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Report: Crewe 0-0 Town

28 February 2015

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TEN-MAN Town ground out a point in a 0-0 draw at Crewe Alexandra.

Both sides were reduced to ten men in the second half with Jack Stephens seeing red for a second bookable offence.

Mark Cooper named an unchanged starting line-up at the Alexandra Stadium. Andy Williams and Michael Smith remained as a partnership up front while Jack Stephens continued in a midfield role with Yaser Kasim named among the substitutes.

The early exchanges were punctuated by two efforts from Town players that flew off target. Ben Gladwin was the first to try his luck, driving wide from the angle of the penalty area while Massimo Luongo couldn’t keep his shot on target after being picked out by Nathan Byrne.

Nathan Thompson was the architect as Michael Smith’s effort appeared to be blocked behind for a corner before Wes Foderingham had to be alert to keep out a bobbling volley at the other end.

Smith would have another shot turned behind by Paul Rachubka then both Andy Williams and Ben Gladwin were denied by two excellent blocks by red shirts.

Jordan Turnbull thought he had given Mark Cooper’s men the lead just before the break when a cleared corner was worked back into the box but, as he wheeled away to celebrate breaking his Town duck, he turned to see the referee’s assistant flagging him offside.

The first chance of the second half fell to the home side when Nicky Ajose wriggled his way into the box after a neat exchange of passes but blazed his effort over the bar.

Midway through the second forty-five, Louis Thompson was stretchered off after going down clutching his shoulder. Clearly in a lot of pain, the midfielder was replaced by Yaser Kasim shortly after Nathan Byrne had fizzed a shot wide of the target.

Massimo Luongo was next to forge a shooting chance, dancing through a number of challenges on the edge of the box then blasting over the bar.

With time running out, Jack Stephens was sent off for a second bookable offence.

During eight minutes of injury time and with the game getting more stretched by the minute, the hosts were also reduced to ten when Alan Tate, who Stephens had tangled with and was cautioned for earlier in the half, was also given his marching orders.

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