Crewe 0-5 Carlisle Player Ratings: Super Jones

Danny Grainger – newsandstar.co.uk

Thanks to a wonderful second half performance, Carlisle United hit five past Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road. Here’s our player ratings for both teams.

Crewe Alexandra

Ben Garratt – might have got down quicker for the first or been more dominant for the third but for the other three he was given little chance. Not the main reason Crewe lost. 3

Ryan Walker – taken off at half-time, but the second half implied that he wasn’t the root of Crewe’s problems. Carlisle’s first half openings had come through play on the opposite side – Walker didn’t do too much wrong. 5
Michael Raynes – endured a disastrous 90 minutes against his old club, suffering mockery from away fans. Gave away the penalty for the second, scored and own goal for the third and looked vulnerable against pace throughout. 1
Eddie Nolan – his first half struggles were largely to do with the distance between him and the wing-back. Although, he played with a conventional left-back next to him in the second half and was still poor. 3

Ryan Wintle – Crewe’s better first half play came down the right through Wintle, who swung in a couple of inviting crosses and was unlucky more players weren’t in the box. Looked uncomfortable with the defensive aspect of things, though. 5
Tom Lowery – lacked the physicality and discipline for the type of role he was given. There’s no escaping the fact that he played very badly, but he’s only 19 and needs a guiding head next to him. 2
Conor Grant – like Lowery, he has made his name on what he has done with the ball and not necessarily his tactical awareness. A couple of nice passes into wide areas but little more. 3
Callum Ainley – given two roles that don’t suit him. Asked to play number 10 in the first half, when he struggled to find the space he needs, then in a deeper role in the second half, which he didn’t have the upper-body strength for. A talented player but needs to be used properly. 2
George Cooper – it seems the management team has tried to shoe-horn effectively five nimble playmakers into the midfield. Cooper lacks the pace and power required to play wing-back, where he struggled in the first half, although he was anonymous even after moving into a more natural position. 2

Chris Porter – out of frustration, he often dropped deep to try and help link play, but as a result of that he struggled to get into goalscoring positions when the ball went wide. Another player who didn’t look at home. 3
Chris Dagnall – hard to fathom how a team with two strikers who have 284 career goals between them looks so bereft of attacking ideas. Dagnall was completely isolated. 4

Harry Pickering (on 45) – wasn’t directly at fault for any of the second half goals, but looked nervous in possession. 3
Owen Dale (on 58) – lacked the belief to carry the ball forward and get Crewe up the pitch. 3
Sam Stubbs (on 59) given negligible protection in that last half hour, but any ball between him and Raynes went straight through to an opposing forward. 2

Carlisle United

Shamal George – the Liverpool loanee was largely untroubled, but was quick off his line and did not look quite as prone to a clanger as Bonham has at times. 6

James Brown – his ball down the line led to the opening goal and he denied Cooper any space in the first half. Showed plenty of energy in a solid shift. 7
Clint Hill – didn’t attack the ball as often as his partner, but showed the great leadership that he is renowned for. The ex-QPR defender’s training focus and dressing room influence could give Carlisle fresh inspiration. 8
Tom Parkes – looked more like the Tom Parkes that won promotion with Bristol Rovers than the one we saw at Orient last season. His front-foot, no-nonsense defending was key to Carlisle’s second half dominance. 9
Danny Grainger – not every day your left-back scores your first two goals and delivers the corner for the third. The odd slip aside, this was a captain’s performance. 8

Kelvin Etuhu, Luke Joyce and Mike Jones – in the second half, that central trio contributed to one of the best performances out of possession this blog has ever seen. Even when Carlisle had a lead to protect, at no point did they sit back to conserve energy, they pressed Crewe into their own half for long periods and offered no way out. For that – all three get a 10

Nicky Adams – Not everything cane off for him early on but the impressive aspect of his performance was that he always wanted the ball. His speed of thought was remarkable and opposing players were drawn to him, which allowed him to sharply lay the ball off for others and keep the attacks moving. Unlucky not to grab a goal. 9
Reggie Lambe – a winger by trade, yet provided the pace, tenacity and finishing ability one would expect from an established centre-forward. The way he harried Raynes to win the penalty epitomized an outstanding display. 10
Shaun Miller – put in the best performance a centre-forward could without scoring. His selfless running set the tone for this team performance, the ex-Morecambe man running the channels superbly for the first. Dominated Raynes and provided terrific hold-up play. 9

Jamie Devitt (on 68) – slid the ball through for Lambe’s goal. 8
Hallam Hope (on 77) – his raw pace exploited Crewe’s gaps at the back, leading to the fifth goal on the full-time whistle. 7
Tom Miller (on 78) – untested in a defensive sense. 6