Telford feeling Cup fever

Crewe Alexandra 0 Telford United 1
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The Independent Football

The Telford United manager, Mick Jones, admitted FA Cup fever was taking over after his Nationwide Conference side swept aside First Division Crewe to reach the FA Cup fourth round.

Lee Mills's second-minute header proved enough to secure a famous victory at Gresty Road and ensure non-League representation at the next stage.

Jones insists promotion remains his primary goal, but accepts league targets have been placed on the back burner somewhat while another famous Cup run gathers momentum.

"I'm absolutely delighted," he said after watching his side add to their scalp of Second Division Bournemouth. "Our main focus is promotion from the Conference and we will now have three or four league games in hand but we have to try to win every game and I cannot do anything about the euphoria of the FA Cup.

"We had our game plan and we put it into execution and we have managed to beat a very, very good side."

Telford took only 75 seconds to take the lead when Mills glanced home his 11th goal of the season from Fitzroy Simpson's corner. However, Crewe came back strongly and dominated much of the game but simply could not find a way through the Shropshire side's defence.

Mills said: "We did plan that kind of start, but not quite that early. Once we got the goal we had to work our socks off and defend. Crewe are a quality side and played some great football."

Jones said: "We tried to let their centre-backs have the ball and put Simpson man-to-man with Kenny Lunt but they still managed to get the ball out wide and put some excellent crosses in and our defenders really had to concentrate fully.

"I told them it was a question of stopping their strikers getting across them and they did that."

Dean Ashton and Luke Varney came closest in the opening period for the home side, while Michael Higdon had a low drive tipped around the post by Telford's excellent goalkeeper, Chris MacKenzie.

MacKenzie managed to thwart Ashton again after the interval while Lunt and Steve Jones also threatened the visitors' goal. But Telford had chances to add to their lead as Crewe chased an equaliser.

Jones added: "I thought we may have scored too early but we stuck at it and I'm absolutely delighted for the lads, especially young players like Sam Ricketts and Chris Murphy. I told them they can aspire to playing in Division One for teams such as Crewe if they continue to play as well as that."

Crewe manager, Dario Gradi, said: "Of course it's disappointing but we always knew it might happen.

"We totally dominated the game but we just couldn't take our chances. I was concerned that we may be complacent but I didn't think we were.

"I always knew if they got a goal then they would pack their defence and make it very hard to score. No one likes losing to a non-League team but good luck to Telford."

Goal: Mills (2) 0-1.

Crewe Alexandra (4-4-2): Ince; B Jones, Foster, Wright, Tonkin; Rix (Jeffs, 71), Lunt, Higdon, Varney (Robinson, 28); Ashton, S Jones. Substitutes not used: Bankole (gk), Betts, Roberts.

Telford (4-4-2): MacKenzie; Challis, Howarth, Whitehead, Clarke; Hulbert, Simpson, Ricketts, Murphy (Grant, 82); Mills, C Moore (Naylor, 69). Substitutes not used: Blackwood, Lavery, Williams.

Referee: M Pike (Barrow-in-Furness).

Booking: Telford: Clarke.

Man of the match: Simpson.

Attendance: 7,085.