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Skipper on target as Crewe move back into top three

Crewe Alexandra moved back into the automatic promotion places following a 1-0 win over rivals Cheltenham.

Manager Dave Artell made one change going into the game handing a debut to new loan signing, defender Michael Nottingham.

He replaced Callum Ainley who dropped to the bench.

The only goal of the game came on 69 minutes when skipper Perry Ng's low drive found the bottom corner.

It was his first goal for the club since April 2018.

Manager Dave Artell said: “I thought it was a tight game between two very good sides and I think that 1-0 was just about right. We controlled much of the game but I think we showed the greater ambition and intent to score that goal in the second half.

“They had two good chances in the first half and their goalkeeper has made a great save to deny Tom Lowery as well. We didn’t show enough intent in the first half and I said to them at half-time, I was a bit bored for 20 minutes of that half.

“We said to them ‘come on, who is going to grab the game by the scuff of the neck, show some quality and skill?

“In the end, Perry has decided it. He has terrific quality, we know that and he has to do it more often because he gets himself in great positions. It has been a long time coming and I am fed up of his haircut talk, so he can now go and get it cut! We are all pleased for him.

“Michael (Nottingham) has only trained with us once, so to come in and play like that is great for us. He has slotted in really well and for his debut he did terrific. Massive credit to him. There is plenty to work on and how we play at this football club, but it was a good performance.

He added: “It was a great clean-sheet, we were on to them this week that is has been a while since we had one. It has been too long. It was like we won 5-1 at Stevenage and conceded in the last minute and it was so frustrating. It was a fantastic clean-sheet today and we are back in the automatic promotion places. That is where we want to be.”

The victory moved Crewe into third place in the table, just six points behind the top two.

Crewe are back in action on Tuesday night when they make the trip to Cheshire rivals Macclesfield.

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