DERBY VS ALEX 1-2
DANNY Shelley produced a piece of pure magic to keep Crewe's plans for the new season nicely on track.
The impressive midfielder rifled home an unstoppable effort from fully 30 yards as Dario Gradi's men came from behind to beat Championship side Derby.
Former Stoke City defender Chris Riggott had earlier marked his debut by slamming the Rams in front, only for Byron Moore to level matters five minutes later.
The result was sweet for Alex, who maintained their unbeaten pre-season record in the penultimate warm-up game. And there were certainly plenty of positives for the home side – not the least of which was how they coped with County's passing and movement, which was a problem, particularly during the first half.
Nigel Clough's side provided Crewe's toughest work-out of the summer, and keeper Steve Phillips was forced to produce a string of outstanding saves. But Alex showed plenty of spirit with an improved second-half effort and stuck to their task well when under pressure.
Derby dominated for much of the first half and new signing Nathan Tyson squandered a presentable chance to put them in front when he rifled a left-foot drive well over.
Trialist Chris Hogg got involved with a meaty challenge as the Rams raided again, but Crewe should have taken the lead soon after. Shelley's superb diagonal ball played in Moore, but the winger dragged his shot badly wide.
Derby continued to hold the advantage and when Jamie Ward got the better of Hogg down the left, Matt Tootle did well to get across and clear off the line at the far post.
The visitors did take the lead their early enterprise deserved after 15 minutes. The Alex defence failed to deal with a routine corner from the left and the lurking Riggott was given time to ram the ball into the roof of the net.
But Crewe hit back four minutes later. Moore found a surprising amount of space deep in the Derby half and nutmegged a covering defender before racing on to the loose ball and slamming in a shot which found the net off keeper Frank Fielding's arm.
Goalkeeper Phillips prevented his side from falling behind almost immediately with a spectacular flying save to keep out a long-range pile-driver from Ward. And the stopper was in action again soon after, this time blocking a Tyson effort.
Derby went closer still on 28 minutes, when Scottish livewire Chris Maguire diverted a low cross against the foot of a post with Phillips beaten.
The visitors continued to dominate long passages of play, but Ashley Westwood showed Crewe were not going to lie down with a vicious shot from range that was tipped over the bar by Fielding.
Crewe were off to a rip-roaring start to the second half. There seemed little on when Shelley received the ball in space 30 yards out, so the midfielder let fly with a screamer which found the top corner of Fielding's net.
Crewe surged forward again when Tootle's rare foray forward was halted by a crude challenge from Russell Anderson. But Shelley couldn't repeat the trick and his free-kick was deflected over.
Hogg, showing a handy habit of being in the right place at the right time, produced a timely tackle to deny Tyson at the other end.
Alex, closing down quicker in the centre of the park, were now much more in the game and went close again, after a brilliant move, on 58 minutes.
Westwood ended a long run forward by finding teenage substitute Nick Powell on the left and his quality delivery put Shaun Miller in on goal, only for Fielding to block his close-range effort.
Rampaging Ram Tyson forced Phillips into another decent block at his near post as Derby showed their teeth once more, but the visitors had lost their early fluency.
Alex boss Dario Gradi made a raft of substitutions just after the hour mark, with first-year professionals Antoni Sarcevic, Ajay Leitch-Smith, Max Clayton, George Ray and Casper Hughes all given a run out.
The visitors pressed forward in search of a leveller and Phillips had to be at his best yet again, this time producing a diving save to deny Ben Davies from 14 yards.
The returning John Brayford poked just wide and man-of-the-match Phillips leapt to his left to turn away a Davies free-kick before Clayton went on a late run which ended with a long-range shot held by Fielding.
Crewe Alex: Phillips, Davis, Artell (Dugdale 78), Hogg (Ray 64), Tootle, Moore (Clayton 64), Bell (Sarcevic 64), Westwood, Murphy (Powell 46), Shelley (Hughes 64), Miller (Leitch-Smith 64).
Not used: Martin, Turton.
Derby County: Fielding, Brayford, Riggott (O'Brien 46), Anderson, Roberts (Cwyka 78), Pearson (B Davies 18), Doyle (Croft 72), Maguire, S Davies, Tyson (Ball 62), Ward (Robinson 62).
Not used: Legzdins.
Referee: S Rushton (Staffs).
She told me again she loves me , and I said I love myself too