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League Two play-off odds: Crewe 10/11 for promotion after incredible fightback

Crewe Alexandra will be heading to Wembley on Sunday 19th May after a stunning fightback to see off favourites Doncaster Rovers in the League Two play-offs.

Lee Bell’s men won a dramatic penalty shootout at Eco-Power Stadium to seal their place in the final later this month.

Despite ending the regular season in poor form, Crewe caused a major surprise to give themselves a chance of a return to League One after two seasons in the EFL’s bottom tier.

League Two promotion

Alex have play-off pedigree

It has been 12 years since Crewe’s last success in the play-offs, winning promotion from League Two in 2011/12 with victory over Cheltenham in the final.

The end-of-season lottery of the play-offs had not been kind to The Alex in the early stages of its inception.

Crewe lost in the semi-finals of the old Fourth Division play-offs in 1991/92, before losing to York City on penalties at Wembley in 1992/93.

The club’s third straight play-off defeat came in 1994/95, when they lost their semi-final to Bristol Rovers on away goals.

Amazingly they made it four play-off defeats in a row in 1995/96, as they were beaten in the semis again, this time by Notts County.

Since then, though, the tables have turned for the Railwaymen, who are 10/11 to win at Wembley this year - and they are looking for a third play-off promotion.

Their first end-of-season success came in the 1996/97 season, when they beat Brentford 1-0 in the Wembley final.

Crewe’s second League Two play-off win came in 2011/12 and the Gresty Road faithful are now heading back to the home of football.

Fightback must lift belief

Bell’s squad went into the first leg with Doncaster having collected just one win from their last nine games of the regular season.

A 2-0 home defeat in the semi-final first leg looked to have condemned Crewe to another season in League Two – especially when you consider Rovers had won all of their last eight home matches.

But the visitors started quickly and levelled the tie within the first 16 minutes, thanks to a header from Mickey Demetriou and an own goal from James Maxwell.

Crewe had to ride their luck for periods, with Doncaster enjoying 60% of possession and having 15 shots to Alexandra’s eight.

After a nervy half-hour of extra-time, the semi-final went to penalties and again Crewe appeared to be on the back foot when Demetriou missed their second spot-kick. Rovers couldn’t take advantage though, with Max Stryjek tipping Zain Westbrooke’s penalty on to the post.

The next five spot-kicks were converted and it was left to emergency-loanee Stryjek to become the hero, saving Hakeeb Adelakun’s penalty to see Crewe through 4-3 on penalties.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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