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Forest Green 1 Crewe Alexandra 4: Toothless Rovers given a huge reality check

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Insipid Forest Green were put to the sword by a rampant Crewe Alexandra at a sun-kissed New Lawn.

Four second half goals from Crewe Alexandra earnt them a comeback win at Forest Green despite Reece Brown scoring in his first appearance of the season. 

Brown had put the home side in front in a dominant first half, but his poor touch in the last line of defence five minutes into the second allowed Crewe’s Chris Long to race through and equalise before Courtney Baker-Richardson’s brace and Elliot Nevitt ensured three points for ‘The Alex’. 

Rovers are still without a point at home in League Two this season, with defeats to Salford, Swindon and Newport preceding Saturday’s loss. 

Head coach David Horseman had made two changes from the last league outing, with Dylan Kadji keeping his place from the EFL Trophy win against Shrewsbury in which he opened the scoring along with the return for Brown. 

Matty Taylor had the game’s first big chance in the third minute, Troy Deeney and Kyle McAllister linking up superbly before McAllister found Taylor unmarked in the area, but the striker’s shot was straight at Crewe keeper Harvey Davies. 

The officials allowed a water break for both sides in the 25th minute, such was the heat in the ground for the 3pm kick off. 

Crewe’s best chance of the first half fell to Baker-Richardson on 33 minutes, the striker’s header rattling the crossbar before he blazed over with the follow up.

Reece Welch was unlucky to have his header from a corner pushed away by Davies in the 35th minute before a multiple body scramble popped the ball out to Brown, his left footed strike squeezing through the Crewe keeper to give the home side the lead.

Taylor had the ball in the net on the stroke of half time after a smart finish across his body into the far corner but he was adjudged to have strayed offside in the build-up. 

Rovers were chaotic at the start of the second half and Crewe improved instantly with the introduction of Ryan Cooney. A heavy touch from Brown after dropping deep to receive the ball allowed Long to race through and fire under Luke Daniels to equalise in the 49th minute.

Crewe took the lead for the first time on the hour, Baker-Richardson making a run to the near post before expertly guiding Joel Tabiner‘s corner beyond a helpless Luke Daniels. 

The striker doubled his tally less than 10 minutes later, finding an angle on the left hand side of the box and firing a finish sweetly beyond Daniels at the near post.

Nevitt completed the second half rout with eight minutes of normal time remaining, turning home a drilled cross after smart work down the left wing from Long.

The heavy defeat pushes Rovers down to 20th in the table and leaves their goal difference on -7, the second worst in the league behind winless Doncaster, who are next weekend’s visitors to The New Lawn.

Forest Green Rovers: Daniels, Bernard (c), Inniss, Welch, Robson, McAllister, Bunker (replaced by Jenks on 72 minutes), Brown (replaced by Johnson on 53 minutes), Kadji (replaced by Dabo on 53 minutes), Taylor (replaced by Omotoye on 72 minutes), Deeney (replaced by Stevens on 72 minutes)

Unused substitutes: Searle, Bendle

Crewe Alexandra: Davies, Adebisi (replaced by Williams on 76 minutes), O’Riordan, Demetriou, Offord (c), Thomas, Powell (replaced by Nevitt on 76 minutes), Tabiner (replaced by White on 63 minutes), Rowe (replaced by Cooney on 45 minutes), Baker-Richardson (replaced by Lunt on 76 minutes)

Unused substitutes: Booth, Finney

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