Crewe Alexandra pay their first visit to Sincil Bank since 2010, but manager David Artell isn’t a happy man at the moment.
His side could have done us a massive favour by beating Exeter on Tuesday and a late goal from Shaun Miller looked to have given them a vital lead. Instead, with just two minutes of normal time to hold out, they capitulated. Exeter scored twice in injury time through Jordan Moore-Taylor and Jayden Stockley, nicking all three points and catching many Facebook posters out at the same time.
Artell, speaking to Crewe’s official site, said: “I’m disgusted really. We worked hard, probably deserved to win the game, and five minutes of madness have cost us not just one point, but three.The change in mindset from scoring a goal, rather than a positive one it becomes ‘panic stations’. They had one chance all game, in 89 minutes. Then we served up three in six. It was a lack of professionalism that has given the game. It’s embarrassing.”
He continued with his rather frank assessment of his players efforts, leaving no stone unturned as he blasted them: “It was like the parting of the Red Sea. That’s not proper defending. For all our good defending and all our hard work, because we were the better team for me over 90 minutes, we let ourselves down. That sums us up. Played well, better team, in the lead, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. That’s been us over the course of the season. I’ve had to say it too many times, and it is unacceptable. You can’t legislate for that. We should be stood her with another three points, instead we are frustrated as hell. We’ve been here before, and it doesn’t help. You can’t keep shooting yourself in the foot and that’s what we did. We failed terribly.”
It doesn’t bode well for the side we’ve already beaten 4-1 this season (pictured top). They’ve won just twice in their last ten outings, one of those coming at home to crisis club Grimsby Town. They’ve lost seven of those, conceding three or more on four occasions. As we know, City attack early and aggressively, if we score in the first few minutes it could go on to be a rout.
There are signs Crewe might be able to keep themselves away from the drop zone though. Despite the late Grecian double, Crewe defending stoically for 89 minutes. They only conceded once in 359 minutes of league football, before the Exeter double whammy. Whilst the result leaves them 20th, they’re still six points clear of second from bottom Chesterfield. They’ve got a fight on their hands, but their position could be worse.
Crewe haven’t beaten City in almost 24 years. Their last win came in March 1994 when Neil Lennon scored the winner at Sincil Bank. History means very little, but it does reinforce the notion of them being the one-time whipping boys for Lincoln. Our record victory came against Crewe, 11-1 and as recently as 2005 we hammered them 5-1 in the League Cup despite them being in the Championship at the time. It might mean nothing, but it is nice to look back with a wry smile.
The current stats also suggest a one-sided affair. We average twice as many corners at home as they do away, as well as more shots as well as a higher percentage on target. It is, on paper, three points in the bank. rest assured, it won’t be as straightforward as the form, stats or history suggests. It won’t even be as simple as David Artell’s furious tirade suggests either.
The referee is Carl Boyeson and even there we don’t have a ‘wild card’ Boyeson is one of the more experienced and sensible officials, he took charge of our Boxing Day win against Stevenage and the 0-0 draw at Blunder Park earlier in the season.
If you have an accumulator each week, this is the banker you put on at the end to boost any winnings. As you know, they’re the ones most prone to letting you down. let’s hope City avoid that and continue to march on towards League One by exposing the embarrassing defending Artell speaks of.