Crewe United put on a dominant second half performance in their first game of the season to claim all 3 points against a very capable St. Marys side and get their league campaign off to a solid start.
St. Marys 0 Crewe United 3
The opening exchanges saw St. Marys retain much of the possession however they never threated Gerard McErlean in the Crewe goal and the Glenavy sides back four looked very comfortable.
As Crewe settled into the game they became more of a threat with Harkin and McCullough looking ever dangerous for Crewe. Crewe should have had the opportunity to go into the lead when they were denied a penalty claim when the superb Pearse Devine was unceremoniously felled in the box but the referee waved away the Crewe protests.
The first have wasn’t a great spectacle as the two teams cancelled each other out for most of the 45 minutes.
HT: St. Marys 0 Crewe United 0
As the second period began it looked like Crewe were in the mood to step up the pressure on St. Marys and they began to pass the ball much better and looked more dangerous as a result. However it was the home side who created the first chance of the half as McErlean was forced into a fine save, tipping a shot from inside the penalty area onto the post.
Captain Fra McGuiness broke loose down the left flank on 50 minutes and was taken out as he approached the edge of the St. Marys box. A delightful ball was delivered in by Craig ‘Pirlo’ Leaworthy onto the head of Ciaran Burns, one of the new boys of the team, and he glanced the header into the bottom left hand corner leaving the home keepers with no chance of stopping it.
Crewe kept up the pressure and on 60 minutes Mark McCullough carried on from where he left off last season and used his pace to beat the St. Marys back four. He enticed the keeper to the corner of his six yard box and then duly dispatched his shot into the back of the net with cool accuracy to double Crewe’s lead.
The second goal seemed a knockout blow for the homes side as Crewe grew in confidence and controlled most of the play. The third goal came in the dying minutes and Devine broke down the right hand side and had time to pick out his square pass to McGuiness who had a simple tap in to ensure the victory for Crewe against a very good St. Marys side.
FT: St. Marys 0 Crewe United 3
Crewe are back in league action this coming Tuesday night at Crewe Park against Fivemiletown with an 8pmK.O. at Crewe Park.