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28 October 2023 Venue EnviroVent Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Crewe Alexandra (H) Match Preview

27 October 2023

After midweek disappointment Town are quickly back in action on Saturday when they face another tough test with the visit of Crewe Alexandra.

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Our opponents

Crewe come into the game in fifth place, just a single point off the automatic positions although a 2-0 defeat to Stockport County saw them drop from second spot. Prior to the loss they had been beaten just once in their past nine games.

Away from home Alex have posted a return of nine points from seven games, winning two, drawing three and losing two. There has been no shortage of goals in these games either, 32 in total including 18 over their past three fixtures on the road.

Last season

2022/23 saw the first meetings between the two sides following Crewe’s relegation the season before.

Town went down to a 3-0 reversal at The Mornflake Stadium as two set-piece goals on the stroke of half-time from Dan Agyei and Kelvin Mellor proved decisive before Courtney Baker-Richardson added the final flourish with fifteen minutes to go.

In the return fixture Town went 2-0 in front with goals from Jack Muldoon and Kazeem Olaigbe either side of half-time but an Agyei goal reduced the deficit inside of the final ten minutes before Tariq Uwakwe struck in the final minute to rescue a point.

The man in charge

Lee Bell is in charge for the Railwaymen, having stepped up from assistant manager to replace Alex Morris early last season.

It is Bell’s first managerial position after a playing career that saw him have to spells at Alex as well as representing Macclesfield Town, Mansfield Town and Burton Albion.

Bell has a win percentage of 35.3% from his 51 games in charge so far.

Ones to watch

There are plenty of goals in the Crewe line-up this season. Leading the way is Chris Long with seven, closely followed by Courtney Baker-Richardson with six.

Former Tranmere man Elliott Nevitt has five goals, as has the summer capture from Newport County, Mickey Demetriou, who has also added three assists.

Jack Powell has four assists from midfield after arriving from Crawley in the summer with youngster Joel Tabenier impressing from midfield alongside him.

History

The club was formed back in 1877, reaching the FA Cup semi-finals in 1888 and became a founding member of the Football League Second Division in 1892.

They were then invited to join the new Third Division North in 1921, where they would remain for almost four decades, then being placed in the new Fourth Division before finally earning a promotion in 1962/63.

Relegation was swift however and the club spent the next two decades in the lower reaches of the league before a change in fortunes under Dario Gradi, who oversaw the club for over 20 years, leading Alex to promotion to the third tier before reaching the second tier in 1997, where they stayed for eight of the next nine seasons.

During Gradi’s time in charge the club saw the likes of David Platt, Neil Lennon, Rob Jones, Craig Hignett and Dean Ashton all make moves to top-flight clubs.

The club fell though would fall back down the divisions, dropping to the bottom division in 2009, before subsequently bouncing between League One and League Two with last season ending in their relegation.

Team news

Simon Weaver is without any fresh injury concerns heading into the game, though Saturday will come too soon for Liam Gibson to play any part.

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Match Reports

TOWN 0-1 Crewe Alexandra - Town sunk by first half strike

28 October 2023

A first-half header from Michael Williams consigned Town to a 1-0 defeat to Crewe Alexandra at The Envirovent Stadium this afternoon.

Town managed to stymie the league’s top scorers but couldn’t find a way through a resolute visitors defence.

Town made three changes from the side that fell to defeat in midweek at home to Mansfield Town. In came Josh Falkingham, Abraham Odoh and Luke Armstrong with Dean Cornelius, Sam Folarin and Jack Muldoon dropping down to the bench.

For the visitors there two changes to the side beaten 2-0 at Stockport County last time out. Elliot Nevitt returned in place of Courtney Baker-Richardson whilst Joel Tabenier replaced Jack Powell, who has been ruled out for the season with injury.

Simon Weaver had implored his side not to be apprehensive and it was a bright start from Town after Elliot Nevitt had volleyed over in the first minute.

Odoh shimmied past his marker to feed Armstrong who drew the save from Harvey Davies. George Thomson then saw his shot deflected wide after neat inter-play between Odoh and Matty Daly down the left.

On fifteen minutes Town went close to opening the scoring when Matty Foulds cross was only half-cleared with the ball falling to Daly but he was denied by the outstretched hand of Davies to steer the ball just past the top corner.

Chris Long then saw his snap shot go wide of Oxley’s goal but the Alex forward went closer at the midpoint of the half when he took advantage of Rod McDonald’s slip to shift the ball on to his left. His effort was only narrowly wide of a full-stretch Oxley.

The visitors did take the lead after half an hour though. The Town defence failed to clear a deep throw into the penalty area and Williams was on hand to head low past Oxley.

Crewe lost the lively Long five minutes later when his afternoon was ended prematurely through injury and was replaced by Aaron Rowe.

Levi Sutton was booked on the stroke of half-time for Town after preventing a quick Crewe breakaway with Town almost getting level in stoppage time when Odoh’s clever trip behind the defence was almost met by a sliding Armstrong, but he couldn’t quite get the necessary touch to steer the ball home.

Goalscorer Williams was replaced by Ryan Cooney after the break after suffering an injury in the final moments of the first-half.

Town were dealt a blow themselves barely a minute in when Oxley was injured after attempting to clear from a McDonald backpass. The injury saw Lewis Thomas come on for his league debut for the club.

Daly, in the thick of things throughout the first-half, almost caught Davies out ten minutes after the re-start with a clever chip but there was a little too much weight on his effort.

Thomson then went close with a free-kick from distance that took a deflection a fraction over the bar, with Sutton going close with a header from the ensuing corner.

Simon Weaver introduced Sam Folarin after 65 minutes with Thomson dropping deeper to enable a return to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Town continued to press, forcing a series of corners but the Alex defence stood firm to clear any threat.

Tabenier was then withdrawn in favour of Connor Thomas as the visitors looked to shore up matters heading into final quarter of an hour of the game.

Thomson fired over with just over five minutes remaining but Alex were controlling the game well as the clock ticked down.

A burst of pace from Folarin in the final minute threatened to create an opportunity and his ball found its way to Armstrong who struck first time but his effort was too close to Davies.

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