Match Report: Crewe Alexandra 2-1 Morecambe
Morecambe’s poor run of form continued with a narrow defeat at Gresty Road.
The Shrimps got off to the perfect start with Rhys Turner marking his debut with a fine goal after just eight minutes but were then undone by two similar second half goals where right wing crosses caught them out.
Shrimps boss Jim Bentley handed Rhys Turner his first Football League start and the former Oldham man was soon in the thick of the action as he put his side ahead after only eight minutes.
A Crewe attack broke down and the Shrimps broke quickly with Turner using his pace to race down on goal and beating Ben Garratt with a superb right-foot strike from just inside the area.
With an edgy home crowd, Steve Davis' side needed to show a response, one that in truth didn't look like coming about until Alex Kiwomya's equaliser on 18 minutes.
Ryan Lowe found space on the right, and after Barry Roche did well to deny Chris Dagnall as he met the right wing delivery, Chelsea loanee Kiwomya was on hand to tap home his seventh goal in just his 10th League Two start.
A pattern was emerging of Crewe trying to force the issue but being picked off and counter-attacked at pace by the visitors. Barry Roche dealt easily with a Ryan Lowe pot-shot, but Cole Stockton's turn and shot moments later forced a much smarter save from Garratt.
However, Crewe showed the value of good crosses and getting men across the front post as they took the lead just before the break as they ended the half the stronger.
This time it was Ollie Turton who put in that cross from the right, after tenacious work from Chris Dagnall, with James Jones on hand to turn the ball with a neat finish.
Having begun to get somewhere near top gear, yet more good work down the right from Turton almost saw the Alex build up a 3-1 goal lead, but running on to a pull-back, Lowe couldn't keep his effort down.
Utilising Kiwomya's pace down the left Crewe created early second half chances for Lowe and Dagnall inside the opening six minutes of the second period, only for the skipper to drag his effort wide, while Dagnall couldn't keep his curling effort down.
It always felt as if they would need a third to make things more comfortable, as they were almost pegged back just before the hour mark. Hesitant defending allowed Peter Murphy to break in behind far too easily, but one-on-one with Garratt, the keeper denied him with a sprawling save.
Kiwomya continued to be the out-ball for the hosts and more good work almost saw Crewe build a two goal cushion in the 61st minute. He burst passed Aaron McGowan, but took the wrong option from tight to the byline, attempting a shot rather than looking for a pull-back, as Roche turned the ball away.
Cole Stockton headed over a decent looking opportunity for the visitors who sent on Alex old-boy Lee Molyneux and veteran Kevin Ellison in a bid to force their way back in to the game.
The home side almost added a third when sub Callum Saunders stabbed the ball wide at the back post before the Shrimsp mwent close themselves when Liam Wakefield met a late corner, only to nod wide of the far post.
Crewe: Garratt, Turton, Davis, Guthrie, Ng, Cooper (Wintle 88), Jones, Hollands Kiwomya (Lowery 74), Dagnall (Saunders 78), Lowe. Subs not used: Richards, Nugent, Udoh, Wintle, Sinley
Morecambe: Roche, Wakefield, Edwards, Jennings, McGowan, Murhy, Wildig (Ellison), Rose, Conlan (Molyneux), Stockton, Turner (Mullin 75) Subs not used: Nizic, Hedley, Jordan
Ref: T Kettle
Attendance: 2, 844