The FA Cup - Second Round
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers3CreweCrewe Alexandra3

Blackburn Rovers 3-3 Crewe Alexandra

League Two strugglers Crewe Alexandra come back from 3-0 down inside 20 minutes to earn an FA Cup second-round replay against nine-man Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Tony Mowbray's League One side were in complete control after taking the lead on 11 minutes when Dominic Samuel's low right-foot shot beat Dave Richards at his near post.

Samuel then played in Danny Graham to fire home left-footed from 12 yards, and Graham returned the compliment with a magnificent through ball for Samuel to go on and fire his second.

But the game changed after 33 minutes when Rovers defender Rekeem Harper was adjudged to have brought down Chris Porter inside the penalty area.

Harper was shown a straight red card and Porter fired home from the spot.

After Tom Lowery had struck the hosts' woodwork, Rovers were then reduced to nine men when Elliott Bennett was sent off after 56 minutes following a clash with Crewe's Perry Ng - and, within 10 minutes, Crewe were level.

Eddie Nolan headed home after a corner caused chaos in the box and Porter nodded in George Cooper's cross to level with his ninth goal of the season.

But, despite some at times desperate defending, the two sides could not be separated and so both go into Monday's third-round draw - and on to a replay at Gresty Road on Tuesday, 12 December.

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"It could have been any score you wanted to pick after 20 minutes, we were playing that well. But, obviously, the first sending off and the penalty was the changing point.

"In my opinion, it wasn't even a foul. They were grappling each other and the boy goes down, so for them to get a penalty and a sending off seems really harsh.

"I haven't seen the Elliott Bennett one again yet. Referees get paid to make decisions and he's made a lot, but we have to bide by them and get on with it.

"Give Crewe some credit. They grasped hold of the hope they were given. But we have to take the positives, we're still in the FA Cup and, when it was 11 v 11, the gulf was there for all to see."

Crewe manager David Artell told BBC Radio Stoke:

"An enthralling cup tie. The media say the magic of the FA Cup is diminished. But, while it might be so for the Premier League clubs who play their reserve teams, it's not in League One and League Two.

"It's a chance missed. It could have been even better for us but, if I'd been asked after 20 minutes whether I'd take a replay I'd have snatched your hand off.

"We never got within five yards of them in the first 20 minutes but we then pressed them high up the pitch and that's what we had to do.

"The character and belief shown by the players was great. I'm so proud that we came back from three down. It doesn't happen very often in football, never mind at Crewe."

Line-ups

Blackburn

Formation 3-4-3

  • 13Leutwiler
  • 2Nyambe
  • 15WardSubstituted forDowningat 45'minutes
  • 34Wharton
  • 16Caddis
  • 4HarperBooked at 33mins
  • 29Evans
  • 31BennettBooked at 56mins
  • 9Samuel
  • 10GrahamSubstituted forSmallwoodat 45'minutes
  • 20AntonssonSubstituted forTravisat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Hart
  • 6Smallwood
  • 23Dack
  • 25Downing
  • 35Travis
  • 37Fisher
  • 38Nuttall

Crewe

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 13Richards
  • 4WalkerBooked at 27minsSubstituted forNolanat 45'minutes
  • 27Stubbs
  • 16Lowery
  • 2NgBooked at 90mins
  • 10Bowery
  • 14AinleySubstituted forReillyat 87'minutes
  • 18Pickering
  • 11Cooper
  • 7Porter
  • 9Dagnall

Substitutes

  • 1Garratt
  • 3Bakayogo
  • 12Nolan
  • 22Lundstram
  • 24Reilly
  • 28Grant
  • 29Offord
Referee:
David Webb
Attendance:
4,472

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamCrewe
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home11
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away10
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 3, Crewe Alexandra 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 3, Crewe Alexandra 3.

  3. Post update

    Paul Caddis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Chris Dagnall (Crewe Alexandra).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Richard Smallwood (Blackburn Rovers).

  6. Post update

    Eddie Nolan (Crewe Alexandra) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lewis Reilly (Crewe Alexandra) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Dominic Samuel (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  9. Booking

    Perry Ng (Crewe Alexandra) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Dominic Samuel (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Perry Ng (Crewe Alexandra).

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. George Cooper (Crewe Alexandra) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Crewe Alexandra. Lewis Reilly replaces Callum Ainley.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Harry Pickering.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Harry Pickering (Crewe Alexandra) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers).

  17. Post update

    Perry Ng (Crewe Alexandra) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Porter (Crewe Alexandra) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Dagnall (Crewe Alexandra) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Crewe Alexandra. Conceded by Paul Downing.

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