CREWE Alexandra are out of the Checkatrade Trophy after a 2-0 home defeat to Chesterfield on Tuesday night.

The Railwaymen had to beat the Football League One side to progress to the knockout stages.

Chesterfield’s Jay O’Shea put them ahead after just 23 minutes before a late penalty was then scored from Conor Dimaio to end the Alex’s trophy campaign.

Crewe may not be repeating their success in the competition from 2013 but the defeat will result in more focus on promotion back to the third tier of the English Football League.

The Alex are just one place outside the league’s play-off spots as they are currently level on points with Notts County.

Manager Steve Davis was disappointed with his team’s defeat in midweek.

He said: “The two strikers will out for a couple of weeks, Lowey has swelling on his right ankle. I don’t think it’s too bad but he’ll be out for a few weeks.

“Daggers has a little tear in the calf, he’ll be two to three weeks, so that’s a big blow as well. Particularly with our small squad.

“The injuries are starting to stack up a bit now.

“Now we are looking at the squad, the others have to prove they are good enough and now they have to step up to it.”

He added: “I thought we were okay, had a decent amount of the ball, but didn’t have the quality, the final ball or someone to get on the end of something.

“There were free-kicks and set-plays we could have capitalised on. They didn’t have many chances but neither did we.

“I was disappointed with some of the younger players, they have been waiting for their chance, keep telling me they are ready, but on tonight’s evidence their way no evidence.

He added: “They will be involved over the next few weeks, it’s up to them. They have to show some ability, they didn’t show anywhere near enough.”

Davis also mentioned injury news as striker Ryan Lowe was forced to go off the pitch after just 16 minutes against Chesterfield. The cause of the injury was Lowe turning his right ankle over. Lowe is to join Chris Dagnall, who had a scan revealing a slight tear in his calf in the FA Cup, on the injury list could be both out for a ‘few weeks’.

The boss said: “Ryan got his knee caught in the ground and went over on his ankle.” There is a fair bit of swelling on his right ankle, so we’ll have to assess it again when it goes down a bit. It could keep him out for a couple of weeks.

“It is also a blow in regards to Chris (Dagnall). A scan revealed a slight tear in his calf so we are looking at 2-3 weeks with him.”

Crewe Alex’s 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town last Saturday will mean they will play in a 1st round replay on Tuesday November 15 (7:45pm) and whoever wins will travel to non-league side Sutton United on the opening weekend of December.

Davis’ men return to their League Two campaign a week on Saturday when they host leaders Plymouth Argyle (3pm).