Crewe boss Steve Davis said he will be wrapping super-sub Ajay Leitch-Smith in cotton wool after his solitary goal clinched his side a 1-0 win over Scunthorpe.

Leitch-Smith stepped off the bench in the 71st minute to grab all three points for the Alex four minutes later and end the Iron's four-game unbeaten run. Goalkeeper Sam Slocombe tipped Luke Murphy's penalty on to the upright and Leitch-Smith buried the rebound four minutes after coming on.

It was Leitch-Smith's first goal since he scored a brace against Stevenage in September and manager Davis said: "Ajay was the only one who reacted to the rebound and fair play to him for being their on hand to drill it in.

"He came on and gave us some life. The injuries take a lot out of Ajay and he is slower to recover than other players so we have to be mindful of that. He's always one that we have to wrap in cotton wool and ease in gradually, but he has had a cameo performance here and made a difference with his instinct he has for goals.

"We got a bit of luck with the penalty. It looked dubious, but then it maybe made up for those two we got given against us last week. It was a harsh decision from their point of view and maybe a draw would have been fair, but we have nicked it and I am delighted with that."

The Alex took the lead in the 75th minute when Tom Newey was judged to have pushed Moore in the back and referee Brendan Malone pointed to the spot.

Murphy's initial kick was tipped onto the foot of the post by Slocombe, but Leitch-Smith was first to react and tucked home the rebound.

Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws said: "The defeat is hard to take because we didn't deserve it. We were best team, and that isn't a biased remark, the evidence is there. We created enough chances, but we just didn't finish them off.

"The referee had let so many things go throughout the game so it is difficult to understand why he decided to give such a soft penalty. Tom leaned in slightly and if you look on the DVD not one of their players appealed and that gives you an indication that they didn't think it was a penalty.

"I keep stressing to the players that it is not all doom and gloom, if they keep playing like that then we will keep picking up points. We have a batch of home games coming up now thick and fast and we need to win those to keep ourselves in this division."