Adam Dugdale's second-half header gave Crewe a narrow 1-0 advantage over Southend in their npower League Two play-off semi-final.
Following a first half of few chances, Alex centre-back Dugdale headed home Ashley Westwood's 49th-minute free-kick to end the visitors' run of five consecutive clean sheets and send Gresty Road into raptures.
It was no less than Steve Davis' side deserved as they extended their unbeaten run to 17 matches by outplaying a Southend team who recorded a league double over them this season. Paul Sturrock's men also headed into the game in a rich vein of form, winning four of their last five to miss out on automatic promotion by a point.
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