BOWYER HAPPY AT SLOW PROGRESS

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Les Scott

BLACK­POOL boss Gary Bowyer was the hap­pier of the two man­agers af­ter his Seasiders earned a wellde­served point at high-fly­ers Crewe Alexan­dra.

Ryan Lowe’s goal mid­way through the sec­ond half de­nied Black­pool all three points, but Bowyer was sat­is­fied with a point against in-form Crewe.

“We played ex­cep­tion­ally in the first half,” said Bowyer. “Crewe are one of the bet­ter sides we have played and to come here and get a point is a job well done.

“We con­trolled the game for pe­ri­ods, es­pe­cially in the first half. We have to find a way to put teams to bed when we have our noses in front and are con­trol­ling play. That is some­thing we will be work­ing on.

“We’re work­ing hard to de­velop as a team and as in­di­vid­u­als and we saw plenty of ev­i­dence that progress is be­ing made. We are slowly climb­ing the league. There is a long way to go but we are head­ing in the right di­rec­tion. We have a tough one on Tues­day against Portsmouth but we go into that game off the back of a very good away per­for­mance.”

Prior to this match Crewe had named only 13 play­ers in their start­ing line-ups, the low­est in the Foot­ball League so far this sea­son. An en­forced change saw Char­lie Kirk re­place in­jured Chelsea loa­nee Alex Ki­womya and he could have given the Alex the lead but failed to con­nect with Chris Dag­nall’s low cross. Sec­onds later, the home side were chas­ing the game. Black­pool cleared their lines and when Andy Tay­lor crossed from the left, Jon Guthrie, at­tempt­ing to clear the dan­ger, headed past Ben Gar­ratt.

The goal spurred the Seasiders. Kyle Vas­sell was twice de­nied by Gar­ratt and min­utes later Harry Davis cleared Vas­sell’s header off the line.

Crewe thought they had equalised when Lowe got the fi­nal touch fol­low­ing a Dag­nall header, but ref­eree Carl Boye­son ruled the for­mer Bury striker off­side, a de­ci­sion hotly-con­tested by the Crewe bench.

Seasiders keeper Sam Slo­combe failed to ap­pear af­ter the in­ter­val hav­ing suc­cumbed to the groin in­jury he suf­fered in the first half, and his re­place­ment Dean Ly­ness was soon in ac­tion, hav­ing to save smartly from Dag­nall.

Crewe were bet­ter in the sec­ond pe­riod and their per­sis­tence was re­warded when Lowe met Ge­orge Cooper’s cross from the right to head firmly past Ly­ness.

And in the clos­ing stages Lowe al­most snatched all three points for Crewe but his swerv­ing shot grazed the left-hand post.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing not to take all three points,” said Crewe boss Steve Davis. “That said, we were not at our best in the first half. We im­proved in the sec­ond pe­riod and we looked more like our­selves, play­ing one-touch foot­ball and cre­at­ing open­ings.

“Ryan Lowe pro­vided that lit­tle bit of qual­ity we needed and at the end we could have even nicked it.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

RES­CUE: Oliver Tur­ton Crewe Alexan­dra heads off the line to save Crewe STAR MAN ZOUMANA BAKAYOGO Crewe

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