Youssouf Mulumbu played the full 90 minutes this afternoon. The free agent has been training with Blues for the past couple of weeks.BCFC
On what was a bitterly cold afternoon at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium, Crewe took a second-half lead through Connor Heath, before Blues claimed a share of the spoils minutes later through substitute Kyle Hurst who converted from the penalty spot.
In truth Blues should have been out of sight before the break against the Railwaymen as they dominated the first 45, with no less than 13 attempts on goal.
But having failed the to make the most of them, it allowed Crewe to get back into the game and they almost made the most of it with a much improved second-half attacking showing.
The game also gave an opportunity for triallist and former West Brom midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu complete the full match
Blues made a really bright start and forced their first corner in the space of just 30 seconds when Ryan Burke's low cross from the left was turned behind.
The hosts were continuing to play a high pressing game, with Caolan Boyd-Bunce and Mulumbu largely controlling the centre of midfield.
With just under 10 played, centre-half Mitch Roberts tried his luck from distance but his powerfully struck long-range effort whistled over the bar.
Mulumbu then found Kane Thompson-Sommers on the edge of the area with a neat low pass, but Thompson-Sommers was unable to keep his attempt down and the ball flew into the empty Tilton Road stand behind the goal.
Blues were continuing to threaten, and Ryan Burke curled a shot over the bar from 20 yards, before Josh Andrews snatched at a shot when he perhaps should have done better.
Boyd-Munce was just inches away from giving Blues the lead as he tried his luck from just outside the box with a powerful left-footed attempt, which just skimmed the top of the cross bar.
Blues were really on top now, with Crewe largely being forced to defend from well inside their own half.
Jayden Reid showed a neat piece of skill before turning with the ball, losing his marker, and letting fly with the ball but his chance flew high over the bar.
The lively Reid then lifted a another shot over the bar as he attempted to curl the ball into the top corner, before Andrews scuffed one wide.
Half-time: Blues Under-23s 0 Crewe Alexandra Under-23s 0
Blues picked up where they had left off in the first-half, albeit Crewe were making more of an effort to get forward themselves.
Boyd-Munce found himself in space on the edge of the area and let fly with one of his trademark left -footed attempts, but Crewe stopper Sam Booth was equal to it and pushed the ball away.
Minutes later he struck the ball from a similar distance, but this time Booth batted the shot down.
Crewe were beginning to enjoy their best spell of the match, although when the ball did the reach the dangerous confines of the Blues box, the home defence looked in control.
And when they did find a way through Mo Ramos looked solid in the Blues goal.
That was until the 69th minute when the visitors took the lead with a fine finish from Connor Heath,
The Crewe striker collected the ball on the edge of the box before curling home an unstoppable effort from outside the box, which left Ramos with no chance.
But within minutes Blues were level after they were awarded a penalty when the referee adjudged that a Crewe defender had blocked Hurst’s shot with his hand.
The substitute Hurst stepped up and sent the 'keeper the wrong way from the spot to make it 1-1.
Fellow sub Aidan George almost gave Blues the lead following a probing run from the right before he unleashed a powerful flashed shot just wide of the far post.
Then late on Burke was agonisingly wide with a powerful strike from the left, with the keeper nowhere near.
Blues (4-1-2-3): Ramos, Forrest, Burke, Mulumbu, Roberts, Gordon, Thompson-Sommers, Stirk, Reid, Andrews (George, 69), Boyd-Munce (Hurst, 61).
Subs not used: Bradley-Hurst, Campbell, Sun, George.
Bookings: Boyd-Munce (42), Stirk (74).
Goals: Hurst (73).