Strikers Calvin Zola and Joel Grant were on target as Crewe scored three goals in 10 first-half minutes to sink Darlington 3-0.
Grant should have put Crewe ahead after just two minutes, crashing a volley onto the bar from six yards out.
Zola then found himself one-on-one with Nick Liversedge but the Quakers keeper tipped his shot onto the crossbar.
But the home side took the lead in the 24th minute when Zola's initial shot was cleared off the line by Alan White. John Brayford curled the ball back in, and Clayton Donaldson squared for Zola to finish at the far post.
Donaldson should have doubled the lead minutes later but Liversedge came out on top in his second one-on-one.
However, he made amends on the half-hour mark, centring for Zola whose scuffed shot fell to Grant to net at the far post again. And four minutes later Zola headed in Ashley Westwood's cross for his second of the game.
Quakers boss Steve Staunton made three changes at half-time but the visitors still failed to make an inroads on the Alex goal, Mor Diop driving their best chance wide.
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