Pitman brace puts Cherries top

Leeds boss Neil Warnock reacted bullishly after a 1-0 defeat at
Middlesbrough saw fans call for his head.

Boro picked up their first points of 2013 thanks to Curtis
Main’s 81st-minute header, while the Whites slipped eight points
adrift of the play-offs.

Visiting supporters chanted: “Warnock, time to go,” but the
veteran manager said poor finishing was to blame.

“Unless I run on the pitch and put in the chances, I don’t know
what to do,” Warnock said.

“It’s frustrating. The last three open goals (in games against
Cardiff, Wolves and Middlesbrough) are not difficult chances. I
thought Middlesbrough were there for the beating.

“We had a great opportunity to take the lead and don’t know how
we didn’t take it. We should be talking about three wins and be
right in there.”

On the disenchantment he added: “Its a natural thing.

“If we’d have taken that first chance they would have been
chanting our names. I think we’ve had a good season.”

The Alex had their first sight of goal after just 20 seconds at
Gresty Road on Tuesday when Mathias Pogba crossed and Luke Murphy
tested Shwan Jalal, who tipped the ball to safety.

Chuks Aneke headed wide from the resultant corner and the
forward saw another effort saved by Jalal soon after.

Pitman was providing some quality deliveries for the visitors
but both Josh McQuoid and Lewis Grabban were guilty of heading good
openings wide.

Mark Ellis went close with an effort from the edge of the box
for Crewe before the home side survived a goalmouth scramble with
some brave blocks.

After the break, Jalal produced a superb stop to deny Ajay
Leitch-Smith from eight yards and Murphy rattled the crossbar with
a free-kick.

But the Cherries took the lead on the hour when Pogba was
harshly penalised for a foul on Matt Ritchie and Pitman stroked
home the penalty.

Pogba almost made instant amends but dragged wide inside the box
before Bradden Inman was denied again by Jalal.

Pogba did level in the 79th minute, crashing home Kelvin
Mellor’s cross with a powerful header.

But Crewe were on terms for just five minutes as Pitman drilled
home Steve Cook’s cross for his second of the game six minutes from
time.