Accrington Stanley recorded their fourth straight win as Kayden Jackson’s first half goal was enough to beat Crewe 1-0 at the Wham Stadium.
It was a tight affair on a cold East Lancashire night as Jackson scored his 12th goal of the season in the 42nd minute, to put the Reds ahead following a dominant first half performance.
It was backs against the wall for spells of the second period but John Coleman’s men dug deep and held on to claim a huge three points and remain second in Sky Bet League Two.
Stanley had the first chance in the 8th minute, Jordan Clark poking a through ball for Jackson to run onto, but the in-form forward slid his effort an inch to the wrong side of Ben Garratt’s post.
The Reds continued to control the game, without creating too many opportunities. Crewe looked dangerous on the counter-attack and had the ball in the back of the net through Shaun Miller, but the on-loan forward was adjudged offside.
Three minutes before the break, the lively combination of Jackson and Clark combined again, this time Jackson made no mistake. The forward raced onto Clark’s clever pass before smashing a low effort beyond an outstretched Garratt, to give Stanley a deserved lead at the interval.
The visitors responded well and enjoyed the better of the early stages of the second period. Charlie Kirk thought he’d struck an equaliser on the hour mark but his crashing half-volley was blocked on the line by Stanley’s skipper for the evening, Mark Hughes.
Moments later, powerful forward Jordan Bowery tried his luck from distance, forcing Reds’ goalkeeper Aaron Chapman to punch it to safety. He came even closer in the 72nd minute, blasting wide from inside the penalty area, he had time and space and will be disappointed to miss the target from such close-range.
Crewe continued to probe but the Stanley defence held firm to claim another crucial victory in the race for promotion.