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Match Reports

Report: The Imps V Crewe Alexandra

24 February 2018

It was a frustrating afternoon at Sincil Bank for The Imps who lost their first home game of 2018 as Crewe Alexandra reversed the scoreline from earlier in the season at Gresty Road.

Michael Bostwick gave the home side the lead, before Harry Pickering equalized on the cusp of half time. The visitors scored three times in the second half, Jordan Bowery scored twice with Paul Green scoring from the spot.

City opened proceedings on the front foot with most of the play taking place in the Crewe half, Tom Pett hit a shot on the swivel which was well blocked as The Imps attacked with purpose down the left flank against a visiting side which looked a little nervy in possession. Danny Rowe then fashioned a chance for Matt Rhead, the winger’s quick feet got him past Zoumana Bakayogo and his centre was turned goalwards by the number nine, but his effort was halted on its way to goal by a number of Crewe players with ‘keeper Ben Garratt also diving to his left hand side in preparation for the ball heading his way.

The Alex grew into the game and the initial hesitancy on the ball seemed to have evaporated but when they did breach the initial defensive line of City, Michael Bostwick was there in typical determined fashion to clear the lines. Matt Green’s effervescent style was a constant threat to the defensive duo of Eddie Nolan and George Ray, whilst the physicality and touch of Rhead posed a completely different type of threat.

Pett curled a shot wide after cutting in from the left flank but chances were few and far between as the final ball seemed to just elude City in particular despite having the territorial advantage for much of the half.

The breakthrough did come however from The Imps, a free kick was won and the ball was drifted into the back post where Luke Waterfall nodded back into the dangerzone and BOSTWICK finished past Garratt who had no chance of stopping the powerful header.  Crewe, rather than be shellshocked, attacked with purpose and a header at the back post from Ray looked to be heading towards the City goal but Rhead was on defensive duties, clearing the danger. The game suddenly opened up and it was end-to-end stuff as half time approached.  On the stroke of half time, Crewe won a free kick on the edge of the box, up stepped Harry Pickering and he smashed the ball into the top corner beyond the dive of Ryan Allsop to equalise.

Half Time

The Imps 1 Crewe Alexandra 1

Crewe started the second half quickly and forged an early opportunity for Jordan Bowery but Bostwick put in a vital challenge just as the former Aston Villa forward shaped to shoot, and the ball took little nick off the boot of the City defender and went wide. However, the visitors were to get the second of the game within a couple of minutes, a burst down the left by Shaun Miller and subsequent cross found Bowery who slotted home into the bottom corner.  Crewe suddenly had their tails up and the confidence was highlighted by Perry Ng who hit a vicious effort on the volley from fully thirty yards which Allsop somehow managed to get a hand to as the ball dipped and swerved on its way towards goal. The visiting supporters were off their feet again moments later when got themselves two goals ahead in the 54th minute when Paul Green slotted home a penalty into the bottom corner.

City brought on Ollie Palmer and Elliott Whitehouse in an attempt to change the flow of the game midway through the second half, but the visitors broke following a City corner with Green and he slipped it to Bowery who scored his second of the game.

It was a frustrating second half for the home side who couldn’t make the break beyond the Crewe defence and force a tense finale to the game.

Full Time

The Imps 1 Crewe Alexandra 4

22       Ryan ALLSOP

2          Sean LONG

3          Sam HABERGHAM

5          Luke WATERFALL

7          Tom PETT

9          Matt RHEAD

10       Matt GREEN

16       Michael BOSTWICK

19       Lee FRECKLINGTON

24       Danny ROWE

30       Alex WOODYARD

Substitutions

1          Paul FARMAN

4          Elliott WHITEHOUSE (66’ for Frecklington)

6          Scott WHARTON

8          Ollie PALMER (59’ for Rhead)

14       Jordan WILLIAMS

26       Harry ANDERSON (46’ for Pett)

32       Cameron STEWART

GOAL: Bostwick 35’

Crewe Alexandra

1          Ben GARRATT

2          Perry NG

3          Zoumana BAKAYOGO

5          George RAY

10       Jordan BOWERY

12       Eddie NOLAN

14       Callum AINLEY

18       Harry PICKERING

30       Paul GREEN

32       Shaun MILLER

42       Jamie STERRY

Substitutes

13       Dave RICHARDS

4          Brad WALKER

6          Michael RAYNES

16       Tom LOWERY

20       Charlie KIRK

39       Harry McKIRDY (78’ for Miller)

40       Daniel BARLASER

Goals: Pickering 45’ Bowery 48’ 68’ Green 54’ (pen)

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Assistants: Ian Smedley & Ian Rathbone

Attendance: 8,272 (204 Crewe Supporters)


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