NORTHERN SECTION

Crewe Alexandra have one foot in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final after beating Coventry City 3-0 at a packed Ricoh Arena in the Northern Final first leg.

Playing in front of 31,054 - a record for the competition outside of the Final - City had the better of the first half but could not find a way past an in-form Steve Phillips.

The Crewe keeper thwarted Stephen Elliott on three occasions, while the visitors snatched a 52nd-minute lead.

Brad Inman led a swift counter attack forward and applied a devastating finish with his left foot after a square ball from Byron Moore.

Phillips was called upon again to prevent a deflected clearance finding the net before Carl Baker smashed the foot of his near post.

Inman then struck again, producing a magnificent solo run before firing low into the net from 18 yards, 12 minutes from time.

Ajay Leitch-Smith added a well-finished third with just six minutes left to make Crewe hot favourites for a trip to Wembley.

SOUTHERN SECTION

Ryan Leonard scored the only goal of the game to give Southend United a 1-0 win over Leyton Orient in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area Final first leg at Brisbane Road.

The vital goal came after 58 minutes when Sean Clohessy sent over a cross and Leonard reacted quickly to guide the ball home, via a deflection off O's defender Mathieu Baudry .

The npower League 2 side almost doubled their lead four minutes later when a 25-yard shot from Kevan Hurst shaved the outside of an upright.

Southend keeper Paul Smith was the busier of the two keepers in the first half, pulling off three superb saves - two from Shaun Batt and one from David Mooney.

But the only real moments of concern for the visitors in the second period came in the eighth minutes added on following a serious injury to Southend's Michael Timlin.

Orient piled forward but Smith proved unbeatable and twice denied Mooney, although he was fortunate when the O's striker crashed a shot against the crossbar and then sent the rebound over the top.