Battling performance doesn't get rewards.
Despite the reverse, they will take great solace from the nature of their performance and, with other teams around them losing at the foot of the table, it's largely as you were going into two more fixtures this week.
The U's continued to dominate possession, but they couldn't quite get back into the game.
Either side of the half time interval, the U's were at their best and could have taken the lead themselves before Mathias Pogba got the crucial third goal of the match.
The U's battling performance didn't get the rewards it deserved on Saturday afternoon, as Crewe ran out 2-1 winners at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
The U’s made two changes to their starting eleven from the game against Hartlepool, both of which were enforced. An injury to Bradley Garmston saw John White come in at left back, whilst David Wright came in for Jabo Ibehre as Clinton Morrison pushed forwards into the lead striker role.
After an early injury scare for Tom Eastman, it was a fairly even stevens first ten minutes, with neither side getting through to test the opposition keeper.
Massey went up against Tootle on fifteen minutes, and drove a cross across the face of goal that Phillips was happy to watch by as Morrison was unable to get there.
The U’s were pressing the ball well in that early period, but then had to reshuffle just before the twenty minute mark when Eastman couldn’t shake off that earlier discomfort.
At the other end, Porter took the chance to chase down a backpass to keeper Phillips and, with his pace, he wasn’t far at all from getting there.
Chances were hard to come by and Bond was flattened by Phillips as he went to get onto a through ball by Morrison, the ref adjudging the keeper had got there safely in time to scoop it away.
The U’s found themselves a goal behind on 25 minutes, though. Thompson was adjudged to have handled in the box and, despite U’s protestations, Murphy sent Walker the wrong way.
The U’s made their second change on 33 minutes, as Wright was sacrificed from midfield to put Smith on for his debut up front.
Their best chance of the half came five minutes later. Massey drove at Tootle and beat his defender, but pulled his shot just past the far post.
Less than a minute later and a rick by the Crewe defence allowed Morrison to get Massey away again and he set up Clifford who pinged a shot just wide.
The U’s were pressing and, after Massey’s shot was deflected behind for a corner, Okuonghae’s effort was cleared off the line from underneath the crossbar.
But the U’s got the goal their efforts deserved just before half time.
Smith expertly let the ball roll across his body to get away from his man down the right hand side. He got away from his man and rolled it inside to Porter.
The Burnley loanee twisted back inside his full back, before lashing in a great shot past Phillips to square things up.
The U’s didn’t want half time to come, but they continued as they left off at the start of the second period.
Porter won the ball off the full back and sent Wilson away and his cross into the box missed three U’s players on its way across goal.
The U’s then had a great chance to take the lead 16 minutes into the second half. Porter got away from his man down the right and dropped a cross into Smith.
The loanee had pulled off his man to strike the shot, but he was leaning back when he hit it and it went well over the bar.
The visitors then took the lead on 71 minutes as Pogba managed to turn in the box and he snuck his shot in at the near post despite Walker getting a hand to it.
The U’s made an instant change to try and get back into it, bringing on Hewitt in place of Morrison who had put in a great shift.
The home side were finding it hard to open up the Alex, though, who were happy to run down the clock in that last fifteen minutes.
Bond had a free kick that hit the wall before, deep in injury time, he smacked another shot that went only inches wide. But despite the possession they had right into the final stages of the game, they were not able to find the fourth goal of the game and fell to an unfortunate defeat.