Crewe v Stevenage - preview
Boro hoping for first win in seven
Crewe Alexandra v Stevenage - preview
Both clubs go into this match off the back of respective draws and both Crewe and Stevenage are without wins so far in February.
In fact, both teams last won a fixture on January 25. The teams are aiming to achieve targets at different ends of the spectrum – Crewe are just three points away from a play-off position, whereas Stevenage’s recent slump sees them in mid-table.
Last time they met:
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The last time these two sides met was in September when Crewe were forced to wear the away strip of Stevenage after a mix-up with their kit. The score was 1-1, with Yemi Odubade putting the hosts in front in first-half stoppage time.
Odubade was recently sent out on loan to Newport County along with Charlie Griffin, and will therefore be unavailable to cause any further problems for the Crewe defence this time around.
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Alexandra equalised soon after the interval with Ashley Westwood’s curling shot beating Chris Day. Possession could not have been shared any fairer as both sides were even in every sense of the word.
Despite seeing Boro go down to 10 men after Stacy Long’s red card in the 63rd minute, The Railwaymen were unable to make the most of their extra man, despite Calvin Zola proving a constant threat for Day between the sticks. Just like Odubade, Zola has been sent out on loan by his parent club and therefore will not feature in tomorrow’s match.
Crewe welcome back top-scorer Clayton Donaldson after serving a three-match ban following his red card against Bradford City. Crewe have not won any of the games which he has missed through suspension and his return is good news for manager Dario Gradi MBE. Donaldson, who has scored 16 goals this season, will not be partnered upfront by Shaun Miller. The striker, who has scored 13 goals so far this campaign, misses out due to a thigh problem.
Joel Byrom, Chris Beardsley and Taiwo Atieno could all return for Stevenage after the trio missed Tuesday’s home draw with Oxford United. Atieno is looking to re-discover his form at Stevenage after a brief stint at Luton Town ended in January.
Influential midfielder John Mousinho could also return for Boro, while this game has come a little early for Darren Murphy who has made two reserve appearances in the past fortnight following his recovery from a broken leg.
Steve Rushton will take charge of the fixture. Rushton hasn’t refereed a Crewe or Stevenage game this season, and the Staffordshire official isn’t afraid to get his cards out. In his 21 matches in charge this season, Rushton has delivered 64 yellow cards and four red cards.
Stevenage have the best away defence in the league, however only Burton Albion have scored fewer goals than them on their travels.
Only Chesterfield and Rotherham have scored more goals than Crewe this season at home.