nPower League 1
Saturday 15th September 2012
The Lamex Stadium, Stevenage
Kick Off: 3pm
Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny, 22°c
Referee: G Ward (Surrey)
After making it three wins from three away from home in the league last Sunday, Stevenage return to the Lamex Stadium this weekend hoping to pick up their first home win of the campaign and extend their unbeaten run to six in League 1.
Up against them will be Crewe Alexandra who have enjoyed a decent start to life in the division after being promoted from League 2 via the playoffs, exactly a year after Boro made the same journey. The Railwaymen continue to develop some of the most exciting young talent in the country, with many going on to secure moves to teams in higher divisions. However for now Steve Davis’ young charges will be concentrating on picking up all three points for the visitors this Saturday afternoon and will therefore provide a stern test for Boro.
Last time we met…
Scott Laird snatched all three points for Stevenage with a late winner against Crewe at Gresty Road back in February 2011. Chris Day was on fine form to deny Clayton Donaldson before the break as the hosts for the lead. Crewe’s Byron Moore then struck the post with a curling effort from inside the penalty area on the hour mark. But Laird was at hand to make the hosts pay when he headed home Jon Ashton’s flick-on three minutes from time to end Boro’s six-match winless run.
Boro: Day; Henry, Ashton, Roberts, Laird, Wilson, Foster, Bridges, Long (Winn), Reid (Harrison), May (Sinclair)
Subs not used: Bayes, Charles, Daley, Beardsley, Harrison
Marcus Haber may start for Stevenage after coming off the bench to score the winner at Coventry last Sunday. Jon Ashton could recover from the facial injury which saw him replaced at half time in that game whilst Oliver Risser could make his home debut. Attacking midfielders Robbie Rogers and Filipe Morais may not be risked if minor hamstring injuries have not properly healed in time.
Crewe will be missing top scorer Mathias Pogba through injury so will give a first start to former Boro midfielder Chuks Aneke who recently signed for the Railwaymen on loan from Arsenal. Manchester City loan man Harry Bunn is out injured for the season.
The Crewe Scout Report
Crewe have had a decent start to the season on their return to League 1, picking up two wins, a draw and two defeats from their first five games to leave them in 13th place. They opened the season with a 2-1 home reverse against Notts County before beating Scunthorpe 2-1, losing 5-1 at Brentford, picking up all three points with a 1-0 win over Coventry and then taking a point with a goalless draw at home to Tranmere. They also thrashed Hartlepool 5-0 in the first round of the Capital One Cup, before losing 2-0 at West Ham in the second round.
Possible Crewe line-up for Saturday (4-3-3 formation)
Alan Martin; Gregor Robertson, Mark Ellis, Kelvin Mellor, Harry Davis; Luke Murphy, Abdul Osman, Chuks Aneke; Max Clayton, Ajay Leitch-Smith, Byron Moore
Subs from: Adam Dugdale, Matt Tootle, Oliver Turton, Jon Guthrie, Brendon Daniels, Ben Garratt
Max Clayton is another exciting youngster on the Gresty Road production line. The 18-year old striker made his debut for the club in April 2011 and has represented England at under-16 under-17 and under-18 levels. He scored four times last season, including late strikes in wins over Accrington and Gillingham and a vital goal against Southend to send Crewe to Wembley for the League 2 playoff final. He has already struck three times this season: twice against Hartlepool in the 5-0 Capital One Cup victory and also against Coventry to secure a 1-0 win in the league.
• The Railwaymen were founded by men who worked for the railway who previously played rugby and cricket in 1877. Their name was taken from an amalgamation of the town's name and the high regard in which they held Alexandra, the Princess of the time, although there is also speculation it could also have been taken from a pub where they held their meetings.
• Famous fans of Crewe apparently include singer Suzi Quatro.
• Footballers who came through the famous youth ranks at Crewe before going on to have successful careers include Danny Murphy, Dean Ashton, Rob Hulse, Dele Adebola and our very own skipper Mark Roberts.
• The referee for this game will be Gavin Ward. He last took charge of a Boro game in their 3-0 FA Cup win at Stourbridge last season.
• Should he start against Crewe then Patrick Agyemang will be making his 15th start for the club.
• The next appearance for both Bondz N’Gala and Robbie Rogers will be their 5th for the club respectively.
PREVIEW BY DAVE TOYN