Crewe Alexandra 2-0 Peterborough United
A Harry Pickering free-kick and a well-taken finish from Charlie Kirk ensured the Reds took all three points and ended league leaders, Peterborough’s eight league game unbeaten run.
The first real chance of the game fell to Oli Finney. A superb cross-field ball from Luke Offord found Daniel Powell on the right-wing, slipping in Tom Lowery whose first-time cross was on a plate for Finney to open the scoring. Though his header whistled wide of the post.
The Reds continued to dominate. A superb phase of play from the Alex working the ball from back to front saw Perry Ng direct his cross towards Kirk at the back post who headed back across goal, but again nothing came of it.
The Posh reacted to this phase of pressure, first testing Will Jaaskelainen’s goal on 17 minutes. Joe Ward was fed through down the right and his effort forced a good save, pushing the effort a whisker wide of the post.
David Artell’s side continued to press the Posh goal creating many chances. Meanwhile, Finney picked up the ball 25- yards from goal unleashing a fierce effort which glanced just wide of the post.
A tactical formation change from Darren Ferguson opened an opportunity for his side, as Sammie Szmodics picked the pocket of Perry Ng playing a neat one two with Siriki Dembele. Szmodics found himself on the left side of the penalty area but his effort was comfortably saved down to Will Jaaskelainen’s left.
It took half an hour for the deadlock to be broken. Ryan Wintle picked the ball up in his own half and burst towards the Posh goal, playing a pass to the feet of Oli Finney only to be fouled on the edge of the 18-yard area. Harry Pickering stood over the set piece and fired a low effort into the bottom right corner.
10 minutes later and Crewe made it two. A horrendously loose pass picked up from just inside the Posh half by Charlie Kirk, he sailed past the defender finding himself one-on-one with Christy Pym and superbly slotted his effort into the back of the net.
Again, the London Road side reacted and Szmodics was between the lines of the Crewe defence, but for a last ditch challenge from Perry Ng to keep the score at two goals to nil.
Crewe went in at the break with a healthy lead.
The away side made a change at the break as Darren Ferguson hoped to return to London Road with something for their second half performance. Frazer Blake-Tracy replacing Niall Mason.
Much like the first, Peterborough began the second half with possession in their favour. An audacious cross from Joe Ward across the six-yard area would’ve worried Will Jaaskelainen’s goal but thankfully nothing came of it.
Ten minutes in to the second half and Darren Ferguson had seen enough. Making another change as Louis Reed was replaced by Ethan Hamilton. Meanwhile, Crewe’s first effort of the second half came from skipper Perry Ng, who’s twenty-yard effort went wide of the right-hand post.
Seventy minutes and Peterborough made their third and final change as Sammie Szmodics was replaced by Mohamed Eisa.
A few minutes later a huge opportunity for the away side to get back into the game. A pass into Eisa was poorly controlled, though fell to Jonson Clarke-Harris who should have released the trigger earlier but decided against it.
Fifteen minutes left to play; David Artell made the Reds first change. Owen Dale replaced Daniel Powell.
A 30-yard swerving effort from Reece Brown forced a parry from Will Jaaskelainen. The on-rushing attacker Eisa tried to make amends with the rebound but the Crewe number one stood firm.
Artell made his sides second substitution on 82 minutes and from then on in the Alex maintained their match control and ran down the clock.
Whatever treatment Darren Ferguson gave his side at the break, certainly wasn’t the ‘Hair Dryer’ treatment that his father was renowned for!
All in all, a good day at the office for the Railwaymen. A win and clean sheet, that should give them confidence ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Oxford.