Crewe Alexandra 1
Plymouth Argyle 2
(Craig Tanner, Graham Carey)
Returning to my place of worship, prodigal home, Gresty Road, Alexandra Stadium, whatever you want to call it, it is the home of Crewe Alexandra. I’ve seen it all there, wins, losses, last minute winners and derby day defeats. I have even failed a French AS Level exam at the ground, as well as celebrated my 18th birthday there.
It is safe to say Gresty Road has been a massive part of my life since my first visit there at the end of the 2003-04 season when Norwich City secured Premier League promotion with a thumping win over the Railwaymen.
Mum wasn’t too surprised that her birthday weekend coincided with two Crewe home matches, no wonder I was home so promptly.
What can I say about Gresty Road? Well its better than Wembley, has more atmosphere than the Emirates and more fans than that grimy ground down the road that is Vale Park.
In all seriousness, the main stand looks very disproportionate to the rest of the ground. It is significantly bigger than the other three stands but I have always sat in that stand, season ticket holder for five years or more.
We have always been generous with our away crowd allocation, letting them pack out the full length stand opposite the main stand which when like today, the opposition bring a fair number with them, they can easily drown out the few rowdy home fans in the Gresty Road end.
The railway end is usually reserved for complimentary tickets for local businesses and junior teams so can sometimes be pretty empty but memories of a packed out Gresty Road end are slowly fading down to a small handful of young lads and a drum. Gone are the days where that would be filled chanting abuse at Championship strikers and goalkeepers alike over ten years ago.
Top of the league Plymouth Argyle came from behind to take the victory against Crewe Alexandra who are drifting around the play off positions.
Chelsea loanee Alex Kiwomwa put Crewe ahead before George Cooper missed a penalty that would have put Steve Davis’ men in the driving seat.
Craig Tanner equalised before the break and Graham Carey confirmed the three points 16 minutes from time.
Argyle’s Ryan Donaldson had a great chance on six minutes when he raced through on goal but Crewe goalie Ben Garratt came out and blocked superbly with his legs.
Crewe however took the lead on 16 minutes through Alex Kiwomya who showed great composure to control in the box from James Jones long pass with the outside of his boot, cut inside full back Gary Miller and slide the ball into the corner of the goal past Luke McCormick.
Davis’ men were given a great chance on 38 minutes to double the lead when Callum Ainley played a neat pass into Jones who cut inside to be hacked down by former Railwayman David Fox and the referee pointed straight to the spot.
George Cooper stepped up and but dragged a soft shot into the right corner and McCormick guessed the right way and held on to the ball.
Cooper was clearly disgruntled by the miss and he quickly nicked the ball back and after beating Miller on the half way line continued his run before unleashing a rocked shot with his weaker foot which ricocheted off the crossbar.
Like many Crewe games, three goals can sometimes not be enough for a draw and Plymouth always looked like they could score at any moment, and they did just that before the break when Carey played a ball into Tanner on the edge of the box before curling a ball into the back of the net with his second touch.
With the score level at half time, Plymouth had more of the ball when the two sides regained play. Crewe were let off the hook when Carey beat Hollands and whipped in a ball but Jimmy Spencer fell over instead of taking the shot and Crewe cleared their lines.
Crewe were forced into a change on 54 minutes when Zoumana Bakayogo went down with an injury and was replaced by Ben Nugent.
Argyle took the lead for the first time late on when Spencer played a good ball down the wing to substitute Jake Jervis who outpaced Nugent to put in a low ball that evaded everyone and fell to Carey to stroke home underneath Garratt.
McCormick a few minutes later when Perry Ng played in Cooper but the winger could only shoot into the legs of the ‘keeper.
Crewe threw players forward and defender Nugent finished the game as an extra striker but Plymouth held on to take all three points back to Devon.
2016/17 Games: 59
2016/17 Grounds: 46
Total Grounds Visited: 179