Match ends, Crewe Alexandra 3, Forest Green Rovers 1.
Jordan Bowery hit a double as Crewe secured a 3-1 victory over rivals Forest Green.
Bowery edged Crewe ahead with a set-piece header just before the break and added to his tally after the break during a three-goal flurry inside five minutes, which saw Charlie Kirk double the Cheshire side's lead, only for Dale Grubb to reduce the arrears.
Crewe were good value as they ensured debutant keeper Cameron Belford had a busy night. Harry Pickering thrashed a volley from 20 yards on to the far post. But it was Bowery who made his presence count when he flung himself at Pickering's free kick to head the ball home a minute before half-time.
Harry McKirdy should have eased Crewe's passage soon after the restart, but he clipped the ball over the onrushing Belford and the bar after he burst clear on goal.
But the loan striker played his part as Kirk seized the ball and drove low into the bottom corner for the second before Bowery struck again in off the post with a sweet angled drive as Crewe scored twice in two minutes.
Grubb cut the arrears soon after when he made the most of Dale Bennett's cross and fired in at the far post in the 64th minute.
Substitute Alex Bray struck the bar late on, but defeat was Forest Green's third in a row, while victory moved Crewe nine points clear of the drop zone.
Match report supplied by the Press Association.
- 20KirkSubstituted forBarlaserat 90'minutes
- 18PickeringBooked at 30mins
- 30GreenBooked at 72mins
- 16LoweryBooked at 78mins
- 39McKirdySubstituted forDagnallat 77'minutes
- 20RawsonSubstituted forBrownat 80'minutes
- 22ClementsSubstituted forCampbellat 45'minutes
- 15CooperSubstituted forBrayat 45'minutes
- Anthony Backhouse
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Crewe Alexandra 3, Forest Green Rovers 1.
Attempt saved. Reece Brown (Forest Green Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Corner, Forest Green Rovers. Conceded by Tommy Lowery.
Substitution, Crewe Alexandra. Daniel Barlaser replaces Charlie Kirk.
Corner, Forest Green Rovers. Conceded by George Ray.
Alex Bray (Forest Green Rovers) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box.
Jordan Bowery (Crewe Alexandra) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lee Collins (Forest Green Rovers).
Substitution, Forest Green Rovers. Reece Brown replaces Farrend Rawson because of an injury.
Tommy Lowery (Crewe Alexandra) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Tommy Lowery (Crewe Alexandra).
Dayle Grubb (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Crewe Alexandra. Chris Dagnall replaces Harry McKirdy.
Paul Green (Crewe Alexandra) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Paul Green (Crewe Alexandra).
Tahvon Campbell (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Crewe Alexandra. Conceded by Isaiah Osbourne.
Corner, Forest Green Rovers. Conceded by Callum Ainley.
Goal! Crewe Alexandra 3, Forest Green Rovers 1. Dayle Grubb (Forest Green Rovers) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the centre of the goal.