CREWE CAN COUNT ON COLCLOUGH
STEVE Davis claims Ryan Colclough is a man to turn to in a tricky situation after the winger brought relief to struggling Crewe.
Colclough scored Crewe’s first goal in four games 20 minutes before full-time – and the hosts saw the game out to record their first victory at Gresty Road since March.
And Davis admits the win was all the sweeter knowing that his side had beaten one of the league’s promotion hunters.
“We didn’t start how I wanted us to, the first ten minutes we were on the back foot but we worked our way into the game,” said Davis.
“Ryan Colclough was the difference, someone who produced that little bit of quality in a game that was very tight.
“He’s the one that can do it, you expect him to do something special. He’s learning the game, he’s learning about his contribution to the team, because he’s a very individual-based payer with great skill.
“It’s a huge boost to beat a club like Sheffield United, and hopefully this is the start of the season for us.
“They should take a great deal of confidence coming up against a team of that stature and quality.”
The Blades had gone ahead inside a minute when a quick freekick caught Crewe napping, but Ben Garratt was out quickly to deny Matt Done.
The away side continued to look threatening and a stinging 25-yard shot from Jose Baxter was palmed away by Garratt in the 11th minute.
But Crewe came back into it after a shaky start, and their best chance came on 23 minutes when Colclough sent a left-footed shot narrowly wide.
United thought they deserved a penalty early in the second half when Che Adams went down under pressure from Oliver Turton, only for the forward to be booked for diving.
With Crewe gaining in confidence, United’s defence had to stand firm in the face of several testing crosses, and Colclough forced a great save from Mark Howard in the 55th minute with a back-post volley.
Crewe got the goal their second-half performance merited in the 71st minute when a poor header from Chris Basham fell straight to Colclough, who volleyed home past the helpless Howard.
Aside from a late rasping shot from Ryan Flynn, the Blades offered very little in response – and boss Nigel Adkins believes some of his players need to take a good look at themselves.
“There are no easy games in the division, but we’re Sheffield United, we’re expected to go and beat Crewe Alexandra who sit bottom of the division,” said Adkins.
“We started very brightly, we could have scored several goals, but the fact of the matter is we didn’t.
“I keep talking about the attention to detail, the fine margins, and maybe there are players who have got to keep looking at themselves in the mirror.
“They’ve got to ask themselves, you’re at this level for a reason, why aren’t you going higher? We talk about many aspects about how you act as a professional football player, and everyone’s got to keep working hard to get to the next level.”
DECIDER: Ryan Colclough hits Crewe’s winner STAR MAN RYAN COLCLOUGH
THREAT: Neil Collins,left, goes close