Alex Morris says a hard-fought 1-0 League Two win over Sutton shows his Crewe side have found “different ways of winning games”.
The Railwaymen put a dismal 3-0 defeat to Salford at the weekend quickly behind them thanks to Courtney Baker-Richardson’s early strike and moved up to sixth in the table.
But Crewe lived uneasily at times against their visitors’ direct approach, which yielded a number of near misses, including an effort Harry Beautyman put onto the bar.
The Cheshire side hung on to claim their third win from their opening four game and boss Morris said: “It was important to bounce back from our first league defeat and I was really pleased with the boys as Sutton make it so difficult for you to get any sort of rhythm to your game.
“Matt (Gray) has got his players well drilled and understanding of their roles and it was difficult to secure any possession at times.
“But we defended our box really well when we needed to and it is a big win that shows we’ve got different ways to win games.
“There’s so much tension among the supporters which is understandable after what they went through last season, so it is important to regain their trust.
“Courtney was outstanding for us and his performance was everything that you would have asked for from a number nine. He was up against two big, strong lads and he knocked them about and allowed us to get up the pitch.”
Baker-Richardson made it count in the 12th minute when he slid in to meet Dan Agyei’s cross and prodded the ball home inside the six-yard box.
Sutton were close to drawing level as the first half closed when Crewe goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo was caught off his line and Beautyman picked up the loose ball, but struck the crossbar with a rising drive.
The visitors bossed the second period, but Joe Kizzi was thwarted by on-loan Arsenal youngster Okonkwo and then lifted a late header over with the home goal at his mercy.
Sutton boss Matt Gray was dismayed his side have now fallen to defeat twice away from home this term despite putting in good showings.
“It wasn’t a great start for us and it was a poor goal to concede. After that it was so stop-start, but we had a good spell before half-time when Harry (Beautyman) hit the bar and it was more or less complete domination by us of the second half,” said Gray.
“If we’d got a goal I am sure we’d have gone on and got more as we created so many chances in the second half.
“I didn’t think Crewe threatened us at all. We had two very good penalty opportunities and numerous chances so to end up with zero points is very disappointing.
“After two promising performances at Doncaster and Crewe, we are standing here with no points. But you have these spells, I’ve seen it before and we will dust ourselves down and go to Grimsby on Saturday.”
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