Crewe survived a second-half fightback from home side Rochdale to earn a 2-1 win at the Crown Oil Arena.

The visitors were good value for their two-goal lead at the interval but lived dangerously at times after the break as Dale pulled one back and went for broke in pursuit of an equaliser.

Crewe took the lead in the 14th minute when Ethan Ebanks-Landell was booked for a foul on Dan Agyei and Callum Ainley floated an inviting set-piece into the mix. Agyei moved free of any markers and leapt unchallenged to nod the ball into the top corner of Richard O’Donnell’s net.

The visitors doubled their advantage after 21 minutes, Lachlan Brook’s low drive from 20 yards creeping inside O’Donnell’s near post.

The home side improved in the second half and reduced the deficit in the 69th minute.

Toumani Diagouraga slotted a pass into the path of Devante Rodney and the striker shrugged off two defenders before pulling the trigger, slamming a powerful finish beyond Arsenal loanee Arthur Okonkwo.