Stevenage v Crewe Alexandra (preview)
Boro welcome Dario Gradi and his team to the Lamex Stadium on Saturday
Stevenage v Crewe Alexandra
npower League 2
Lamex Stadium – Saturday, September 4 (3pm)
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Boro hope to bounce back from the midweek defeat to Brentford in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a win against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
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Graham Westley’s men have taken four points from their last two league matches after a 3-1 win over Stockport County was followed by a 1-1 draw at Aldershot last week.
It has been 24 games since they were last involved in a no score draw but Boro have also not kept a clean sheet in their past four matches.
Striker Chris Beardsley was believed to have dislocated his shoulder in the defeat to Brentford – the same injury that befell midfielder Darren Murphy earlier in the season – and will miss out.
Top scorer Charlie Griffin was substituted in the first half against Aldershot with concussion, and if not in contention for this match could return next week at Cheltenham.
Replacement attacking options include Lee Boylan, Peter Vincenti and Tim Sills, while at the back Scott Laird could return to the starting line-up in place of Darius Charles at left-back.
One to watch
Jon Ashton – back in the team following a hip injury, the centre-back struggled at times against Aldershot on Saturday but looked in better condition against Brentford. Building up his match fitness, Ashton is steadily improving and could be key if Boro keep a clean sheet on Saturday.
Unlike Boro, Crewe were without a game midweek and their last fixture saw them travel to Lincoln City where a Shaun Miller goal helped them to a 1-1 draw.
After opening their league campaign with two defeats, Crewe put seven goals past Barnet in the biggest scoreline in League 2 so far this season before their draw at Lincoln.
Striker Calvin Zola is back in contention after recovering from a knee injury and could jump ahead of Joel Grant in the starting line-up. Defender Matt Toole (hamstring) will miss out.
One to watch
Rhys Taylor – the goalkeeper has made a good impact since signing on loan from Chelsea to cover the injured Steve Phillips, so much so that Crewe boss Dario Gradi is looking to extend the 20-year-old’s spell at the club.
Man in the middle
James Linington (Isle of Wight) – one red card and 13 yellows in his five games so far this season.
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Roberts, Ashton, Laird, Sinclair, Bostwick, Mousinho, Winn, Odubade, Sills.
Crewe: Taylor, Mitchel-King, Artell, Ada, Blanchett, Bell, Westwood, Murphy, Miller, Zola, Donaldson.