MATCH PREVIEW: Crewe Alexandra v Stevenage

Michael Doughty of Stevenage (on loan from QPR). Photo: Kevin Coleman 2013

Michael Doughty of Stevenage (on loan from QPR). Photo: Kevin Coleman 2013 - Credit: Kevin Coleman

Stevenage will be without the suspended David Gray and Lucas Akins for the trip to the Alexandra Stadium

Stevenage travel to Crewe Alexandra tonight (Tuesday) hoping to put Saturday’s food poisoning episode – and the subsequent defeat to Walsall – behind them.

Boro were hit by sickness before the weekend’s game, with Michael Doughty coming off ill after 44 minutes and Simon Heslop missing the match completely.

Speaking after the game, manager Graham Westley said: “Hopefully we can get the sickness out of the system, as there’s no question some of the boys are in a bad, bad way.

“The sickness and the afternoon’s work has left them in a difficult position, so we’ve got a lot of work to do to try and get sick players back to fitness [ahead of] another journey north.”

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Stevenage will be without both David Gray and Lucas Akins this evening, with both players suspended. Gray is to miss one match after he picked up a fifth booking of the season at Walsall while Akins will miss three matches after he was shown a red card with 10 minutes to go in the same game.

Jimmy Smith is likely to fill in at right-back for Boro, while Jordan Burrow may come in to partner Francois Zoko up front.

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Likely to start for Crewe will be former Boro midfielder Anthony Grant, while Chuks Aneke, who had a loan spell at Stevenage in the 2011-12 season, is also set to feature.

Zoko scored his fourth goal in three games for the club at the weekend, but Westley was not happy with the striker’s first-half display.

“Zoko can put the ball in the net, we all know that,” Westley said. “If he plays like he did in the second half then he’ll continue. If he plays like he did in the first half we won’t see his name on the scoresheet too often. But we know what he’s got when he performs to the right level.”

Defender Luke Jones, who was arguably Stevenage’s best player on Saturday, says that Boro must start the game well if they are to get the result they want.

“I think it’s a game we have got to go and get on the front foot from the beginning,” the centre-back said. “If we can start well, like we did at home in the previous two games then we show a real threat against teams and we’ve got to get that consistency in our game, so that is the minimum we take into each game. If we do that I am sure we will come away with points.”

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