Stevenage v Crawley preview: All you need to know about Harry Kewell’s team as Darren Sarll aims to return to winning ways

PUBLISHED: 15:57 12 September 2017

Sean Raggett celebrates scoring the equaliser for 10-man Lincoln. Picture: Danny Loo

Sean Raggett celebrates scoring the equaliser for 10-man Lincoln. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Stevenage take on Crawley Town this evening at the Lamex in Sky Bet League Two.

Matt Godden on the ball. Picture: Danny Loo Matt Godden on the ball. Picture: Danny Loo

With Boro falling to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat on Saturday to Lincoln City in what was their first league defeat of the season, Darren Sarll’s men will be looking to get back to winning ways against the Red Devils.

The Broadfield Stadium based outfit – the ground is now sponsored by Checkatrade – are now led by former Leeds United and Liverpool man Harry Kewell.

Kewell – who played 181 matches for the Yorkshire club scoring 45 goals – had an uncomfortable start as life as a manager losing his first three league games and suffering a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham City in the Carabao Cup.

Shortly afterwards the 38-year-old Sydney-born boss – with his number two Warren Feeney and director of football Selim Gaygusuz – held a clear-the-air meeting with concerned fans to reassure them.

Sean Raggett draws Lincoln level with a powerful header. Picture: Danny Loo Sean Raggett draws Lincoln level with a powerful header. Picture: Danny Loo

The heart-to-heart must have had an impact on fans and players alike as the team from Sussex beat the Robins of Swindon 3-0 before easing past Yeovil Town 2-0 two weeks ago through a Jordan Roberts double.

They lost 3-1 to Colchester United on Saturday but the Australian is looking for further improvement tonight.

He said: “Since I’ve come in the players have worked hard, so it’s good to see results.

“I’m young, I’m hungry, I’m ready to risk it all to be able to go out here and prove to everyone that I can do it.”

The Lincoln fans celebrate their team drawing level. Picture: Danny Loo The Lincoln fans celebrate their team drawing level. Picture: Danny Loo

For Stevenage to get back on the winning trail they must first put the unexpected 2-1 loss to Lincoln out of their minds.

The main positive from the game was that star striker Matty Godden’s first goal of the season ensured Boro continued their run of scoring in every league game this term, with the strikes coming from seven different goalscorers.

But even with the loss 11 points from six games is a healthy start to the season for Sarll and his team – with only three teams accumulating more points.

In terms of injuries Jack King could return to the squad after being held back from action on Saturday. King had been back out on the training pitch last week and it is understood he is not far away from first team action again.

Matt Godden celebrates opening the scoring for Stevenage. Picture: Danny Loo Matt Godden celebrates opening the scoring for Stevenage. Picture: Danny Loo

However left-back, Joe Martin was forced off on Saturday, with Luke Wlkinson and Dale Gorman unavailable due to suspension.

Sarll looking for a quick chance to post three points to make up for Saturday said: “We all know we should be on 14 points from six games, rather than 11.

“We gave ourselves a little bit of a cushion because of the outstanding away performances of late.

“We will have to have that real intensity and thrust, regardless of our physical condition when we play Crawley.

Matt Godden celebrates opening the scoring for Stevenage. Picture: Danny Loo Matt Godden celebrates opening the scoring for Stevenage. Picture: Danny Loo

“We have to dust down, recover and get set for what is now an even bigger three points on Tuesday night.”

Crawley are one of Stevenage’s most familiar opponents.

The two sides have faced each other every year since 2004 bar 2011 across five different competitions.

Boro have won the last two meetings by the score of 2-1, making Boro’s head-to-head tally: P23, W12, D3, L8.

Stevenage players celebrate Godden's goal. Picture: Danny Loo Stevenage players celebrate Godden's goal. Picture: Danny Loo

Sarll added: “Crawley will be a tough opponent and will have no fear coming to our place.

“Their 3-0 win at Swindon a couple of weeks ago shows what they are capable of away from home.

“It is up to us to dictate the terms though – we must be at them right from the off and ready to put on a show under the lights.”

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