Crewe change sinks Lions
By Richard Jolly. Last Updated: 30/11/04 6:53pm
Dean Ashton and Luke Varney both made an instant impact with the goals as Crewe beat Millwall 2-1 at Gresty Road.
Striker Ashton scored his 15th goal of the season after only 12 seconds and substitute Varney grabbed the winner within five minutes of his introduction.
Another substitute, Paul Ifill, had brought Millwall level his third goal of an injury-hit season in the 71st minute before Varney's decisive strike on 76.
The highly-rated Ashton had scored before any Millwall player touched the ball, cutting in from the right flank, easing past Darren Ward and lifting his shot into the roof of Graham Stack's net.
The on-loan keeper was almost embarrassed by a Kenny Lunt cross that bounced on to his bar but, thereafter, the match did not live up to the eventful opening.
Lunt curled a free kick into the side-netting while, in Millwall's only meaningful attack of the first half, Barry Hayles headed wide.
Such was Dennis Wise's frustration that Ifill was brought on before half-time but the winger responded with a fine individual goal, turning to hit a rising 18-yard shot that gave Clayton Ince no chance.
Varney responded with a similarly precise finish from the edge of the box and though Ifill had a chance for a second equaliser, he shot straight at Ince.
So Millwall missed the chance to go seventh while Crewe's second win in four days takes them into the top half of the table.
Sky Bet Championship
|18||Brighton and Hove Albion||8||8|