We won the game and that is the bottom line

Last updated : 25 February 2002 By Tony Scholes

Crewe boss Dario Gradi was certainly more impressed with his side than I was and didn't think there was too much wrong in their performance. If he indeed thinks that then I think they must still be in with a wonderful chance of returning to Division Two. Gradi said,

"There is nothing dramatically wrong with our game or style of play. It was scrappy at times because of the wind - but we weren't a shambles and played some good football at times. I just need to find the right combination that will help us get out this problem. We are having a tough period in terms of results and are giving away silly goals.

"We're not able to get the goals when our play is good and we were lacking a bit of quality today. We had lots of play, but couldn't find the finish. Rodney came close when he hit the bar, but we're not having any luck, as we hit the bar and the post. Last year, they'd have gone in and we'd have won the game but, we've got to learn how to win these games 1-0.

"We need to stop these silly goals going in and I've said that to them. For their first, Shaun Smith has moved off the post and the ball has gone in off the post. In previous games it has been somebody else, but there's always a mistake and that is a worry but after we were 2-0 down, we showed some tremendous spirit and determination. We don't look a shambles and we're playing some good football."

Stan meanwhile totally understood the importance of winning this game but was also fully aware that it was the Clarets who had deserved the three points.

"We deserved to win the game and we could have scored more, but their keeper made three outstanding saves. I felt we were the better side, although towards the end we were a little bit anxious, but all is well that ends well."

"Alan Moore's goal was a fantastic goal and he is capable of doing that but they through caution to the wind and we were defending a little deep, but we saw that spell through and I think we could have scored more.

"Everyone has done well, Lee Briscoe, Glen, Paul Weller and Alan Moore, but the pitch was poor and has had a lot of rain. It didn't suit Glen very well later in the game, but we won the battle and it was a well won game.

"Gordon Armstrong was feeling his hamstring and with all the games coming up we took him off but we won the game and that is the bottom line."

Warning for Crewe

By Peter Keeling at Gresty Road (Daily Telegraph)

DARIO GRADI has warned his Crewe players that history means nothing in football. Since reaching the First Division under his inspirational coaching, Crewe have produced a series of successful fights to preserve their status, sometimes surviving in the last week of the season.

But Gradi's timely message to his players as they look forward to tomorrow's FA Cup replay with Everton is: "History is bunk". He added: "Just because we have kept surviving does not mean anything in the context of this season. We cannot rely on results, and if we continue giving away silly goals we are going to be in trouble."

The 20th minute opening goal Crewe conceded was typical of their recent habit of leaving the blueprint of training ground good habits on the dressing-room floor once the match has started.

Shaun Smith was guarding a post and cleared Gareth Taylor's shot off the line. But then, instead of holding his position until the danger had been cleared, he moved out and Taylor reacted quickly to score, in-off the same post.

Burnley, having dominated the first-half, went further ahead in the 58th minute through a superbly crafted Alan Moore strike.

But Crewe produced a storming finish after they had pulled back a goal through Rob Hulse. Rod Jack struck the bar and David Vaughan brought a magnificent save out of Marlon Beresford.

Irish highs lift Clarets

Sunday People

BURNLEY had the luck of the Irish as they stepped up their promotion bid.

Republic of Ireland wide man Alan Moore hit the decider for Burnley who then survived a Crewe fightback by the skin of their teeth.

Burnley were set on their way when Gareth Taylor's header from Paul Cook's inswinging corner was hacked off the line by Shaun Smith. But the Welsh striker's instant volley cannoned into the net off Cook's shin and the post.

Rob Hulse saw his instant reply cleared off the line by Ian Cox and Burnley keeper Marlon Beresford expertly tipped Rob Hulse's flick header round the post.

But Burnley continued to force the pace after the break and after Ince had saved superbly from Dean West, Moore doubled the lead. He picked up Paul Weller's pass and cut inside before curling a beauty into the far corner.

Hulse offered a lifeline for Crewe six minutes later, nodding into an unguarded net from Dave Walton's cushioned header.

Beresford then made two stunning stops form David Vaughan before Burnley had their amazing late, great escape.

Efe Sodje headed Kenny Lunt's corner off the inside of the post and sub Rodney Jack blasted the rebound off the bar.

A storm in a Cup run

Sunday Mirror

CREWE have the prospect of an FA Cup home fifth-round replay against Everton on Tuesday. But at what cost?

They have now conceded 12 goals in their last three home games and are in the relegation dogfight. The distraction of the Cup is a luxury Crewe can ill afford.

The only comfort for manager Dario Gradi must be the way his shell-shocked team picked themselves up to produce a fightback which almost won them a point.

For close on an hour Burnley were on cruise control. They were two goals ahead through Gareth Taylor and Alan Moore.

Taylor was a real handful. In the 19th minute he produced a thundering header which home skipper Shaun Smith blocked on the line.

Then Crewe allowed Taylor to squeeze the rebound in off the post.

Burnley almost handed Crewe a hardly deserved lifeline three minutes later when a clearance by goalkeeper Marlon Beresford into the wind fell to Rob Hulse.

But the young striker ran wide to let Ian Cox to clear off the line.

The Clarets' second goal, in the 58th minute, was a cracker. Goalkeeper Clayton Ince, who had made a fantastic save to deny Dean West moments earlier, had no chance when Moore curled a left- foot shot into the top corner.

Remarkably, the home side then rediscovered their resilience.

Hulse headed them back into thegame from six yards in the 63rd minute and Burnley were rattled. That was the cue for Beresford to atone for that earlier scare.

In the 70th minute substitute Rodney Jack outwitted the visiting defence with blistering pace.

He dragged the ball back to David Vaughan, who shot first time from 12 yards only to see Beresford tip the effort round.

From the corner kick, both Efe Sodje and Wayne Collins hit the crossbar.