Artell fires Alex into play-offs
Dave Artell's first-half strike saw Crewe join Cheltenham in the npower League Two play-off places courtesy of a 1-0 win at Gresty Road.
The Alex skipper's goal proved the difference as Crewe leapfrogged Oxford into seventh place while the Robins failed to pick up the point they needed to make sure of a play-off berth.
Shaun Miller should have given Crewe an early lead but the striker hesitated on Billy Bodin's through-ball, allowing keeper Scott Brown time to close down his shot.
Robins winger Kaid Mohamed side-footed Luke Garbutt's cut-back wide and James Spencer went close with a low effort after spinning Artell in the box, while at the other end Byron Moore stung Brown's gloves with a long-range effort before the keeper punched away a Harry Davis header as Crewe piled on the pressure.
The Railwaymen broke the deadlock a minute before the break when Davis nodded down Ashley Westwood's cross for Artell to hook home. Artell left the pitch injured after the break but Crewe went on the attack and AJ Leitch-Smith had the ball in the net again only to be called offside.
Substitute Max Clayton then fired wide after being teed up by Leitch-Smith, while Spencer set up Ben Burgess 12 yards out only for the Robins substitute to see his shot saved by Steve Phillips. Darryl Duffy curled a late chance wide and Crewe held on to extend their unbeaten run to 14 games.