Pools Fight Back To Take Point At Crewe
Carl Magnay scored twice as Pools came from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 on an entertaining night at The Alexandra Stadium.
Magnay had pulled Pools back to 1-1 just before the break with a real wonderstrike and then the defender was back late in what was a non-stop game to equalise once more, making it 3-3 in the 76th minute.
Crewe started the game brightest, with Pools taking a few minutes to get going but once they did, it was an open first half with plenty of possession for both sides.
The first shot of the game came on six minutes and it was Crewe’s George Cooper who tested Trevor Carson with a punt from outside of the box but the Pools keeper collected it comfortably.
Billy Paynter was next up as he burst through into the box to lift the ball over Ben Garratt in the Crewe goal but, with the Poolies in the far stand on their feet, the ball went just inches wide of the post.
It was Cooper again with the next real chance on goal, this time seeing his strike hit the post and staying out.
Pools enjoyed a decent spell of possession mid-way through the half, gradually growing into the game and passing it about with both ease and fluidity.
Lewis Alessandra and Nicky Deverdics combined well down the right to set up Padraig Amond in the box but his strike was blocked immediately by the defender.
With another chance for Cooper for the hosts and Nathan Thomas stinging the hands of Garratt with his strike from distance, a goal looked imminent.
And, on 31 minutes it arrived; a cross into the box from the left escaped the attentions of two blue and white shirts before picking out Chris Dagnall in the middle who knocked it home to make it 1-0 to Crewe.
The hosts were lifted by their goal and upped the pressure on the Pools goal with Carson pulling off a great finger-tip save to deny Zoumana Bakayogo.
Carl Magnay stamped his name on the game on 42 minutes with a wonder strike from at least 25 yards, curling a beautiful left-footed strike around Garratt and into the top corner of the net.
But that wasn’t the end of the first-half goals as Crewe edged ahead again just two minutes later. The hosts broke through a busy Pools box with relative ease to allow Alex Kiwomya to score with a low strike, making it 2-1 going into the break.
With ten minutes of the second half gone, Crewe added another goal as George Cooper got the space to curl a strike from wide right which sailed past Carson and into the far corner of the net.
Pools now faced a real battle to get anything from this game but if there is one thing Craig Hignett's side how shown so far this season, it is determination.
And, just as the game looked beyond Hignett’s side, Padraig Amond pounced to give his side a lifeline. With Nicky Featherstone dragged down, several players stopped to wait for the referee’s whistle, but Amond had the goal in his sights and forced his way into the box to slot home past Garratt on 72 minutes.
Just four minutes later and Pools were level and it was Carl Magnay the unlikely scorer once more; a great ball into the box from Featherstone picked out the defender at the far post and he calmly nodded past the near post to make it 3-3.
The game then really was up for grabs and both sides had their chances to take the three points; Matthew Bates put in a great block at one end, while Lewis Alessandra saw his shot saved by Garratt as the ball swapped ends at pace.
With Crewe throwing everything at goal, Pools were showing equal steel to keep them out; Carroll, Nsiala and Amond all stopped shots with determined blocks as the hosts upped the pressure again in the closing minutes.
Matthew Bates in particular made sure he was in the right place on several occasions to keep the hosts out, remaining calm despite the tension in the stands.
Ryan Lowe, who had been a threat for the hosts this evening, should have snatched the winner in the dying minutes when he had only the target to hit but he sent his strike wide of the far post.
And, after four minutes of added time, the crowd could finally take a breath as the game finished 3-3, a thoroughly entertaining match.
Full Time: Crewe Alexandra 3 Pools 3
Attendance: 3482 (195 Pools)
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Turton, Davis, Guthrie, Bakayogo, Jones, Bingham, Cooper (Kirk 74), Kiwomya, Lowe, Dagnall.
Subs Not Used: Richards, Ray, Nugent, Udoh, Saunders, Ainley.
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, Nsiala, Carroll, Alessandra, Featherstone (Laurent 90), Deverdics (Woods 58), Thomas, Amond, Paynter.
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Harrison, Richards, Hawkins, Oates.