonkin
Lunt - Cochrane - Higdon - Rix
Ashton - S.Jones
The game started with the Alex having the first attack. A throw in by Billy Jones was flicked onto Ashton on the edge of the area unmarked. Deano was virtually one on one with the keeper only for his first touch to let him down as Jermaine Darlington nipped in a cleared.
Wimbledon showed that their youngsters have the pace and attacking ability to cause plenty of problems. Not willing to sit back, the likes of Jermaine Darlington, Wade Small and Joel McAnuff were a force bombing down the wings at Billy and Tonkin.
Joel McAnuff caught Tonkin napping a couple of time down the left and a few times cut him up to get a cross into the area, but the cross were dealt well with Billy Jones’ intelligent cushioned headers.
On the 8th minute Wimbledon showed their second best strength - long shots. Joel McAnuff first fired a shot from the right edge of the area straight down Inces throat and Adam Nowland followed that up with a shot from 30 yard which was beaten to the floor by Ince.
McAnuff tested Ince, again, from 30 yards but Ince dealt with it easily. Whilst Wade Small’s weak effort along the floor from the edge of the area also failed to test Ince 17 minutes in. Whilst Wimbledon were ‘in control’ there were no signs that the Alex defence were about to concede and it was a matter of time before we started attacking the opposite goal.
Steve Jones had the best Alex chance so far when he fired a ball along the ground from the edge of the area but it missed the right post by a matter of inches. Jonah then tested Dons keeper Steve Banks from the edge of the area but with a very weak shot.
It started to open up into an end to end game of football with Jamie Mackie going up the other end on the half hour mark but his shot from just inside the area screamed past the up right. Not long after that came a fantastically comical few seconds. Justin Cochrane sat down injured, later to be replaced by Neil Sorvel, the referee quickly ushered Cochrane off the pitch. Whilst this went on about 7 Wimbledon players gathered round the technical area to get a drink, little did they know that the ref ordered Billy Jones to take the throw in…
Unfortunately, down to lack or urgency or just plain guilt we lost the ball almost immediately.
Five minutes before half time Rix saw a glorious chance wasted. He charged forward down the centre of the pitch before getting to the edge of the area chipping a curling shot over the keeper. The keeper was beaten but the ball bounced onto the crossbar and over.
The talking point of the first half, and the whole match really, was the linesman with the all yellow flag. Steve Jones was called offside about 8 times in the first half no matter what he did. He even stood and showed the referee he was onside before running for the ball but the linesman still flagged. Granted, he may have been offside a few times but I think the majority was down to insufficient refereeing.
Straight from the off Rix should have had a penalty. Leaving Jermaine Darlington for dead he cut inside the penalty area only for Darlington to barge into Rix’s back and send him flying… the ref said play on…
Jones missed a header from just 6 yards and then shot straight at the keeper from the edge of the area before he put Crewe, fortunately, ahead.
The defence nicked the ball from a Wimbledon throw in, from inside our half. Foster played it long to Ashton to turned his man on the edge of the area to set Higdon up. Higdon lost out to 3 Wimbledon players who cleared as far as Lunt who chipped the ball in behind the defence where Steve Jones, who looked at least 5 yards offside, nodded home his 14th of the season.
As usual, we thought to sit back on the 1-0 lead. Wimbledon continued to try and cause problems from distance and so Rix got in on the act, with a curling shot from 25 yards but the Dons keeper, Steve Banks, got his body behind it.
Wimbledon have a reasonable penalty claim turned down. A cross from Wade Small saw David Wright and Mackie both jump for it and it looked as if Wright, with his hand above his head, had punched the ball away. Nearly every Dons player appealed but the referee played on… maybe to make up for the penalty he didn’t give Rix.
Nothing exceptional happened after that. We sat back and due to a dire last ball from Wimbledon they failed to create anything.
So we now sit ninth in Division One. Despite all the injuries we’re still just four points off the play-offs. We could see some injuries give way this week with Allan Smart, Adie Moses, Richard Walker and Neil Sorvel hoping to get a week of training in this week and we have David Vaughan and Chris McCready returning to light training by the end of this month - fingers crossed.
We’ve had a set back with Justin Cochrane picking up a hamstring injury, not yet known on his fate, but with the above back we could seriously make a claim for a top 6 spot. It’s not that likely in any Crewe fans eyes but pick up 4-7 points in our next three matches (Ipswich, Millwall & Bradford)… then would fans start to believe… If Stoke fans can believe……
On yesterdays match. Certainly not a performance that’ll go down as a great one. Some positives though, Ince has re-assured me at long shots, Jones has broken he club record for the most goals scored in this division by a Crewe player and Dean Ashton is still showing his recent rise in form is no phase. Ashton worked his arse off as he showed guts to get in defenders AND attackers faces, he showed intelligence on the ball and showed everything you expect from his. By far man of the match.