Nantwich Town produced a determined display as they went down 4-1 at home to League One neighbours Crewe Alexandra.

More than 1,200 people packed in to Nantwich’s Weaver Stadium for the eagerly-awaited pre-season friendly.

On a breezy, sunny afternoon, the crowd gave Nantwich Town’s record-breaking Under 14s team a deserved ovation before kick off after their cup and league double success.

But it was Crewe, fielding a strong team in the first half, who took the lead inside three minutes.

Midfielder Brad Inman finished coolly from close range past his former team-mate and new Dabbers keeper Steve Phillips after a sweeping Alex move from right to left.

It could have opened the floodgates early on, as Crewe full-backs John Guthrie and James Baillie proved good outlets down the flanks.

Ollie Turton went close to making it 2-0 in the ninth minute after a good passing move released him into the box, but Phillips got down well to deny him.

Danny Johnson’s Dabbers responded well, and 60 seconds later they were level.

Former Alex winger Steve Jones, a new Johnson signing this summer, darted into the box to finish off a fine cut back by Max Harrop after good work by Andy White down Nantwich’s right.

The friendly was marred in the 21st minute when the referee appeared to advise Crewe boss Steve Davis to substitute midfielder Anthony Grant.

Grant was visibly angry at the decision, and there was a heated verbal exchange with the referee on the touchline as Adam Reed was brought on.

Six minutes later, the Alex restored their lead when Billy Waters drilled a fine left-foot shot into Phillips’ far left-hand corner.

And two minutes later, Crewe added a third.

Mathias Pogba’s initial free-kick was well saved by Phillips, but the rebound fell to Pogba, who smashed a right foot shot into the corner.

Credit to Nantwich as the Evo-Stik Premier League team continued to pressurize and create some half-chances against a side playing four tiers above them.

Crewe’s Adam Dugdale should have made it 4-1 just before half-time but mis-timed his close range header from a corner which went wide.

A flurry of changes were made by both managers at the break, and Crewe put the game to bed five minutes into the second half.

Young striker Callum Saunders calmly headed home a fine cross from Lee Molyneux.

Both sides showed plenty of energy in the second period but fewer chances were created as more changes typical for a first pre-season friendly were made, disrupting the game’s flow.

Youngsters Jordan Johnson, Louis Callaghan, Elliot Osbourne, Peter Green, Cohan Bramhall and Callum Hood were given a taste of the action for Nantwich.

(Pictures below courtesy of Simon J Newbury Photography)

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