ALEX Ladies suffered extra-time heartbreak in this third-round tie against Tranmere Rovers, after conceding yet another late equaliser in stoppage time.
Both teams put last week's bad-tempered 3-3 encounter behind them and settled down to produce some entertaining football despite the blustery conditions.
The visitors took advantage of the wind at their backs, producing most attempts on goal. Crewe stopper Kelly Roberts made a couple of fine saves and Tranmere were also denied by the woodwork on two occasions.
At the other end, Laura Barnes-Ellis was also called into action, making breathtaking saves to deny Crewe's Hayley Kemp and Caroline Price.
Crewe found a cutting edge when a great run and cross from winger Nat Poole was met on the volley by Caroline Price, only to be denied by another great save from Barnes-Ellis.
However, Levi Penny was first to react, stabbing the ball home from close range, giving Crewe the advantage at half time.
Crewe were guilty of spurning a host of opportunities in the second half with Hayley Kemp, Levi Penny and Nat Poole missing by the narrowest of margins.
As the game approached the dying seconds of added time, it was Tranmere who would reap the rewards of their tenacious play.
A late, late corner somehow managed to find its way to Debbie Cart-mel on the right-hand edge of Crewe's penalty area where she produced a sublime volley to level the scores.
In extra time, Tranmere shocked the home side with another breakaway goal, this time from Nicky Corbett.
A Tranmere player was sent off in the celebrations for apparently making lewd gestures at the Crewe bench as she ran past.
Crewe's Stacey Arrowsmith narrowly missed the target after beating Barnes-Ellis to the ball and Jo Gurney was also denied by another top-class save from the Tranmere stopper.
As Crewe became increasingly desperate in the closing minutes, Tranmere delivered the classic sucker punch when Sue Kenright took advantage of a defensive mix-up between Gemma Edwards and Kelly Roberts to guarantee them a place in the fourth-round draw.