The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Josh Ni­cholls

CREWE boss Steve Davis chal­lenged his rock bot­tom side to play their way out of trou­ble af­ter Ch­ester­field con­demned them to a sev­enth league de­feat of the sea­son at Gresty Road.

Two goals from Dan Gard­ner ei­ther side of Crewe skip­per David Fox’s equaliser were enough to beat strug- gling Alex, who are still with­out a home win this cam­paign.

De­spite yet another loss, Davis vowed to stick to the club’s foot­balling prin­ci­ples as they at­tempt to es­cape trou­ble.

“My mes­sage to the boys is just keep play­ing with some free­dom,” said Davis. “I’ll take the flack, I'll take the crit­i­cism, I want them to ex­press them­selves and play how we want them to play.

“The bet­ter team has lost the game. You’re al­most scratch­ing your head as to what more you need to do in games to get the re­ward for

your ef­fort and per­for­mance.

“We’ve just got to keep go­ing, there’s no point giv­ing up on things, we’ve got to keep fight­ing and we’ve got to show that fight.”

Ch­ester­field started dom­i­nantly and took the lead in the eighth minute when lively winger Rai Si­mons’ low cross fell to Gard­ner.

The 25-year-old’s shot de­flected off the sprawl­ing Oliver Tur­ton on its way into the net.

But the Rail­way­men ral­lied be­fore half-time and lev­elled in the 36th minute when Fox lashed a low shot past Tommy Lee af­ter Ryan Colclough’s fine work on the wing.

Crewe started the sec­ond half threat­en­ingly but were stunned by the Spire­ites 12 min­utes into the sec­ond half when Gard­ner met O’Neil’s cross from the right with a volley which he struck into the ground, the bounce be­ing enough to take the ball be­yond Ben Gar­ratt.

Alex pushed for another equaliser in the clos­ing stages and threw on Cal­lum Saun­ders – son of Ch­ester­field man­ager Dean – with eight min­utes to go, but the Der­byshire club saw out the game to end a run of five matches with­out a win.

While the fi­nal few min­utes passed with­out in­ci­dent, Saun­ders se­nior ad­mit­ted he feared the worst when his 20-year-old son en­tered the field.

“When you’ve been on the run we have and your son comes on you’re think­ing the in­evitable is go­ing to hap­pen,” he said.

“It wasn’t nice see­ing him come on but thank­fully there wasn’t a chance that fell to him.

“I thought the lads were bril­liant con­sid­er­ing we’ve lost a cou­ple of leads re­cently, we’ve hung on in the end which will give them belief go­ing into the fu­ture.”


OUGH Crewe

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