Alsager Town Reserves 2 Crewe FC 3
HOLDERS Crewe FC are in the final of the Crewe FA Cup.
Ian O'Reilly's men always kept a step ahead of the Alsager second-string, who were runners-up last year, to book their place.
Goals from Dave Hanson, Steve Parker and Chris Hampshire sealed the victory. While the manager has never disguised the fact that promotion from Division Two is priority, he is pleased at the chance of silverware.
He said: 'It is nice to be in the final again. More than anything, we needed a game. We hadn't played for a few weeks and looked a bit rusty.
'Although Alsager kept coming back into it, I felt we were reasonably comfortable. It was
nice to see Dave on the scoresheet, because he could be a big player for us.'
Dan Massey's cross set Hanson up for his opener, but poor marking let the Bullets back in it. Hanson found Parker for another tap-in to make it 2-1 at the break.
Keeper Steve Harding made superb saves in both halves, but a super long-range goal from Town made it all square. Hampshire then latched onto a Hanson pass, rounded the keeper and tucked the winner away.
The other semi final between MMU Cheshire and Nantwich Town Reserves was postponed.
Crewe travel to Monk FC on Saturday as they resume their league duties, when striker Jon Dawson could be back in action, but experienced full-back Nick Butterworth will miss out with an ankle injury.
O'Reilly feels they need to win all seven remaining games: 'If we do that I think we are up. We could finish top, or as low as fifth, so it is up to us to pull it out of the bag.' nFormer Liverpool and Crewe keeper Bruce Grobbelaar will be guest speaker at a sportsman's dinner organised by Crewe CC and Crewe FC at the Vagrants Club, Newcastle Road, Willaston on Thursday April 6. Tickets, including a four-course meal, are £25. Contact Trevor Dawson on 01270 568022.