Bright hits late winner at Gresty Road
Crewe Alexandra 2 (Dagnall 69, Lowe 82)
Wolves 3 (Dicko 7, 45+1, Enobakhare 88)
Wolves went into the interval two goals to the good and well in control of this Checkatrade Trophy tie at Crewe. But the League Two side hit back to level matters and it took a late goal from Bright Enobakhare to see the visitors home in a frenetic finish.
Wanderers took the lead in only the seventh minute. Jed Wallace chipped the ball into the path of Nouha Dicko who let it bounce before burying a half volley into the Crewe net.
As Crewe looked to hit back, Andy Lonergan had to show his alertness as he cut out a dangerous low cross from Oliver Turton.
Then, after a slip by Ryan Leak, Daniel Udoh hit a low centre that went through to the unmarked Callum Ainley who drove wide of the far post when he looked on for an equaliser.
In the 33rd minute Dicko raced away down the left flank and cut in before laying the ball into the path of Will Randall whose shot from just inside the box was a couple of feet too high.
Then Silvio played Wallace in on the overlap and the midfielder’s driven cross just eluded the boot of Enobakhare who was at full stretch.
In first-half stoppage time a Wallace free-kick, from the left-hand corner of the Alex area, was athletically tipped over by home keeper Ben Garratt.
Wallace took the corner conceded and there was Dicko with a clever back heel to double Wolves’ tally as well as his own.
Half-Time: Crewe 0 Wolves 2
A chip from George Cooper landed on the roof of Lonergan’s goal but the keeper was watching the ball all the way.
However, in the 56th minute Lonergan could only watch as an angled drive from Cooper virtually scraped the paint off the far post as it ran out of play.
Three minutes later, at the other end, Enobakhare was even closer after a tremendous run into the Crewe box, He was running away from goal towards the corner when he turned and hit a low effort that struck the base of the far post.
Crewe pulled a goal back in the 69th minute after Lonergan had miscontrolled the ball following a backpass from George Saville. Turton quickly grabbed possession and rode Lonergan’s challenge, which would doubtless have resulted in a penalty and red card had he gone down, before rolling the ball into the empty net.
Sylvain Deslandes almost restored the two goal cushion when he ran into the Crewe area and hit a fierce shot that was brilliantly parried by Garratt.
Garratt then made two more fine saves in the matter of a few seconds pushing out low shots from Saville and, following up, Wallace.
Though Lonergan worked miracles in keeping out Chris Dagnall’s close range header, the keeper was beaten in the 82nd minute after he had again saved from Dagnall. The loose ball wasn’t cleared and Alex substitute Ryan Lowe ran in to convert from 10-yards.
It could have been even worse for Wolves three minutes later when a cross fell to the unmarked Charlie Kirk at the far post but his shot lacked power and was saved by Lonergan.
The keeper then somehow managed to keep out Dagnall’s close range header before Wolves regained the lead in the 88th minute. Jon Guthrie and Garratt got in a mess in dealing with a lofted though ball and Enobakhare quickly took advantage to turn the ball home.
Crewe threw everything at the visiting defence in the five minutes of stoppage time and it took a world class piece of work from Lonergan to ensure his side’s victory.
He more than made up for his earlier faux pas with an incredible double save from Dagnall and, from point blank range, Zoumana Bakayogo.
Alex: Garratt, Turton, Guthrie, Ray, Dagnall (capt), Cooper, Bakayogo, Udoh (Kirk 60), Bingham, Wintle (Lowery 79), Ainley.
Unused subs: Richards, Lowe, Hollands, Ng, Finney.
Wolves: Lonergan, Silvio, Johnson (capt), Leak, Deslandes, Finnie (McKenna 87), Saville, Wallace, Enobakhare, Dicko (Wilson 78), Randall (Breslin 60).
Unused subs: Burgoyne, Upton, Simpson, Carnat.
Referee: D. Webb.
Attendance: 963 (60 away supporters).