U23 Professional Development League
Team: Brzozowski, Williams-Lowe, Domi, Bettache, Carlyle, Gubbins, Alfa, Duncan, Walker, Bansal-McNulty, Dalling
Sub Not Used: Dickinson
The starting line-up saw the return of Lewis Walker from injury and Dylan Duncan captained the side.
The first opportunity fell to the R’s. Franklin Domi’s cross from the left-wing into the box bypassed Lewis Walker, Ody Alfa stretched for it and his flicked header was gathered comfortably by the Crewe keeper.
Lewis Walker then fired the ball just wide of the post from all of 25 yards.
The Crewe players were getting quite physical and Mr Buonassisi was letting most of it go!
The away side took the lead on 20 minutes from Joe Robbins’ half-volley after the ball had initially been cleared.
Unlike Steve McLaren’s policy last season it was good to see three Rangers players situated along the half-way line when Crewe were awarded a corner kick.
Mr Buonassisi surprisingly awarded a free kick on the edge of the box after Ody Alfa had been fouled. Dylan Duncan’s shot from within the ‘D’ was deflected behind for a corner.
The referee surprised us again when he decided to book an Alex player!
The visitors really should have doubled their lead after 44 minutes. The ball went wide of the post when it was easier to score. Half-time: 0-1.
Paul Hall brought on Ben Wells for the start of the second-half at the expense of Lewis Walker. He moved Amrit Bansal-McNulty over to a wide position and Ody Alfa went upfront.
Faysal Bettache forced a good save from Sam Booth, but a couple of minutes later Crewe scored their second goal. Marcin Brzozowski spilled Connor Heath’s shot and Lewis Reilly was well placed to tap the ball in the net from close range.
Bansal-McNulty was clearly pushed in the box, but Mr Buonassisi wasn’t interested!
Crewe came close to adding a third on 72 minutes. Brzozowski stopped Heath’s strike with his legs and Reilly’s follow-up shot was blocked on the line by Kayden Williams-Lowe.
Two minutes later, Charlie Rowan came on for Dylan Duncan and Faysal Bettache took the captain’s armband. However, just four minutes later he handed it over to Franklin Domi after Shiloh Remy had replaced him.
In the closing stages Deshane Dalling’s powerful strike stretched the Alex keeper, but at the final whistle it remained 2-0 to the visitors.
Paul Hall’s side travel to Nottingham Forest next Tuesday.