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Crewe boss Lee Bell blasts missile-throwing fans after beating nine-man Tranmere

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 14 Oct 2023

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Crewe boss Lee Bell slammed missile-throwing fans who triggered a second-half hold-up before his side beat nine-man Tranmere 2-0 at Gresty Road.

Referee Ross Joyce stopped play for around five minutes as police and stewards dealt with objects hurled at the officials.

It came after Crewe’s Chris Long doubled his side’s lead when he blasted in a 52nd-minute free-kick, awarded after the dismissal of Tranmere goalkeeper Luke McGee for handling outside the box.

Bell said the break in action affected his team’s performance and after being in control of the game they failed to press home their numerical advantage.

Indeed, Crewe’s goal led a charmed life in the closing minutes and 13 of added time when Harvey Saunders lifted over from close range and rattled the bar with a header while Courtney Baker-Richardson cleared a header from Connor Jennings off the line.

Mickey Demetriou had put Crewe ahead early in the game before Tranmere finished with nine men after captain Tom Davies was sent off in stoppage time.

Bell said: “We can’t be seeing these sort of things, the officials are trying to do a job and people said coins were thrown.

“They were talking of calling the game off when we were 2-0 up. It was ridiculous and you can’t be doing these things.

“But we were exceptional in the first half and we should have been 3-0 up at half-time, although we didn’t handle playing against 10 men particularly well.

“The supporters wanted to see more goals but the players lost their way a bit and we should have done better.

“But we’d been exceptional before then. Shilow Tracey was outstanding considering he was at the training ground having a fitness test before the game.

“He gave it a go and if that is how he plays when he may not be match-ready then you can only wonder what he can do when he is.”

For Nigel Adkins it was the third defeat in six games since taking interim charge of Tranmere.

He said: “We started the game poorly but you have to give Crewe a lot of credit for that.

“I was very disappointed with the first goal as we should have been able to defend that.

“Then I challenged the players at half-time to do things the Tranmere way and we showed a lot of resilience in the second half.

“But we got a double whammy with the sending off and the goal but even down to 10 men we could have got something out of the game.

“We have to scrap and fight because where we are in the league. But the reality is that that first half wasn’t good enough.

“In the second half we did a lot of things well, winning our one v one duels and that gives me a lot of belief.”

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