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League One

Chuks Aneke is the main man for Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis

1 February 2014

Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis was indebted to prolific striker Chuks Aneke as his side stayed out of the relegation zone with a vital 3-0 win against Sheffield United.

Aneke took his goal tally to 10 for the season with two stunning finishes which sent basement rivals United packing.

It underlined the importance of the on-loan Arsenal youngster to a side who have lacked goalscorers this term, but who were glad to see an effective return from Mathias Pogba, who was making his first start of the season wide on the right.

"Our best chances fell to the right man. Chuks was clinical," said Davis.

"He was poor against Tranmere last week, but he was back to his best. He adds something to the team with his turns and his little weighted passes - but most of all he's banging them in."

Byron Moore made up for being relegated to the bench by adding a last-gasp third to seal the win as Davis' men negotiated an uneasy period of dominance from Nigel Clough's struggling side after the interval.

"We answered the questions when they came at us after they changed their shape in the second-half," Davis added.

"They put us under a little bit of pressure without creating too many chances.

"On the whole we defended very well and had chances to seal it right at the end.

"It was nice to get three goals in front of our own fans. I'm delighted with the scoreline which reflected the control we had."

On this evidence it was not too hard to see why the Yorkshire outfit are struggling to move away from danger, while former Alex favourite John Brayford at least offered some attacking inspiration.

But aside from an uncomfortable 20-minute spell after the break, Crewe were well on top.

Aneke produced the moment of magic when he cut infield and curled the ball home beautifully into the far corner for the 37th minute.

He cut open the Blades again on the stroke of half-time when he greeted the loose clearing header following Ajay Leitch-Smith free kick to despatch a sweet volley into the corner of the net.

Substitute Moore should have done better when dollying a casual effort straight into Long's arms, but he made up for that deep into added time when he hooked in the third after Inman's shot was parried.

Blades boss Nigel Clough said: "I'm at a bit of a loss wondering where that performance came from after how we did against Fulham last week.

"I thought we had a good go for 20 minutes in the second half and if one of the half-chances we had had gone in then it changes the game.

"But if we waste 45 minutes like we did then you don't deserve anything out of it.

"We pressed and we might have got one or two falling for us, but when you are pressing it leaves you open as it did in the 94th minute.

"I'm incredibly disappointed. It puts more pressure on us now and although we've got 19 games and have got time, the Shrewsbury game next weekend is all important."


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