A fatal 60 sixty seconds consigned Brentford to their first defeat in six games, with Scot Marshall and Jamie Fullarton both sent off.
Fullarton was given a straight red card for his challenge on Paul Tierney in the 82nd minute, and little over a minute later Rob Hulse rose unmarked to head home the winner for Crewe.
Wally Downes made one enforced change, as Kevin O'Connor
replaced Rowan Vine up front, with Mark Williams slotting in the right hand side of midfield.
The opening exchanges were a tepid affair, as the only incidents of note being Stephen Evans and Scott Marshall both booked for infringements in the first fifteen minutes.
Mark Williams was the closest Brentford came to opening the scoring in the 18th minute, but his shot was blocked. Crewe took the lead sixty seconds later with their first clear-cut chance of the afternoon. A good move between Rix and Tierney fed Rob Hulse. He outpaced Ibrahima Sonko midway in The Bees' half, and confidently stroked the ball past Paul Smith in the Brentford goal from the edge of the area.
Ben Rix and Rodney Jack both fired wide of the post within seconds of each other, the latter giving Sonko a torrid time.
Ten minutes before half-time, Hulse went close but shot wide at the vital moment.
Eight minutes after the break, Brentford drew level. A corner swung in by Hunt met the head of Ibrahima Sonko, and the Senegalese International made no mistake.
With twenty-five minutes left, Wally Downes made a triple substitution, with Martin Rowlands making his first appearance of the season. The pendulum swung back in Crewe's favour after Scot Marshall was dismissed for a professional foul on Rob Hulse. The Brentford centre back had no complaint as the striker was all set to score his hat trick, and was brought down in the area.
The second sending off nine minutes later was more contentious. Jamie Fullarton's challenge with Paul Tierney deemed to be straight red card by Referee Penn. If things seemed like they could not get worse, they did, as seconds later Rob Hulse capitalised on poor marking to grab all three points for The Railwaymen.