Whaley’s ground staff worked wonders this week to provide a good surface given the time of year. A minutes silence was held prior to kick off as a matter of respect for the recent tragic loss of a Brazilian football team & supporters.
Crewe got off to the perfect start; their first corner of the game wasn’t dealt with properly by the home side and the ball found its way to the edge of the area where Danny Lavallette was free to curl his shot past Tattersall into the far corner. Crewe made life very difficult for Whaley, closing players down quickly and not allowing Whaley any real momentum but unlike Crewe of old their over enthusiasm came at a cost as several challenges left the referee with no option to brandish early yellow cards.
As the game settled Captain Newton headed a Whaley corner over from close range but made up for his miss as he broke forward beat a man on the edge of the box to turn and curl a spectacular shot into the Keepers far top corner to level the scores. The first half was a scrappy affair with no team dominating play with Crewe’s Gater and Nersesyan winning everything at the back for Crewe while Sutton & Gregory battled away with Gibson & Massey in the middle. Although Newton & Streets had Southern under control his constant movement and willingness to run was a constant threat.
With everything to play for a reckless challenge on Newton led to Crewe’s Parker receiving his second yellow to reduce Crewe down to ten men. Whaley took advantage to pile on the pressure and going close on several occasions. The move of the game came when Gregory, dictating play, released a reverse pass through for Streets whose clever chip was deflected wide by the outstretched hand of Crewe keeper Newton as he charged out. Another shove on Burgess as he jumped for a Whaley cross resulted in a penalty that Sutton dispatched low to the keeper’s left.
Crewe again lost their composure and a total lack of discipline ensued leading to Whaley’s captain Newton being hacked down off the ball from behind; the referee had no choice and issued a second yellow Josh Ruhane, the least he could expect, and Crewe were down to 9.
Whaley went looking for a two goal cushion and introduced Drayson & Isaacs down the right & Max Brown upfront and it didn’t take long for Isaacs and Drayson to link up. Drayson’s pin point cross picked out the advancing Sutton who took a great first touch before smashing his shot clear of Newton for 3 1. Having used all there subs Whaley suffered an injury and concluded the game with 10 men on the field.
J Tattersall J Bailey R Newton (c)(1) T Streets J Broome J Burgess B Sutton (2) J Gregory L Morris T Scorer W Bailey
J Drayson 60 C Isaacs 60 M Brown 70