Substitute Chuma Anene’s double helped Crewe ease past National League Eastleigh to book a place in the FA Cup third round.
The League Two promotion chasers’ progress to a home date with Barnsley was never in doubt in the Gresty Road replay. After making life uncomfortable for Crewe in the first game at the Silverlake Stadium, the Spitfires barely raised a glove against Dave Artell’s side.
Anene – signed on loan as a back-up striker from Danish outfit Midtjylland – made a decisive impact after replacing the injured Chris Porter on the half-hour mark.
The big forward met Owen Dale’s cross with a thumping header which flew in off the underside of the bar in the 40th minute.
The Norwegian then pulled a volleyed finish past Max Stryjek for Crewe’s third to put the tie out of reach after Reda Johnson’s own goal soon after the restart had doubled Crewe’s lead.
The Cheshire side started the second game with a desire to ensure the tie was finished long before the final whistle with Charlie Kirk almost embarrassing Stryjek when charging down his kick in the opening minutes.
The keeper did better when he dashed off his line to thwart Ollie Finney, who then dragged another juicy chance across the face of goal.
But it was Anene who made a swift impact off the bench. And while Charlie Seaman went close to levelling for Eastleigh early in the second half, another Crewe substitution paid off when Daniel Powell surged into the box and drove a low cross which Johnson poked into his own net at full stretch.
Andrew Boyce had more success clearing Kirk’s effort off the line, but it was the end of the road for Ben Strevens’ side when Anene pounced again with a sweet finish.
Eastleigh reduced the arrears in the last minute when substitute Marcus Barnes latched onto a through ball and lofted over keeper Will Jaaskelainen.
The Spitfires now take on Yate Town in another cup in the form of the FA Trophy