Archer keeps score down as Blues crash at Crewe
Crewe Alexandra 4 Wycombe Wanderers 1
On the day that Nikki Bull slapped Wycombe fans in the face by saying that he never wanted to play for the club again, his replacement Jordan Archer prevented Crewe's tally from becoming embarrassing.
The Blues were already hampered by a long injury list, so it didn't help matters when Gary Doherty and Anthony Stewart both limped out of today's game before half time.
Nevertheless, this was the FA Cup where lesser players often find a way to bridge the gap in quality, and Wycombe didn't even come close to doing that today.
Crewe should have opened the scoring after 5 minutes when a slip from Stewart allowed Pogba a clear shot at goal from ten yards out only for Archer to pull off a fine diving save.
Pogba and Tootle fired further efforts wide of target for the hosts before Wycombe took a surprise lead through Matt Spring after 13 minutes.
Collecting the ball thirty yards out, Spring took a couple of paces and let fly with a daisy-cutter that will be giving Crewe keeper Alan Martin nightmares tonight.
One minute later Bruno Andrade jinked his way to the bye-line and sent a peach of a ball zipping across the face of the Crewe goal where Richard Logan failed to apply the finishing touch.
It was a pivotal moment, and the 143 visiting fans watched their balloon burst only six minutes later when Pogba tucked home an equaliser.
Byron Moore dribbled his way into the box and his low cross was bundled home by Pogba. It was a scrappy goal that was poorly defended.
Archer then made two saves in a row to keep the scores level, tipping West's angled shot over the bar and from the resulting corner clutching a powerful header from an unmarked Pogba.
Andrade, Spring and Grant all tried their luck for Wycombe, but the hosts made it 2-1 after 41 minutes when Mark Ellis hooked the ball home from close range with the Blues temporarily down to ten men. It was another untidy goal to concede.
The second half was torture.
Archer brilliantly saved a Harry Davis penalty after Winfield had poleaxed Pogba, and the on-loan keeper also made superb stops to thwart Aneke, Moore and Tootle.
There were also unbelievable misses from Ellis and Pogba when it looked easier to score on both occasions. Mellor also screwed a decent chance wide of Archer's near post.
Despite the plethora of saves and misses, Crewe still managed to bag another couple of goals, a 20 yard bullet from Aneke after 62 minutes, and an even better 30 yard screamer from Murphy 15 minutes later.
Wycombe offered almost nothing in the second half.
At 2-1 down you could understand them sitting back and hoping to score on the break, But at 3-1 down, there was absolutely nothing to lose, but no sign of life whatsoever.
Looking for positives, the quality of Bruno Andrade shone through the gloom, Jordan Archer was superb despite the scoreline, Matt Spring suddenly looks interested again, and Josh Scowen and Sam Wood both gave solid performances.
The biggest disappointment - the stage was set for Joel Grant to show his old club what a brilliant player he can be, but instead, he failed to show up at all.
Line-up & ratings
Archer (7), Stewart (5) (Hause 41 (5)), Doherty (n/a), (Logan 9 (5)), Winfield (5), Dunne (5), Andrade (7), Spring (7), Scowen (6), Wood (6), Grant (5), Morias (5) (Kewley-Graham 58 (4))