Fleetwood Town let slip a chance to join the play-off pack - going down 2-0 at Crewe Alexandra.
David Ball, making his 100th appearance for Fleetwood, and Liam McAlinden both tested Crewe stopper Ben Garratt, the hotly-tipped keeper pulling off a trio of stunning saves to keep the visitors at bay.
Town looked comfortably on top as they headed for the break, a defensive lapse gifting the hosts an opener.
It was Nicky Ajose, on loan from Leeds who did the damage, latching on to a hopeful long ball and drawing Chris Maxwell, cooly slotting past the Fleetwood keeper.
After the break Town struggled to make inroads on an awful surface, their passing play nullified by both the pitch and Crewe’s determined defending.
And just before the hour they were made to pay for their first half missed chances.
Ajose it was again, latching on to another ball pumped from the deep.
Stephen Jordan should have done better in showing his man towards the corner, Ajose allowed to cross, Fleetwood stretched and Marcus Haber with the simple job of heading home.
From there Fleetwood were sunk, Graham Alexander throwing on Jamie Proctor, Nick Haughton and Ashley Hunter but none able to make an impact, Crewe defending their lead manfully, Fleetwood fast running out of ideas against one of the league’s form sides.