David Artell delighted as his change of formation reaps rewards for Crewe

Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2021 by PA

David Artell delighted as his change of formation reaps rewards for Crewe

Dave Artell was delighted his decision to abandon his traditional attacking formation paid off as Crewe got back to winning ways.

The Railwaymen switched to 4-4-2 after two away defeats, bringing in veteran Chris Porter to share the burden up top with Mikael Mandron, matching up with John Coleman’s Accrington to win 2-0.

After Stanley had full-back Harvey Rodgers sent off for a last-man offence, the Railwaymen steamed through the visitors’ gaps and Porter should have been on the scoresheet before he put the game to bed with a late tap-in.

“We had to make sure we came up with a plan to counteract what Accrington do, which is what we did,” said Crewe boss Artell.

“We worked on it for two weeks to see if we needed a different way of playing going forward

“It’s the first time we’ve done it (played 4-4-2) in a long while, but the lads picked it up. And we were the better team in both halves without it being a vintage passing display.

“We should have had more goals. It was a thoroughly deserved victory against one of the best teams in this league. I can’t remember them having any chances, there was certainly no last-ditch defending by us.”

Crewe profited from poor handling from keeper Nathan Baxter to take the lead with the on-loan Chelsea keeper failing to deal with Charlie Kirk’s cross and Omar Beckles rammed a side-footed finish into the net for his first goal for the Railwaymen.

Rodgers’ dismissal five minutes after the break made Stanley’s task even tougher and had Porter’s finishing been better the game would have been wrapped up long before he eventually converted when turning in an exquisite ball from Tommy Lowery at close range.

Baxter kept his side in it with a string of saves, although after he had thwarted one of Porter’s efforts the keeper was fortunate to see Lowery’s rebound thud off the near post.

Artell said: “Our front two posed more of a threat than their two. The sending off helped us, but it was one, and for the second goal Tommy showed unbelievable skill. He turned Mark Hughes and just bent the ball around, putting it on a plate for Chris.”

Before Crewe added a second, subs David Morgan and then Tariq Uwakwe could have punished some slipshod home defending, but Accrington boss Coleman had no complaints with the defeat.

“We started brightly, had a couple of chances and Crewe couldn’t get out of their half. Our game plan was working well, but we gifted them a goal and in the end they were good value for their win,” said Coleman, whose side have won just once in their last six games.

“We didn’t play well and one or two lads know they’re better than what they showed. There were a couple of individual errors and it is very difficult when you are down to 10 men against a good team like Crewe.

“A lot of teams are in the same situation as us, so we’ve got to be better. But the defeat was down to our mistakes, for the first goal and the sending off.”


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