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Crewe come from behind to topple reigning champions
2:59pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Sport
Crewe FC 2 Knutsford 1
CREWE FC bounced back from three successive defeats in emphatic fashion with a win at home to reigning Cheshire League Division One champions Knutsford on Saturday.
Lee Mannion opened the scoring for Knutsford, but was dismissed before the break after Chris Jackson and Ian Carr strikes had given Crewe the lead.
In an attempt to press the visitors high and limit their well-known passing game, Crewe looked to returning Nathan Southern and fellow forward PJ Hudson to force the champions into long balls.
The hosts had their share of the early chances as Hudson and Southern combined with Matt Pearson on the right flank.
However, it was Knutsford who broke the deadlock when Mannion stole the ball before beating Josh Breahut and lashing home from the edge of the penalty area.
But his opener was cancelled out soon afterwards when Ethan Tizard lifted a ball into the Knutsford box.
The visitors failed to clear, the loose ball falling to Jackson and the midfielder volleyed past custodian Mark Higgs from close range.
On the brink of half time, Crewe took the lead for the first time.
Southern chased down a Knutsford midfielder deep in his own half and fired a 30-yard diagonal pass into the path of Pearson on the right.
The winger scampered past his full back and rifled a shot towards the near post, which was turned in by a combination of Carr and a Reds defender.
The referee duly blew for half time, but a huddle ensued around the officials which eventually resulted in Mannion being given his marching orders after a clash with Steve McNichol.
With the visitors down to 10 men, Crewe began to cause problems after the break with a more direct approach that twice saw moves end with them rattling a post.
The hosts had a goal disallowed, but held on for the three points ahead of league-leaders Garswood United’s visit to the Cumberland Arena this Saturday.
Crewe: Newton (GK), Tizard, Malbon, Carr, Breahut, Goddard, Pearson, McNichol, Southern, Hudson, Jackson. Subs Elcock, Rowley, Burrows.