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Crewe suffer first defeat on road since August

Crewe Alex suffered their first defeat on the road in three months after going down 4-1 at Northampton.

Manager Dave Artell named the same eleven that won at Accrington in the FA Cup seven days ago.

Goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen was included after returning from international duty in time.

The Alex got off to the worst possible start and were three goals down inside 24 minutes.

Scott Wharton scored twice while Sam Hoskins netted from the penalty spot after a foul by Nicky Hunt.

Chris Porter then gave Crewe hope, pulling one back before half time.

Charlie Kirk hit a post and missed a sitter in an entertaining first half.

Andy Williams then put the game beyond doubt with a fourth on 56 minutes.

Speaking after the match to the club's official website, boss Dave Artell said: "If it had been 3-1 to us at half time instead of them then I don’t think there would have been too many complaints.

“Anyone who came to the game would probably say the same because if you take the goals out of it in that first half, I thought we were terrific. We played some really good football and had chances, but we didn’t take them. They took theirs. They also had a helping hand with a couple of them as well I must say.

“People who didn’t come to the game would probably say I am mad or an idiot but those who were here would say I can actually see why he is saying that. The first half an hour has decided the game today.

“Yes, we need to be better and defend set plays better. We need to stand up to that because we knew what Northampton would do and to their credit they executed that plan. I don’t want to talk too much about the block offs at the free-kicks and corners because I don’t want to get in trouble and I will go and speak to the referee afterwards.

“We had some good chances, Kirky has hit the post and missed a sitter and normally he scores those. We had other chances too. We started well and found ourselves 1-0 down against the run of play. It was then 2-0 with a block off on Hunty from a free-kick moments after we nearly equalised. Then its 3-0 from a penalty, and we are thinking how are we 3-0 down in this game? It was one of those afternoons.

“The fourth goal is the worst of the lot for me, it was a Sunday League goal and I told them that afterwards. It was poor and we have to improve. That was a key moment in the game because if we had got it back to 3-2 then who knows?

He added: “There are a couple of them who have come in and apologised for not playing so well. It happens and it is about how we react and getting back to winning ways again.”

The result leaves the Railwaymen in fourth place in the table, three points behind the leaders.

Crewe are back in action on Saturday when they entertain Morecambe.

 

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