Swindon’s play-off hopes are all but over after Crewe took all three points at the County Ground, prevailing 1-2 winners.
Chris Porter bookended the first half with a brace, scoring in the first and last minutes of the opening 45 to put Alexandra two up at half-time.
Michael Doughty pulled one back for the home side just past the hour mark from the penalty spot after substitute Ben House was hauled down in the penalty area.
Town were improved in the second half but could not find a way back to equalise in the end.
The home side were hit straight away by Crewe – the visitors broke away and were clean through and Chris Porter was on hand to tuck in to give his side the lead just two minutes in.
It almost got worse for Town – Luke McCormick sprung to his left to stop a second on six minutes.
Swindon slowly worked their way into the game, albeit there was no real flow to the game from either side, and on 18 minutes they fashioned their first shot on target. Conroy played through Crewe’s midfield line to Keshi Anderson who combined with Kyle Bennett to fashion a chance for Theo Robinson that went straight into the hands of Will Jaaskelainen.
Again, Robinson was thwarted by Jasskelainen who had to fall to his right to prevent an equaliser.
However, it got doubly bad for Town just before half-time – Porter was once again found in the six-yard box, and once again found the net to send the Alex in two goals to the good at the break.
It could have been worse – on 51 minutes Crewe had a goal disallowed after Callum Ainley squared to Porter for his hat-trick. The ball was in the net but the linesman’s flag was raised and Swindon had a lifeline.
On the hour mark, Town were given another helping hand – again, it looked like the correct decision – Ben House’s tireless work off the bench was rewarded when he nicked the ball off a clearance and advanced forward before being fouled inside the box.
As he has done, several times this season, Doughty finished without any drama.
The drama was to come – David Artell, the Crewe boss, was so aggravated by the awarding of one spot-kick and the dismissal of his team’s own that he was sent off to the stands. Three minutes after Town’s 12-yarder, Chris Porter was booked for diving as he attempted to win his own penalty and that resulted in Artell’s dismissal.
Town huffed and puffed but, in truth, were unable to create enough to trouble the Alex’s well-organised back four.