Crewe boss David Artell described it was a travesty that his side did not run up a cricket score against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.
Artell’s side, destined to finish in mid-table after an encouraging return to the third tier this term, were too strong for Joey Barton’s already-relegated Gas, but Callum Ainley’s 19th-minute strike proved to be the game’s only goal.
Crewe spurned several chances to add to Ainley’s goal – particularly a one-on-one for Antony Evans in the final 10 minutes – and almost paid for it late on when Rovers substitute Ben Liddle volleyed narrowly over the bar, but Barton’s bottom-of-the-table side were ultimately beaten by the better outfit.
With a game to play, Crewe will be pleased by how they have built on last season’s promotion, but Artell wanted more from his players on Saturday.
“The result was fine, but it should have been a cricket score by half-time,” Artell said.
“It was a travesty that it was only one and it’s a travesty that the game has only finished 1-0.
“Everyone will remember the last 20 minutes when they had a go, but I didn’t really feel threatened.
“As much as I stand here and say it’s a brilliant clean sheet away from home and a great win, the margin of it should have been so much greater.
“I’m not going to speak about the opposition, we should have been so much further ahead than we were. Then it becomes a bit nervy and they had a go, but I didn’t feel any danger.
“We scored one and one was enough today, but with the amount of chances we created today we’ve got to be winning by a lot more than one and it’s a work in progress.”
Rovers assistant manager Clint Hill took the questions at full-time, and he looked ahead to a summer of change after a miserable campaign for the club.
“Story of the time since we arrived, same kind of issues,” he said.
“The lads have had a go but unfortunately we haven’t had enough quality to either get a goal or keep the ball out of our net.
“Everybody knows and the gaffer has spoken about the issues here previously, and the only way we can do it is to get into the summer and start building a proper team that will not only represent the gaffer but the football club.
“When you get to 45 games played in the season and you’re bottom of the league, everybody knows there are going to be changes.
“I’ve been in that situation as a player and deep down if you know that you’ve given enough and have prepared right and executed on the pitch then you should win.
“The summer’s coming and there’ll be a big rebuild once the new season comes.”