RAIL­WAY­MEN KEEP HEADS ABOVE WA­TER

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Alex Lani­gan To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

HE’S guided Crewe to two Wem­b­ley suc­cesses in his time with the Rail­way­men but keep­ing Alexan­dra in League One tops the lot for boss Steve Davis.

Goals from Adam Dug­dale and Mathias Pogba gave Crewe the win de­spite Pre­ston get­ting one back in in­jury time from John Welsh.

Just one place and one point above the drop zone be­fore kick-off against third-placed Pre­ston, Crewe took mat­ters into their own hands, seal­ing a first home win since Fe­bru­ary 1.

In Davies’ first sea­son in charge at Gresty Road, he guided them to League Two pro­mo­tion through the play-offs and they were back at Wem­b­ley last sea­son, seal­ing the Johnstone’s Paint Tro­phy by beat­ing Southend.

But Davis be­lieves those achieve­ments pale in com­par­i­son to avoid­ing a re­turn to League Two on the fi­nal day of the sea­son.

“I thought we were well worth the win and we wanted to do it our­selves we didn’t want to rely on other teams,” he said.

“It is a mag­nif­i­cent achieve­ment, it dwarfs the other achieve­ments from last sea­son and the sea­son be­fore to stay in this league for Crewe is fan­tas­tic.

“It has been a roller­coaster since I took over in fair­ness we have had great suc­cess but this sea­son was a real strug­gle.

“The young boys will ben­e­fit from this ex­pe­ri­ence go­ing through this type of sea­son and fin­ish­ing strong like we have and hope­fully they can carry it on next sea­son.”

Need­ing a win on the fi­nal day of the sea­son to guar­an­tee their sur­vival Crewe started brightly and Dug­dale’s first goal of the sea­son gave them a de­served lead in the tenth minute.

The de­fender rose high­est from Jon Guthrie’s back-post cor­ner to power a header be­yond De­clan Rudd.

The Li­ly­whites flew out of the traps af­ter the break and only a stun­ning save from by Ben Gar­ratt stopped Joe Garner from equal­is­ing.

Crewe dou­bled their ad­van­tage on the hour mark af­ter Uche Ik­peazu es­caped the chal­lenge of Bai­ley Wright be­fore rolling the ball to Pogba who lashed the ball into the net.

Ik­peazu should have made it three mo­ments later but headed a glo­ri­ous cross from By­ron Moore wide.

Pre­ston did man­age to pull one goal back as Welsh fired into the bot­tom cor­ner in in­jury-time but Crewe held on to spark a mass pitch in­va­sion on the fi­nal whis­tle.

Pre­ston man­ager Si­mon Grayson was dis­ap­pointed with the re­sult as the Li­ly­whites had the op­por­tu­nity to fin­ish third – in the end they slipped to fifth and will now face Rother­ham in the play-offs.

“It cer­tainly wasn’t ob­vi­ously what we wanted. We wanted to come here and win the foot­ball match to try to fin­ish third but credit to Crewe they were bet­ter than us on the day,” he said.

“I’m not happy with how we played but we know what we have got now and we know we have to play Rother­ham.

“I’d like to think the de­feat won’t have too much im­pact it might even sharpen one or two up men­tally, we have al­ways re­acted well af­ter de­feats. It was a timely re­minder.

“We al­ways knew it was go­ing to come down to the fi­nal game of the sea­son and you could fin­ish in any of the play-off po­si­tions.

“Wher­ever you fin­ish you want to be pos­i­tive. There is no set way or given marker that guar­an­tees you suc­cess.”

HEAD FIRST: Adam Dug­dale scores for Crewe

STAR MAN UCHE IKPEAZ

U Crewe

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