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League One

Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis disappointed with defending

25 January 2014

Steve Davis insists Crewe Alexandra simply cannot afford to keep conceding from set pieces after Matthew Pennington's first-half header from a corner gave Tranmere Rovers a 1-0 win.

On-loan Everton defender Pennington scored the first goal of his professional career in the 28th minute, heading home after finding himself unmarked at a Jason Koumas corner.

That was enough to give Tranmere their first win of 2014 with Crewe unable to build on their midweek victory at home to MK Dons as they remain perilously close to the bottom four.

Crewe are one point clear of 21st-placed Sheffield United, who have two games in hand, and boss Davis wants his players to start making life easy for themselves at corners and free-kicks.

"We have conceded too many goals over the course of this season that are similar to the one that has cost us here," said Davis.

"It boils down to one player switching off at a dangerous time and that was the difference really. We would have taken a point.

"The first half was really scrappy and neither team looked like scoring. After the break we came out and pushed them back.

"We played much better but didn't show any real quality in the final third. We had a few chances and a few efforts on goal.

"But we didn't really have anyone who was able to produce a little bit of individual brilliance or put together a good bit of combination play.

"In the end it has come down to a set play. Tranmere managed to hit the right area with a corner and they managed to get a good header in."

Meanwhile Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore admitted he had forgotten what it felt like to win with Rovers' last victory coming on the road at Shrewsbury on Boxing Day.

"The win was massive for us. Sometimes it is difficult to remember what it feels like to win games," said Moore. "It was hard but we were the better team in the first half and they had more of the play in the second.

"We defended well and put our bodies in the right places at the right time and it was a good all-round team performance. We knew it was going to be tough but when we got the goal we hoped we could go on and get another.

"Our goalkeeper hasn't had to make too many saves and Matthew Pennington has scored a fantastic header. The quality of the cross from Jason Koumas was great and it was nice to see the ball go in the back of the net that's for sure.

"Apart from the game at Peterborough, we have had some good results in recent weeks and hopefully we can build on those and get some momentum going. We never looked in much danger of conceding even though Crewe came back at us."

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