Max Clayton will benefit from first Crewe start - Gradi

Crewe Alexandra striker Max Clayton
Clayton represented England at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico

Crewe manager Dario Gradi believes Max Clayton will benefit from making his first senior start in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over Macclesfield.

The 17-year-old headed his first goal for the Alex in a 1-0 win on Wednesday.

"It's experience for him," Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke. "He hasn't played at that level very much and he'll be well pleased with the goal."

Scouts from 17 Premier League clubs watched a Crewe team that included six teenagers in the starting line-up.

Full-back Ollie Turton also made his first professional start, while Caspar Hughes, Antoni Sarcevic, Harry Davis and Nick Powell were all given more valuable first-team experience.

Crewe are now through to the last eight of the northern section of the competition after beating their Cheshire neighbours at the Alexandra Stadium.

"It was a bit drab to begin with and neither side looked like they were going to create anything," continued Gradi.

"Max had found it hard, which he was going to do. He took his goal very well but no better than we would expect because he's a goalscorer.

"Ashley Westwood hit a lovely ball, Byron Moore hit a great cross and that's the quality that I don't think they could produce."

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