Crewe Alexandra 2-0 Crawley Town
Crawley Town suffered back to back defeats for the first time this season as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat away at Crewe Alexandra.
A quick-fire brace from Lauri Dalla Valle in the second half gave the hosts all three points and Crawley have now failed to win in six League One matches.
Both sides had good chances in an even first 45 minutes but Crewe dominated the second half and could have added to their tally late on.
Both bosses named the same starting XIs from their respective midweek ventures, with new loan signing Conor Clifford on the bench. Claude Davis was absent having just become a father.
It was the visitors who carved out the first opening, Nicky Adams capitalising on a misplaced pass to dart down the right and send a dangerous ball into the box which the Crewe defence couldn’t deal with. In the ensuing scramble Billy Clarke’s backheel was blocked before Gary Alexander shot against the outside of the post.
Soon after Clarke needlessly gave away possession outside his own penalty area and from Chuks Aneke’s cross Lauri Dalla Valle poked wide on the stretch.
And all inside a frantic opening ten minutes, Reds somehow survived a two quick chances. Mathias Pogba fluffed his lines when found by Byron Moore unmarked seven yards out, and in the same attack Moore’s low shot was kept out by the legs of Crawley stopper Paul Jones.
Adams enjoyed plenty of early joy against left back Harry Davis and from his cross Alexander had a tussle with Matt Tootle to meet it at the back post, the ball spinning harmlessly into the arms of home keeper Alan Martin.
On the 30 minute mark Tootle dragged wide following a purposeful run from right back, while at the opposite end another teasing Adams delivery was only just clawed out of the waiting Alexander’s reach by a diving Martin.
Reds’ best spell of the half came shortly before the interval. Adams had a shot charged down after peeling away from his man to meet Hope Akpan’s low ball, and the Reds winger had another effort blocked after he had jinked past two players on the right.
With all Crawley’s threat coming from the right, this time Nathan Byrne found the feet of Clarke, who twisted and had his effort deflected over the bar. Reds suffered a blow when defender Kyle McFadzean again went off ill having lasted 39 minutes to be replaced by Joe Walsh.
Hosts Crewe came out from half time all guns blazing and with the second half less than two minutes old they should have been ahead. Striker Dalla Valle got between defenders to meet a deep cross with his head but Jones made a sprawling save, and on the rebound Moore struck the crossbar with the goal gaping.
Some rare respite came with a Clarke free kick, swung towards goal and flicked on by Josh Simpson for Alexander at the back post, but the flag was raised as he was denied by Martin.
And it was the hosts who took the lead on 62 minutes when, from Luke Murphy’s free kick on the left Dalla Valle looped a header beyond Jones.
And just two minutes later the on loan Crewe frontman struck again, side footing home from eight yards out from Moore’s pass following Murphy’s precise through ball.
Dalla Valle had the chance for his hat-trick a minute later but he curled over the crossbar as Crewe threatened to run riot.
Reds boss Richie Barker immediately rang the changes, bringing striker Nicky Ajose on for Byrne and ten minutes after coming on he drilled a low shot straight at Martin from the left of the box.
Murphy was afforded space to run in and the Crewe skipper wasn’t all that far wide with a riffled strike from 30 yards.
Pogba nodded a Tootle corner just over and late on the right winger was in again and lifted a shot over the onrushing Jones but into the side netting as Crewe settled for two.
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Weather for Crawley
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 14 C to 26 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South east