Derby County vs Crewe Alexandra
Derby County vs Crewe Alexandra Aaron Rowe's two goals against Derby were his first for more than two-and-a-half years
TUE 14 Nov 2023The FA Cup - First Round - Replay
Derby County 1 vs 3 Crewe Alexandra
Tom Barkhuizen gave the League One hosts the ideal start with cool finish after just three minutes, but Rowe's first-half double - and first two goals for the Railwaymen - had the visitors on course for the upset.
Crewe goalkeeper Harvey Davies crucially tipped a Max Bird shot onto the crossbar as the Rams searched for an equalizer before the break.
Mickey Demetriou went on to add a third goal for Crewe with a second-half header to set up a second-round home tie against League One side Bristol Rovers.
Rams boss Paul Warne made two changes from the side that beat Barnsley 3-0 three days earlier in League One, while there were three changes for Crewe after they snatched a late win against individual League Two high-flyers Notts Province on Saturday.
And while it was the final moments of that league game that created drama and controversy, this match got off to an exhilarating start with the two sides scoring inside the first seven minutes.
Louie Sibley snatched possession from Crewe as they attempted to play out from the back, and set Barkhuizen up for an early opener for a Derby side that required two late goals in the initial tie to force the replay.
But Derby's satisfaction was short lived, with Rowe finding the bottom corner for the equalizer before Joe White demanded a fine save of Joe Wildsmith with a diverted free-kick.
Wildsmith could do nothing when a shot from Rowe took a heavy deflection off Eiran Cashin for his and Crewe's deserved second goal in the first half.
It took another fantastic save from Wildsmith to hold Courtney Baker-Richardson back from adding a third, while Crewe guardian Davies foiled James Collins and aided a Bird effort onto the bar at the flip side just before the half-time.
Second-half chances were limited, but Demetriou managed to put the tie out of Derby's reach with a near-post header from a White corner with 25 minutes remaining.
Baker-Richardson and Shilow Tracey went in search of a fourth, but Wildsmith limited the damage on a miserable night for the Rams as they were taken out in the first round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 1984-85 season.
I think we wanted the game, I just don't think we performed like we seem as though we wanted it.
"I explained to the lads before the game, if you turn up and you are in really good form - which the lads have been - and you turn up and think 'we will be alright tonight, we will just go through the motions' I warned them.
"I'm the oldest man in the dressing room, but I've played in these games, when you turn up and think, 'we will be alright', you can't and you can't turn it on after 15 minutes - you can't turn on the psychological jets on.
"Maybe that was a reason, maybe back-to-back games was too much physically for some of my players.
"They [Crewe] just appeared as though they had more in them, which is the nice way to put it.