Artell and Alex look ready to graduate
CREWE boss David Artell believes the future is bright after Shaun Miller’s double, for a starting XI made up entirely of the club’s academy graduates, earned a final-day home victory over Cheltenham.
Forward Miller opened the scoring midway through the first half before George Lloyd equalised shortly before the break.
But Miller, on loan from Carlisle, struck an effort after the hour to send the Gresty Road faithful home happy after securing a third straight win, which concluded a topsy-turvy season in style.
Artell said: “We have got a squad of players who are blessed and are giving everything for the cause, and when you do that you get a bit of luck. The first goal is a great finish and the second one is good movement and a great finish.
“So it doesn’t surprise me that we’ve had an upturn in fortune. We were fourth in the form table going into this game so it’s all about carrying it on for a whole season, next season.”
Joe Morrell’s freekick from the left was met by the head of Taylor Moore, who glanced just wide of the post, in an early opening created by the visitors.
Crewe led 17 minutes in when Miller raced onto a high-ball, profiting from an error by defender Jamie Grimes to charge into the area and coolly drill under goalkeeper Rhys Lovett into the bottom right corner.
Cheltenham levelled 11 minutes before the break when Mo Eisa’s cross from the right was deflected into Lloyd’s path, who steered past keeper Ben Garratt.
The Railwaymen started the second half stronger, and Miller notched his double on 62 minutes when play dropped to him after substitute Jordan Bowery’s shot was thwarted, with the loanee quickest to react, bending a right-footed shot low into the bottom right corner.
Gary Johnson’s Robins looked to preserve a point in the Cheshire sunshine, though Morrell and Eisa both saw chances go begging, as Crewe held on to conclude the campaign in 15th position.
“You are where you are after 46 games, it’s no use us saying we’re going to go into next season and get in the play-offs with this squad as that’s not going to happen,” Johnson reflected.
“I’ve seen what a lot of supporters have seen that follow this club. Sometimes you try and pick your best 11 and if you finish up 17th, it’s where you deserve to be.”