TRUE fighting spirit helped Crewe Vagrants back to winning ways against Durham University on Saturday.
Determinedly conjuring a 4-2 lead from a 1-2 deficit in the first half and taking instant retribution after conceding early in the second, they secured victory by shutting the fourth-placed students out of the game.
After a couple of missed efforts James Cooper made no mistake on nine minutes, slamming home from Ian Ward's cross for 1-0.
Durham pulled level two minutes later when they scrambled the ball in from a corner. Crewe had several chances to retake the lead, with Tim Alexander twice unable to capitalise when teed up by Luke Ramli and Steve Bourne, and Dave Holland hammered Ward's pass just wide.
Eventually, on 19 minutes, they were caught napping when Durham broke rapidly upfield, outpacing the home defence and slotting neatly home to go 2-1 up.
It sparked an electrifying turnaround. On 20 minutes Holland sent in a stinging drive for Ward to hammer in the equaliser. A minute later a fluent Jon Woodhart played a fine pass up to Cooper who slotted through for Andrew Ashworth to make it 3-2.
Then, after two more minutes, Cooper hammered in a short corner conversion for 4-2. A stunned Durham struggled to counter, but were well contained by the home defence, Ward and Mark Ritchie tackling solidly.
Intent on attack, Durham netted with a slick reverse stick strike from close range to pull back to 4-3. Vagrants, however, produced the best possible
response when Holland, just a minute later, replied with a fierce corner conversion to help settle home nerves at 5-3.
Crewe then had to weather a lengthy period of pressure but on 21 minutes Alexander combined in a slick one-two with Holland, who netted for 6-3.
Meanwhile, Crewe Vagrants Ladies first team closed the gap on second placed Wigton firsts with a 2-1 win.
Kath Sherlock was quick to add to her 52-goal tally this season to put Wigton ahead midway through the first half.
Crewe replied just before half-time when Tomkinson, Dionne Johnson and Bev Jackson worked the ball between them for Jackson to level the scores.
The second half was a hard-fought game and both teams could have taken the lead on a number of occasions but it was Brookfield who fired the ball in to the right-hand corner to secure a surprise victory.
Disappointed Crewe Ladies seconds went down 2-1 to Neston despite enjoying most of the possession and the so far unbeaten thirds secured promotion to Division Five with a 4-0 win over Bowdon.