Matt Smith netted a hat-trick on the road as Salford came from behind to beat high-flying Crewe 3-2.

Although Crewe came into the match 16 league places above The Ammies, their failure to live with Salford’s leading marksman would prove costly as they fell to their first defeat since the turn of the year.

Salford manager Karl Robinson named an unchanged 11 looking to build upon a strong midweek showing against Bradford City that saw the side earn a point in Yorkshire.

The visitors came racing out of the traps and were duly rewarded for their bright start when Matt Smith nodded Luke Bolton’s clipped cross from the right into the top corner after just five minutes.

Although Salford continued in the ascendancy throughout the first period, they would trail at the interval as Crewe scored two quickfire goals before halftime.

Clinical finishing has been a hallmark of Crewe’s successful season so far and The Railwaymen would find a breakthrough with their first real chance of the match.

Picking the ball up midway through the half lively midfielder Aaron Rowe exchanged passes with Connor Thomas before firing his curling effort low into the bottom left corner from outside the box.

There must have been a sense of Déjà vu for Salford’s goalkeeper Alex Cairns who would find himself picking the ball out of the net again moments later.

Having failed to effectively clear a loose ball in the box, Salford’s defenders were unable to track the run of Crewe frontman Elliot Nevitt who found himself unmarked nodding home Lewis Billington’s cross from the right.

Yet Salford too would show their powers of recovery in a helter-skelter second half.

Smith notched his second ten minutes after the break glancing Luke Garbutt’s in-swinging corner into the roof of the net.

With the scores level, both sides ramped up the pressure in search of a winner and Salford would clinch all three points deep into the second half.

Substitute Matthew Lund latched onto a clever flick in the box from Callum Hendry to square for Smith who fired home from six yards sparking scenes of celebration from the travelling contingent, sealing an emphatic win in the process.

Matt Smith’s impressive hat-trick has seen him move to 18 league goals this season, Salford’s win has propelled the side up to 19th in the league.

The Ammies welcome Welsh side Wrexham to the Peninsula Stadium next weekend. Kick-off is at 3pm.

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