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Crewe Vagrants continue their revival after poor start to season
7:00am Friday 8th February 2013 in Sport
Crewe Vagrants 4 Didsbury Northern 2
IT just gets better for Vagrants.
After a dismal start to the season, a hard-fought home victory on Saturday extended their resurgent winning run to four games, adding the scalp of third-placed NHL Division One rivals Didsbury to those of second-placed and fourth-placed sides Gateshead and Urmston.
In a fast-paced opening, after surviving an early Didsbury short corner, Crewe missed a great chance to go ahead when Steve Bourne connected with a rocketed cross from Pete Cornell, but sent the ball flashing just wide of the post.
They then failed to convert the first of two corners with a slow routine, but Chris Regan made no mistake with the second, firing the home side 1-0 ahead with a fine drag flick after just six minutes.
Three minutes later Andrew Ticehurst slammed home from the edge of the D to double the lead, and Crewe might then have gone further in front, going close with another dangerous raid.
On 15 minutes Ed Beak slotted high into the net from close range to put Crewe 3-0 up.
A stung Didsbury reacted with further pressure, scoring from a corner a minute later to reduce the arrears to 3-1 and going close from a dangerous counter-attack.
On 34 minutes the visitors’ pressure was rewarded when they converted a corner to make it 3-2, and Vagrants’ lead was looking decidedly fragile as half-time approached.
Didsbury resumed with determination and some physical play, putting Crewe under severe pressure in their own half and forcing a spectacular save from keeper Kassim Abbas, diving low down to his right to block a fierce close-range shot from a forward connecting with a cross.
On 17 minutes, however, Regan restored a valuable two-goal cushion for Crewe, converting a corner with a fierce shot for 4-2.
A minute later Abbas made a crucial kickout save to deny the visitors, but galvanised by the goal the home side fought more strongly to gain and keep possession and pressed Didsbury back into their own half, hitting the post in one attack.
The visitors won three corners in the closing minutes, but without reward, and Crewe held out for another memorable and creditable victory over much higher-placed opposition.