Crewe Alexandra 0 Oldham Athletic 1

Crewe Alexandra fell to defeat at Gresty Road against Oldham Athletic in the Checkatrade trophy on Tuesday evening, writes Joshua Bunting.

Oldham created the first opening of the match as Queensy Mening went on a mazy run before he cracked his effort just over the crossbar on seven minutes an early let off for David Artell’s side.

However, the home side responded well and a minute later could have broken the deadlock themselves when George Cooper latched on to a cross from Jordan Bowery but he headed his effort into the side netting.

Ritchie Wellens, who is in interim charge of the Latics, has won his first two games and it was his side who were inches away from taking the lead on 15 minutes when Mening fizzed a low cross across the box only for the ball to sail past the onrushing Eoin Doyle.

David Richards was then to keep the league two side level as he made a terrific save three minutes later when Abdullakin Omrani played a perfectly timed ball over the Crewe defence to Doyle but his powerful effort was pushed over the bar.

Richards then made another fantastic stop two minutes later as the Latics piled on the pressure as Doyle was played through on goal but his low effort was somehow tipped behind to stop the League One side from taking the lead.

Artell’s side then went close to taking the lead on 27 minutes as Cooper won the ball in midfield before he let fly from range the ball sailing just over the crossbar if it was on target visiting keeper Johnny Placide was surely beaten.

Crewe then created another good opportunity as Anthony Gerrard brought down Chris Porter just outside the box up stepped Cooper with the freekick but he hit his powerful effort straight down the throat of Placide.

In an end to end battle it was Oldham who thought they had the lead on 38 minutes as Mening fired in a low cross to the front post that saw Republic of Ireland striker Doyle flick over the top from six yards out when he really should have hit the target.

However, it was Wellen’s side who took the lead as Jack Bryne lashed into the net from 25 yards after Doyle had pulled the ball back to him following yet another cross from Mening on the right on 42 minutes to take the Latics into the break ahead.

The second half started just as the first had ended with Oldham on top and they nearly doubled their advantage when Ousmane Fane span the Crewe defence before he lashed his shot just wide of the upright from range.

Placide then came to his sides rescue a minute later as the keeper denied Crewe an equaliser as he saved Porters low shot with his legs from point blank range.

As the home side threw caution to the wind to level the affair they nearly had that goal on 59 minutes as Porter fizzed a low cross into Cooper but before he could react Anthony Gerrard was on the scene to make a last-ditch tackle.

Artell’s side were playing much better football than in the first half and they nearly were level only for Placide to make another good stop as he held on to a dipping Porter effort from just outside the area.

Oldham were living dangerously and on 65 minutes Crewe had yet another opportunity as neat build up play resulted in Charlie Kirk firing his strike just wide of goal via a deflection of former Walsall and Cardiff defender Gerrard.

However, on 71 minutes Crewe’s hopes of a fightback could have been ended as Richards made a superb one handed save to deny Mening as he weaved away into the box before getting his powerful shot of on goal.

Chris Dagnall nearly put the home side level on 78 minutes as he hit a low shot from an acute angle only to see it well blocked by Brian Wilson from the resulting corner Artell thought his side had got their goal as the impressive Cooper rose highest only to see his header cleared off the line by Dan Gardner.

Perry NG thought he had put his name in lights on 83 minutes as he fired a strike just over from eight yards out after cross on the left from the tricky Bowery.

As the home side pressed and pressed they were denied at the death by a sublime double save by Placide as Dagnell was played in by captain Michael Raynes he saw his shot saved by the keeper’s legs before the ball rebounded out to Bowery his effort superbly kept out by the fine reflexes of the keeper.