New manager Matt Taylor savoured his first win since taking charge of Bristol Rovers as his side held off Crewe’s second-half fightback to win their FA Cup second-round replay 4-2.
John Marquis, James Wilson and Anthony Evans all scored to give the League One side a 3-0 half-time lead.
Ryan Cooney’s own goal made it four before Elliott Nevitt and Aaron Rowe struck to get the League Two side back into the contest, but they could not pull off the comeback.
Marquis handed the visitors an 18th-minute lead with a superb solo strike. He intercepted a loose pass, weaved into the box, slipped past two defenders and fired into the far corner.
Rovers made the most of some poor set-piece defending by Crewe to double their lead in the 24th minute. Evans’ corner was allowed to slip through to Wilson and the centre-backhooked a low finish into the corner.
Marquis headed a good chance straight into the arms of goalkeeper Harvey Davies but Rovers soon extended their lead when former Crewe loanee Evans cut in from the right flank and drove an effort high into the far corner.
Crewe’s hopes of getting back into the tie faded soon after the interval when substitute Cooney guided Evans’ cross into his own net at the far post for Rovers’ fourth.
The Railwaymen responded spiritedly. Substitute Nevitt cut in and curled a neat finish into the far corner in the 65th minute.
And the deficit was reduced further when Rowe bundled the ball in at the far post after Joe White’s shot fell into the winger’s path.
But Rovers negotiated the remaining 17 minutes, albeit with some jitters, to book a third-round trip to Norwich.