The visitors took the lead in only the third minute when Grant curled an unstoppable effort past Matt Ingram, but Blues responded well and levelled when Cowan-Hall headed home Sam Wood’s cross eight minutes before the break.
Both sides pushed forward for a winner in an absorbing second half, but it was to no avail and the teams will do battle again at the Alexandra Stadium on Tuesday 19th November.
Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to his starting line-up with Matt Spring and Billy Knott replacing Charles Dunne and the suspended Josh Scowen.
The visitors were fast out of the traps and Chuks Aneke headed Byron Moore’s cross wide of Matt Ingram’s right-hand post.
Crewe didn’t have to wait long for the opener though, as former Chairboy Anthony Grant curled a superb 20-yard effort past Ingram and into the top corner.
Blues responded well and only a fine challenge from Harry Davis prevented Paris Cowan-Hall from a clear strike at goal after the forward had been released by Dean Morgan’s pin-point pass.
Morgan curled over the bar from just inside the area in the 17th minute as Wanderers were getting some success in the space between the Crewe midfield and defence.
Aneke should have done better in the 27th minute, but he fired high and wide after Moore’s clever cross had been cut back to him eight yards out.
Ingram did well to divert the ball away from Vadaine Oliver after the striker broke through a minute later, but the ball fell to Max Clayton, who was off target with a first-time strike.
Chairboys levelled eight minutes from the break with their best attack of the half. Morgan did well to retain possession in the corner and fed the ball back to Wood, whose perfect left-footed cross was clinically headed home at the far post by Cowan-Hall.
Ainsworth made his first change at the break with Max Kretzschmar replacing goalscorer Cowan-Hall, who picked up a knock in the latter stages of the half.
Morgan forced Crewe keeper Alan Martin into a smart stop soon after the restart, and Ingram was called into action seconds later as he denied an unmarked Clayton.
Martin produced a stunning just past the hour mark to parry away Kretzschmar’s powerful free-kick which was heading for the top corner.
Wanderers were doing most of the pressing and were close to taking the lead 10 minutes later as Knott’s clever cross with the outside of his boot just evaded everyone, before Kretzschmar forced Martin into a stop with the follow-up.
A prolonged spell of Blues possession saw Morgan find Kretzschmar in the area 10 minutes from time, and the midfielder’s first-time backheel fell for McClure, but the forward was off target.
Substitute Bradden Inman should have won the tie a minute from time when he was played in on goal, but he shot over the bar from six yards, and that was to be the final clear-cut chance.
Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Wood, Stewart, Hause, Cowan-Hall (Kretzschmar 46), Spring, Lewis, Knott, McClure, Morgan (Craig 90).
Subs: Harrison, Dunne, Doherty, Arnold, Kuffour.
Crewe: Martin, Guthrie, Mellor, Dugdale (c), Davis, Aneke (Molyneux 75), Grant, Evans, Moore, Clayton (Osman 85), Oliver (Inman 58).
Subs: Garratt, Ellis, Leitch-Smith, Nolan.
Attendance: 1,929 (250 Crewe)