Crewe stun promotion chasers

Crewe Alex kept alive their slim hopes of making the play-off's with a stunning 2-1 win at promotion chasing Mansfield.

Manager Dave Artell made two changes going into the game, handing a debut to Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and recalling James Jones for the injured Harry Pickering while Charlie Kirk dropped to the bench.

Substitute Callum Ainley put the Alex in front on 71 minutes and the midfielder made sure of the points by doubling the visitors lead six minutes from time.

Krystian Pearce pulled a goal back for the home side in stoppage time.

Speaking to the clubs official website after the game, manager Dave Artell said: “I thought we were terrific and that is the best performance of the season for me. It wasn’t the best in terms of goals scored or the margin of victory but we controlled large parts of the game.

“When we needed energy we had it. When we needed men, we had men and when we needed skill, we showed that to win the game. We showed great ball retention to tire them out and we thought the longer we remained in the game, the more chance our quality would come through and we would have a chance to win the game.

“I can talk about game plans and all that but that is how it panned out this afternoon and the players deserve great credit for executing it.

“They stood up to their physicality and defended the set plays well. The 14 players we had on the pitch were terrific for us. The three subs came on and gave us some extra energy.

And on match winner, Ainley, the gaffer said: “It is all about end product with Callum and that is the key. He did that today with his two goals. He is still 21 and needs a break from time to time. I think he played 11 games on the spin and we took him out because he looked a bit jaded and needed a rest.

“That is what happens when he has a bit of a rest and he comes back in revitalised. It is up to us to manage our young players and know when they need a rest."

Crewe are up to 12th in the table, eight points off the play-off places with seven games left.

The Railwaymen are back in action on Saturday when they entertain Cheltenham.


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