A late goal in each half saw Crewe Alexandra defeat Cambridge United 2-0 in Sky Bet League Two.
Callum Ainley capitalised on a U’s error ten minutes before half time, and Shaun Miller registered a fine solo goal to resign United to a frustrating loss.
United made two changes as Emmanuel Osadebe and Brad Halliday moved into the starting eleven in place of the suspended Jake Carroll and Paul Lewis.
The U’s grew into game during the early stages, without any real goalmouth action for either side in the opening quarter of the match.
George Maris hit the first shot in anger on 20 minutes, having worked room back inside the field to take a pop at goal with his right boot, which was saved low to the left of Crewe keeper Ben Garratt.
Just as United looked to be getting on top, they dealt themselves a big setback when a skewed clearance by Jevani Brown went only as far as Callum Ainley 12 yards from goal who prodded the ball beyond David Forde ten minutes before half time.
Emmanuel Osadebe could only side foot a shot against Eddie Nolan which ricocheted wide of the mark, when presented with an opening 10 yards from goal due to a precise head back from George Taft on the end of a United set piece after the break.
David Forde did well to spring across his goal and push away a mid-range effort for the hosts to keep the deficit at one for United.
Ade Azeez and David Amoo were introduced shortly after the hour mark as United aimed to inject further pace into their game.
Charlie Kirk threatened to double the advantage when the forward arrived at the far post from a Crewe set piece and cracked a header against the goal frame, before Forde got gloves to the rebound with 20 minutes to play.
Azeez used his body well to anchor room for a shot across goal, which Garratt was forced to flick past the far corner as United rallied to try and find an opening on goal.
The cross bar then denied United’s other substitute when David Amoo’s powerful drive deflected up and over Garratt in the Alex goal but against the woodwork.
However, the hosts eventually killed off the game in the 85th minute when Shaun Miller danced past a series of U’s would-be tacklers before lifting the ball into the net from ten yards to rule out any hope for United.
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Ng, Pickering, Jones, Miller (Nicholls, 87 mins), Bowery (Porter, 82 mins), Ainley (Finney, 90 mins), Nolan, Wintle, Kirk, Whelan
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Taft, Taylor, Dunk, Deegan (O’Neil, 81 mins), Maris, Osadebe (Amoo, 62 mins), Lambe, Brown, Ibehre (Azeez, 63 mins)
Bookings: Forde, Taft
Attendance: 2,569 (84)