Crewe produced a wonderful away display to take a three-goal advantage into the second leg of their Johnstone's Paint Trophy northern final against Coventry.

Stephen Elliott twice forced Alex keeper Steve Phillips into smart stops as the hosts looked likely to score.

The Alex took a 52nd minute lead when Brad Inman struck from inside the box.

Inman then scored a superb second late on when he ran at the defence to fire into the bottom corner before AJ Leitch-Smith curled in the third.

Crewe soaked up a great deal of pressure from the Sky Blues, but will now take a large lead into the home second leg in a fortnight's time with a great chance of reaching the Wembley final on 7 April.

Coventry, handicapped by the loss of keeper Joe Murphy at half-time with a hamstring injury, were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.

They came close on a number of occasions in the second half as Elliott was again denied by Phillips and Carl Baker struck the post from the edge of the area.

But they could not find the net in front of a near-capacity crowd of 31,054, the highest attendance in the competition outside the final - and the second highest in the Sky Blues' eight seasons at the Ricoh Arena.

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (4)

Coventry City

  • 01 Murphy (Dunn - 46' )
  • 21 Christie
  • 24 Wood
  • 25 Edjenguele
  • 39 Adams
  • 08 Baker
  • 12 Jennings
  • 32 Moussa
  • 11 McSheffrey (Bailey - 81' )
  • 14 Elliott (Ball - 74' )
  • 15 Clarke

Substitutes

  • 13 Dunn
  • 02 Clarke
  • 04 Thomas
  • 38 Bailey
  • 17 Ball

Crewe Alexandra

  • 01 Phillips
  • 02 Tootle
  • 05 Ellis
  • 06 Dugdale
  • 08 Murphy
  • 14 Mellor
  • 19 Osman
  • 26 Aneke
  • 31 Inman (Robertson - 82' )
  • 10 Leitch-Smith
  • 11 Moore

Substitutes

  • 13 Martin
  • 12 Turton
  • 15 Robertson
  • 27 Colclough
  • 07 M Clayton
Ref: Salisbury
Att: 31,054

Match Stats

Shots

25 7

On target

13 4

Corners

15 3

Fouls

9 5

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:37 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +5:03

The ball is sent over by Blair Adams, Callum Ball takes a shot. Blocked by Adam Dugdale.

90:00 +4:40

Corner taken right-footed by Carl Baker, Adam Dugdale manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +4:34

Carl Baker crosses the ball, clearance by Luke Murphy.

90:00 +4:06

Blair Adams fouled by Chuks Aneke, the ref awards a free kick. Blair Adams crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Steve Phillips.

90:00 +3:03

Carl Baker takes the outswinging corner, save by Steve Phillips.

90:00 +2:56

The ball is swung over by Carl Baker, Gregor Robertson gets a block in.

90:00 +2:47

A cross is delivered by Blair Adams, clearance by Mark Ellis.

90:00 +2:02

Floated corner taken right-footed by Carl Baker, save made by Steve Phillips.

90:00 +1:37

Callum Ball takes a shot. Mark Ellis gets a block in.

89:39

Corner taken by Carl Baker from the right by-line played to the near post.

89:29

Carl Baker produces a cross, blocked by Matt Tootle.

87:36

Byron Moore delivers the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Adam Dugdale misses to the right of the target.

87:11

Chuks Aneke takes a shot. Save made by Chris Dunn.

86:21

Callum Ball delivers the ball, Close range headed effort by Leon Clarke goes wide of the left-hand upright.

84:34

Assist by Chuks Aneke.

84:34 Goal scored

Goal! - Ajay Leitch-Smith - Coventry 0 - 3 Crewe Ajay Leitch-Smith fires in a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Coventry 0-3 Crewe.

83:20

A cross is delivered by Cyrus Christie, save by Steve Phillips.

81:40 Substitution

Substitution (Crewe) makes a substitution, with Gregor Robertson coming on for Bradden Inman.

80:59 Substitution

Substitution James Bailey joins the action as a substitute, replacing Gary McSheffrey.

79:46

Abdul Osman concedes a free kick for a foul on Carl Baker. Gary McSheffrey has an effort direct from the free kick.

77:23 Goal scored

Goal! - Bradden Inman - Coventry 0 - 2 Crewe Bradden Inman gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Coventry 0-2 Crewe.

76:31

Carl Baker crosses the ball.

76:10

The ball is crossed by Carl Baker, blocked by Matt Tootle.

74:37

Carl Baker takes a shot. Matt Tootle gets a block in.

73:02 Substitution

Substitution (Coventry) makes a substitution, with Callum Ball coming on for Stephen Elliott.

72:53

The ball is delivered by Kelvin Mellor.

70:59

The official flags Ajay Leitch-Smith offside. Free kick taken by William Edjenguele.

69:54

The ball is crossed by Gary McSheffrey.

69:39

Carl Baker sends in a cross, Adam Dugdale makes a clearance.

69:34

The ball is swung over by Cyrus Christie, Adam Dugdale makes a clearance.

68:56

The assistant referee flags for offside against Chuks Aneke. William Edjenguele restarts play with the free kick.

68:22

Unfair challenge on Steve Phillips by Leon Clarke results in a free kick. Steve Phillips restarts play with the free kick.

67:58

Inswinging corner taken by Carl Baker.

67:49

Gary McSheffrey sends in a cross, blocked by Kelvin Mellor.

67:05

Carl Baker takes a shot. Kelvin Mellor gets a block in.

66:56

Centre by Blair Adams.

66:41

Gary McSheffrey delivers the ball, Luke Murphy gets a block in.

66:17

Blair Adams takes a shot. Blocked by Kelvin Mellor.

