Crewe boss Steve Davis felt that the Alex and Coventry's familiarity with each other contributed to an even game, which was ultimately settled in the visitors' favour by Max Clayton's strike giving them a 2-1 triumph.

Alex earned their second win at the Ricoh Arena this month as substitute Clayton scored with his first touch. Leon Clarke had earlier given Coventry a 12th-minute lead that lasted just four minutes thanks to a Mark Ellis volley.

Davis said: "It was a bit scrappy in parts but we came here with a plan again and I thought we wanted to go as long as we could, keeping them out. Obviously the early goal was a set back but I always felt we could score from something.

"The game was fairly even. It was a bit of a battle and scrap today and that's maybe the result of playing each other four times. I think that makes a difference. You know each other player-wise and although we tried to change the shape it is still difficult because our paths have crossed three times already so it was difficult."

Crewe keeper Steve Phillips was man-of-the-match on his last visit to the Ricoh Arena and enjoyed himself again.

"He made two or three important saves, as we expect him to do because that's what he is there for," added Davis.

Coventry caretaker manager Lee Carsley said: "The manner of the two goals was disappointing. Obviously you can do something about a set-piece because you can set up, sometimes in open play you can be pulled around a bit but form a set-piece you can defend it a lot better.

"For the second goal, the defence was all over the place. Their player has gone to hit a diagonal pass, it has turned into a through ball and we were badly out of shape.

"We started well. We knew it was important to start the game fast. We made a good start, got the goal and had a few chances.

"We were positive in our play and I couldn't see them coming back into it, I could only see us winning it. We have shot ourselves in the foot and given them a leg up and the second goal was poor."