Crewe Alexandra: Neil Baker applauds his side's penalty takers

Crewe v Doncaster, JPT, Abdul Osman holds off Harry Middleton

Crewe Alexandra assistant manager Neil Baker has praised the player's keenness to take penalties in Tuesday night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy shootout win over Doncaster Rovers.

After drawing 1-1 in 90 minutes, the Alex then converted all their spot kicks for a 5-3 victory at Gresty Road.

"They practise them and we had seven or eight wanting to take them. That's what we want," Baker told BBC Radio Stoke.

"You don't want to force them into it. I was pleased so many stepped forward."

After top scorer Mathias Pogba had headed Crewe in front in first-half stoppage, Chris Brown's injury-time equaliser for Doncaster took the tie to penalties.

But the experienced Robbie Blake hit the bar and all the home side's chosen penalty takers held their nerve from 12 yards, full-back Gregor Robertson sending the keeper the wrong way to steer his side into Saturday morning's northern section semi-final draw - two rounds from Wembley.

"It wasn't a great game," admitted Baker. "For the first half an hour, it was disjointed.

"But we're just pleased to be in the next round. Let's hope for another home draw."

Crewe made four changes following Saturday's FA Cup second round home defeat by Burton Albion.

Fit-again keeper Steve Phillips came in for his first appearance of the season in place of Alan Martin. And another of last season's promotion-winning stalwarts, centre-half Adam Dugdale, replaced Mark Ellis.

Crewe also rested midfielders Byron Moore and Luke Murphy, earning a recall for teenage flier Max Clayton, as well as debut for young Newcastle United loan man Brad Inman.

Clayton did well, providing the cross from which Pogba headed his ninth goal of the season to fire Crewe in front in first-half stoppage time.

But defeat came at a cost late on when full-back Matt Tootle was sent off for the first time in his career for a second bookable offence.

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