Michael Nottingham scored his first league goal of the season as Accrington Stanley celebrated a second successive 1-0 win.
Former Crewe defender Nottingham pounced in the 17th minute from around eight yards out, firing home to give the Reds their fourth victory on the trot, including the Carabao Cup.
John Coleman’s side are in a strong run of form while Crewe, who had Luke Offord sent off on 89 minutes, pressed at the end but now have three defeats and one draw in their four league encounters so far.
Coleman kept the same starting XI for the third successive game with new loan signing, defender Sam Sherring, coming into the squad, on the bench.
It was Stanley who forced the pace in the first half.
Ross Sykes headed over early on for the Reds while Nottingham fired well over from distance and Crewe’s Terell Thomas burst forward but also couldn’t find a finish.
Stanley opened the scoring on 17 minutes after Harry Pell’s goalbound shot was chested out for a corner.
Sean McConville fired in the flag kick, it was headed back into the danger area by Sykes, keeper Dave Richards couldn’t make a proper connection and it fell to Nottingham who was well-placed to find the back of the net.
The Reds continued to look the more threatening side, Pell firing straight at Richards from a Colby Bishop knockdown and Sykes had a great chance on 32 minutes, powering a header against the crossbar from the six yard box.
Stanley keeper James Trafford wasn’t really in action until the 34th minute when Luke Murphy’s strong strike from the edge of the area took a deflection and the Man City loan man had to be alert to push the ball around the post.
Crewe striker Chris Porter fired across the goal and wide and, in injury time, Matt Butcher’s late run meant he got the ball in the area before the keeper but dinked it wide of the target.
Crewe were livelier after the break but Stanley were still creating chances – Sykes heading across the goal and wide while a Harvey Rodgers effort was deflected into the side netting.
Coleman made an early change on 57 minutes with Joel Mumbongo coming on for Pell, who had picked up a yellow card.
Crewe were pressing with quick breaks and balls into the box but they didn’t seriously test Trafford, who was also booked around the hour mark for taking too long over a free kick.
Defender Sherring made his Stanley debut on 71 minutes, replacing Dion Charles who again had been booked.
Crewe also made changes as they had to go for goal and it made the game stop-start, especially with the number of cautions.
Worryingly for Stanley, goalscorer Nottingham hobbled off injured on 84 minutes, replaced by Harry Perritt.
Crewe were down to ten-men on 89 minutes when Offord saw a second yellow – and a red – for pulling down Mumbongo who used his pace to race towards goal, but Stanley couldn’t take advantage from the free kick.
The home side pressed in six minutes of injury time – Sykes making a valuable block to deny Callum McFadzean an equaliser and Trafford producing a wonder save to keep out Oliver Finney for ten-man Crewe.
Mumbongo had the chance to wrap it up but dragged an effort wide in the 95th minute as Stanley secured another valuable three points.
Stanley: Trafford, Rodgers, Sykes Nottingham (Perritt 84), McConville, Butcher, Pell (Mumbongo 57), Morgan, Pritchard, Bishop, Charles (Sherring 71)
Subs: Savin, Procter, Leigh, Nolan
Yellow: Sykes, Pell, Trafford, Charles