65:42

Ajay Leitch-Smith is ruled offside. Richard Wood takes the indirect free kick.

64:36

Free kick awarded for a foul by William Edjenguele on Chuks Aneke. Free kick taken by Luke Murphy.

64:17

Leon Clarke is caught offside. Steve Phillips restarts play with the free kick.

63:37

Effort from deep inside the penalty box by Carl Baker hits the post.

62:51

Stephen Elliott gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Abdul Osman. Steve Phillips takes the direct free kick.

62:16

Corner taken by Gary McSheffrey.

61:58

Carl Baker sends in a cross, Matt Tootle gets a block in.

61:34

Carl Baker takes a shot. Save by Steve Phillips.

61:25

Centre by Leon Clarke.

60:19

Shot by Franck Moussa from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.

59:50

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Gary McSheffrey from the right by-line, Chuks Aneke manages to make a clearance.

58:28

Floated corner taken by Luke Murphy from the right by-line played to the near post, Steven Jennings makes a clearance.

58:19

The ball is crossed by Kelvin Mellor, clearance by Richard Wood.

57:28

Foul by Abdul Osman on Franck Moussa, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by William Edjenguele.

56:46

Centre by Blair Adams, Stephen Elliott takes a shot. Steve Phillips makes a save.

56:16

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Leon Clarke by Mark Ellis. Leon Clarke takes the direct free kick.

53:56

Cyrus Christie takes a shot. Blocked by Mark Ellis.

51:11

Assist by Byron Moore.

51:11 Goal scored

Goal! - Bradden Inman - Coventry 0 - 1 Crewe Bradden Inman fires in a goal from inside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Coventry 0-1 Crewe.

50:45

The ball is delivered by Carl Baker.

50:07

The ball is sent over by Franck Moussa, Adam Dugdale makes a clearance.

49:32

Gary McSheffrey delivers the ball, save by Steve Phillips.

49:00

Short corner taken by Gary McSheffrey.

48:32

Stephen Elliott takes a shot. Steve Phillips makes a save.

47:21

Floated corner taken by Luke Murphy, Richard Wood manages to make a clearance.

47:12

Byron Moore crosses the ball, Blair Adams gets a block in.

45:47

Foul by Carl Baker on Matt Tootle, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Matt Tootle.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Chris Dunn on for Joe Murphy.

45:00 +2:26 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

45:00 +1:54

Effort on goal by Steven Jennings from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

45:00 +0:47

A cross is delivered by Blair Adams.

44:45

Corner taken right-footed by Carl Baker from the left by-line, Shot from close range by Leon Clarke misses to the right of the target.

44:09

Gary McSheffrey takes the inswinging corner, Kelvin Mellor manages to make a clearance.

43:55

A cross is delivered by Blair Adams.

43:39

The ball is swung over by Cyrus Christie, save made by Steve Phillips.

43:14

Gary McSheffrey takes a shot. Mark Ellis gets a block in.

42:51

The ball is crossed by Carl Baker.

41:40

Unfair challenge on Byron Moore by Cyrus Christie results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Luke Murphy from left wing.

41:14

Carl Baker produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.

41:01

A cross is delivered by Cyrus Christie.

36:51

Steven Jennings challenges Chuks Aneke unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Adam Dugdale.

34:22

Abdul Osman has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.

32:23

Gary McSheffrey delivers the ball.

31:47

Byron Moore crosses the ball, clearance by Richard Wood.

30:23

Gary McSheffrey decides to take the corner short.

29:24

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Wood by Chuks Aneke. Direct free kick taken by Joe Murphy.

28:57

Steven Jennings has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

28:47

The ball is sent over by Gary McSheffrey, clearance made by Mark Ellis.

28:12

Carl Baker delivers the ball, Stephen Elliott takes a shot. Save by Steve Phillips.

26:42

Centre by Cyrus Christie.

25:33

Franck Moussa takes a shot. Save made by Steve Phillips.

24:43

Luke Murphy fouled by Steven Jennings, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Luke Murphy.

24:21

Centre by Blair Adams.

23:57

Unfair challenge on Bradden Inman by Cyrus Christie results in a free kick. Luke Murphy takes the free kick.

23:31

Richard Wood takes a shot. Kelvin Mellor gets a block in.

22:57

Shot from close range by Stephen Elliott misses to the right of the target.

22:17

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Carl Baker.

21:32

The official flags Ajay Leitch-Smith offside. Joe Murphy takes the indirect free kick.

20:04

Floated corner taken right-footed by Carl Baker from the left by-line, clearance by Mark Ellis.

19:21

Inswinging corner taken by Gary McSheffrey, clearance by Abdul Osman.

17:42

Carl Baker takes a shot. Kelvin Mellor gets a block in. Gary McSheffrey produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.

16:03

Carl Baker produces a cross, Shot from close range by Leon Clarke misses to the right of the target.

14:49

Matt Tootle is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Blair Adams.

14:36

A cross is delivered by Blair Adams.

14:20

Gary McSheffrey sends in a cross, blocked by Matt Tootle.

13:11

Leon Clarke is caught offside. Steve Phillips takes the free kick.

11:37

A cross is delivered by Cyrus Christie, Matt Tootle manages to make a clearance.

9:20

Cyrus Christie crosses the ball.

7:53

Free kick awarded for a foul by Richard Wood on Chuks Aneke. Direct free kick taken by Luke Murphy.

5:00

Abdul Osman produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.

4:51

The ball is swung over by Matt Tootle.

2:14

Gary McSheffrey is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Steve Phillips.

0:26

Centre by Carl Baker, Adam Dugdale manages to make a clearance.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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