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.