Date: 29th October 2018 at 8:00pm
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The second of 2 home games to end October sees the re-arranged fixture between Crewe Alexandra and Mansfield Town, the original date of the fixture being scheduled for the September international break.

Looking at the visitors, so far this season they have 4 victories, 9 draws and 1 loss in the league as they sit in 11th place. They have beaten Newport County, Carlisle United, Northampton Town and Morecambe, they have drawn against Yeovil Town, Colchester United, Tranmere Rovers, Macclesfield Town, Cambridge United, Oldham Athletic, Bury, Swindon Town and MK Dons whilst their only defeat so far came at home to Exeter City.

In cup competitions, they lost 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion in the EFL Cup after battering Accrington Stanley 6-1 in the first round whilst they have beaten both Lincoln City and Wolves Under-21 in their EFL Trophy group that also contains Scunthorpe United.

Looking back in the archives, the two teams have met 78 times with Crewe leading the head-to-head with 31 wins to 29 with 18 draws. Crewe’s biggest win came in a 7-0 victory at the Alexandra Stadium in February 1933 while Mansfield’s biggest win came at the Field Mill on Xmas Day 1953 with a 6-0 win. Last season’s games saw the season open with a 2-2 draw in South Cheshire before a 4-3 Alex win in Nottinghamshire in April.

Who are the officials for the game?

The officials for this game see Chris Sarginson as the man in the middle where he is assisted by Joe Clark and Andrew Hendley with Matthew Donohue being the fourth official. During the last 5 seasons the following Crewe games have been refereed by Sarginson:

  • Crewe Alexandra 3-0 Sheffield United (1st February 2014) – Aneke (2), Moore
  • Barnsley 0-2 Crewe Alexandra (12th August 2014, EFL Cup) – Waters, Tootle
  • Coventry City 1-3 Crewe Alexandra (25th April 2015) – Dalla Valle, Colclough, Haber
  • Colchester United 2-3 Crewe Alexandra (24th November 2015) – Colclough, Haber, Lowe
  • Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Yeovil Town (22nd October 2016)
  • Grimsby Town 1-0 Crewe Alexandra (2nd September 2017)
  • Forest Green Rovers 3-2 Crewe Alexandra (18th November 2017) – Porter, Bowery
  • Carlisle United 1-0 Crewe Alexandra (13th January 2018)

I asked Mansfield supporter Sam Binch for her thoughts going into the game.

What do you think of Mansfield’s transfer activity over the summer?

Our business looks solid. Otis Khan and Neal Bishop have been particularly impressive, and have probably been our best players so far. Craig Davies has struggled with injuries but has done ok. Ryan Sweeney and Matt Preston have both been solid additions and played a big part in making us one of the defences in the league. Timi Elsnik has also looked pretty good in most games. The squad is a bit light in certain areas though, such as RWB and up top. Hopefully with loan additions in January that can be rectified, especially with Zander Diamond’s retirement possibly freeing up funds.

What do you think the team will be for tomorrow’s game?

I believe Ryan Sweeney is suspended and Otis Khan may be injured, so if that is the case and assuming Hayden White it still injured:

Preston Pearce Benning
Atkinson Bishop Butcher Mellis Hamilton
Walker Rose

Who would you say is the one player that we should look for in the Town team?

Otis Khan is our creative spark but came off injured at half-time on Saturday so I’m unsure if he is likely to be fit. Without Khan, CJ Hamilton is the player most likely to make something happen. He has electric pace allowing him to beat any defender in the division. The problem is his end product is inconsistent and his brain isn’t always as quick as his legs!

Seeing as the Stags the draw specialists in the league this season (having 6 draws away from home already) and that Crewe have only conceded twice in our 7 home games this season, do you feel that this will be a tight, cagey game or more of an open one where both teams will look to attack more than keep it tight at the back?

I think it will be tight. If I was placing a bet it would be on under 2.5 goals. As you say, we have only lost one game all season and have one of the best defences in the leagues, but struggle to kill opposition off. I can see a 1-1 or 1-0 either way.

What do you think would be a respectable season for the Stags and who do you think will be promoted and relegated at the end of the season?

We should be aiming for the play-offs for sure. We have only lost once but need to turn the draws into wins. It’s definitely more of a case of us being unlucky not to win with the majority of the draws, rather than lucky not to lose. Promoted teams on current evidence I would suggest Lincoln, MK Dons, Colchester and Bury. Macclesfield look nailed on for relegation, the other I think will be Cheltenham, but hope will be Notts County!