ALTHOUGH defeat marred Crewe's trip to Blackburn, the match gave cause for celebration as one of the club's young stars recorded a personal milestone.

When Kenny Lunt pulled on an Alex shirt and stepped on to that pitch at Ewood Park, last Saturday, it marked the 20-year-old midfielder's 100th league start for the Railwaymen.

A regular over the past two seasons, Lunt came through the ranks at the now-defunct National School at Lilleshall along with the likes of Wes Brown and Michael Owen.

He made his Alex debut at the age of 17 as the club began their Division One exploits at Swindon in August 1997.

Such a landmark is an impressive achievement considering Lunt's age and it is one, as manager Dario Gradi revealed, he may not have made at Blackburn.

"I was thinking of leaving Kenny out at Blackburn," said the Alex boss.

"No professional should have to play three games in six days, it risks their livelihood. It's difficult as he said he doesn't want to miss any games but sometimes you have to do what you think is best for them.

"Like Gerard Houllier has had with Michael Owen it's hard to leave them out when they want to play but you're always increasing the chance of an injury."

"So I was pleased Monday's game was called off as it gives Kenny and Neil Sorvel a well-earned rest."

It's been a tough responsibility for Lunt to run the Alex engine room over the past couple of years and he has bared the brunt of some disillusioned supporters.

But no-one will deny his talent or forget that winner in the dying minutes against Port Vale, last season.