It was a brace from Ryan Kelly and a superb squad performance that ensured Crewe made a winning return to league action after a full month of Cup games.
Mid Ulster Intermediate ‘A’
Valley Rangers 0 Crewe United 3
It was a splendid sunny day at Bignian Park and from the first whistle Crewe were on the front foot. A flurry of early corners put Valley under pressure and a well worked move saw Conor Maxwell hit the crossbar from the edge of the box.
It wasn’t long until the deadlock was broken and another corner from Maxwell went over everyone, including Fitzpatrick in goal, but Ryan Kelly opened his scoring for the day with a close range header with a well timed run.
The half continued in much the same vain with Crewe dominating possession. Ryan Kelly and new signing Jason Johnston, with an impressive debut, caused problems for the home defence. The Crewe backline kept a lively Tommy Law under control but he was Valleys biggest threat all afternoon.
Shortly before the break the visitors broke from a Valley attack. The evergreen Ronan Brannigan found Tiernan Mulvenna with a superb ball and Mulvenna powered past Aaron Parke and fired home against the hapless Fitzpatrick to double Crewe’s lead.
In the second half Crewe looked to find an early goal to put the game out of sight. They were made to wait until the 73 minute after a superb run from Tiernan McAuley down the right picked out Kelly at the back post to seal the points.
There was still time for Kelly to break through the visitors defence after Cowan had lost the ball in midfield, and he should have had his hat-trick but dragged his shot just wide.
His replacement Rhys Calvert then won a penalty after some great closing down saw him tripped inside the box. Conor Maxwell hit the post with the spot kick in the dying minutes but it was of no consequence to the outcome.
It was a super performance from the Crewe side and now we turn our attention to another Cup game as we entertain Ballymacash Rangers at Crewe Park in the Steel & Sons next week for a place in the semi final.
Junior Shield Rd. 2
Crewe United Reserves 5 Killough 7
The Reserves fought out a high scoring and entertaining game at Crewe Park in the Junior Shield but couldn’t find a way to make it into Round 3.
The scoring started from early on and Killough went into a 3-1 lead with Dave Young on the Crewe score sheet. The ever reliable Jamie Devenny scored again to make it 3-2 but the visitors restored their 2 goal cushion just before half time as they went in 4-2 up.
It was more if the same in the second half and Crewe got back on level terms as captain Mick O’Neill and Conal McDonald found the net.
Killough nosed in front again but Crewe again fought back with Kian Storey levelling on 78 minutes. It wasn’t to be however, and two late goals saw Killough into the next round and we wish them good luck in the competition.
The Reserves are back in action this Friday night at Crewe Park as they take on Banbridge Town Reserves in the Reserve Championship.