FA Cup First Round Replay
Crewe Alexandra 1
Cheltenham Town 4
(Harry Pell, Jack Barthram, Billy Waters, Dan Holman)
After narrowly losing on Saturday to the league leaders, I was confident Crewe could get a result against Cheltenham despite them being one of the few teams to beat us in the league this season. Getting two home games in whilst I was back home for a few days was amazing but to see two defeats was not what I had in mind.
I was only here three days ago so to see my thoughts on Gresty Road, please visit ‘Travelling To- Crewe Alexandra’.
Cheltenham Town secured a trip to Sutton United in the next round of the FA Cup with a 4-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.
The Robins had led 2-0 at the break through Harry Pell and Jack Barthram before former Alex player Billy Waters added a third in the second half. Dan Holman’s strike just on the hour mark secured the win and Crewe skipper Ryan Lowe grabbed a consolation goal moments later.
In a game where the referee missed so much for both sides, Crewe should have been a goal up in a matter of seconds when forward Daniel Udoh managed to poke the ball into the back of the net after some miscommunication between ‘keeper Russell Griffiths and his defender, however the referee gave a foul in Cheltenham’s favour despite there being no protests from the players or travelling fans.
Despite the early chance for the home side, Cheltenham managed to get hold of the game with both hands and started to really pile the pressure on early. A couple of missed chances kept the scores level before Pell managed to open the scoring on 19 minutes. James Jones lost the ball on the half way line allowing Town to break with three against two. Danny Wright slid a ball into Holman who fired straight at Ben Garratt only for Pell to be waiting in the right place to slot in the rebound.
Cheltenham’s pressing style was forcing Crewe into plenty of mistakes and Wright had a couple of chances to double the lead as Crewe looked to just be holding on rather than pressing for an equaliser. Crewe did manage to get forward on a few occasions but never created enough to worry the Town defence.
Holman then missed a great chance to make it 2-0 when he sent a header well wide after Daniel O’Shaughnessy had fired in a great cross into the box.
Town made it two on 36 minutes when Rob Dickie was allowed to waltz into the Crewe half and play a nice pass through into Barthram who poked in past Garratt at the near post despite close attention from Ben Nugent.
Garratt produced a wonderful save to prevent a third goal before the break when Holman showed great skill to knock the ball through Danny Hollands’ legs before unleashing a good shot from distance which Garratt had to stretch to get a fingertip to.
Steve Davis introduced top scorer and captain Ryan Lowe at half time in an attempt to salvage the game and Crewe did start brightly with full back Jon Guthrie firing high at the back post as Crewe pushed men forward.
Despite a few minutes of pressure, Cheltenham put the game to bed on 52 minutes when former Alex man Waters nipped through a static Crewe defence who were ball watching to poke past Garratt before sprinting towards the Town fans to celebrate.
Any hopes of a comeback were well and truly buried just after the hour mark when Crewe pushed numbers forward it left a big gap for Homan to exploit when Harry Davis lost the ball in the middle of the park. Holman raced down the left side into the box before cutting inside right back Perry Ng and curling a lovely shot into the top corner to confirm Cheltenham’s place in the next round.
Crewe responded well to the fourth goal but it wall all too little too late when Lowe played a nice one-two with Callum Saunders in the box to fire in the consolation on 64 minutes.
Cheltenham didn’t let the goal faze them and continued to threaten in attack and they introduced another former Alex academy graduate Amari Morgan-Smith to the game and he soon clipped the crossbar after being played in by Waters.
Morgan-Smith, who was released by Crewe in 2007, was desperate to score and he fired a powerful shot straight at Garratt in the last notable chance of the game.
2016/17 Games: 60
2016/17 Grounds: 46
Total Grounds Visited: 179