A LATE goal frenzy helped smooth Crewe FC's passage into the third round of the Crewe & District FA Saturday Challenge Cup on Saturday.
Leading 2-0 with just 20 minutes left, the introduction of veteran striker John Scarlett and a tactical reshuffle broke the brave resolve of Town.
Scarlett plundered a 20-minute hat-trick, adding to Dave Hanson's treble and a PJ Hudson brace. Crewe & District League side Town did get a deserved consolation.
Crewe boss Ian O'Reilly said: 'We scored very early on through Hanson, and then PJ got one. But after that we took our foot off the gas. We were messing around and the game went stale.
'To be fair to Sandbach, who were good enough to switch the game to the Cumberland Arena to make sure it could go ahead, they did very well for long periods.
'But when we brought on Scarlett and switched to 4-4-2, they couldn't cope. We ran in plenty of goals and although confidence is high at the moment anyway, that won't do us any harm.
'We have a strong squad at the moment so we will go to Monk FC on Saturday in a positive frame of mind. It'll be our first league game for a while so we want to get some points on the board.'
The highlight of the game was a wonder-goal from talented midfielder Hudson. Collecting a poor clearance from the Town keeper, he raced past several defenders from the halfway line before blasting a 20-yarder sweetly into the net.
Monk will provide a sterner test at the weekend when they return to Division Two action. Crewe beat them 2-0 last month, with goals from Nick Butterworth and Hanson, but will have to be on their game to repeat the feat.
Jimmy Costigan will be available for the first time since re-signing for the club, while and there are no major injury worries as O'Reilly considers his strongest team.