Date: 3rd January 2019 at 7:00pm
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Saturday sees the second trip to Lancashire of the year already with a trip to Morecambe’s Globe Arena as the Alex look for their 2nd league double of the season and to inflict Morecambe’s second league double of defeats (their other coming against Tranmere Rovers).

Looking at the visitors, so far this season they have 7 victories, 5 draws and 14 losses in the league as they sit in 20th place in the league. In the league, they have beaten Northampton Town, Macclesfield Town, Grimsby Town, Carlisle United, Yeovil Town, Forest Green Rovers and Cambridge United, their draws have come against Cheltenham Town, Newport County, Notts County, Port Vale and Colchester United while their defeats have come against us, Exeter City, Stevenage, Oldham Athletic, Bury, Swindon Town, Crawley Town, Tranmere twice, Colchester, Mansfield Town, MK Dons, Lincoln City and Carlisle.

Looking back in the archives, the two teams have met just 11 times with the Alex leading the head-to-head record by 7 wins to 3. Last season saw the Alex complete their second league double against the Shrimps by winning both games 1-0, ironically their other double (which came in the 10/11 season) also saw both games finish by the same score-line (although both games that season finished 2-1 to the Alex) whilst Morecambe won both the first 2 meetings between the sides during the 09/10 season. In all of the 9 meetings that either team have won before the game on the opening day of this season, the winning team has never won by more than 1 goal.

Who are the officials for the game?

The officials for this game see Carl Boyeson as the man in the middle where he is assisted by David Avent and Natalie Aspinall with Peter Wright being the fourth official. During the last 5 seasons the following Crewe games have been refereed by Boyeson:

  • Crewe Alexandra 0-0 Crawley Town (3rd April 2015)
  • Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Eastleigh (7th November 2015)
  • Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Blackpool (24th September 2016) – Lowe
  • Lincoln City 1-4 Crewe Alexandra (27th February 2018) – Pickering, Bowery (2), Green
  • Crewe Alexandra 3-0 Macclesfield Town (1st September 2018) – Kirk, Bowery (2)
  • Crewe Alexandra 3-2 Tranmere Rovers (17th November 2018) – Ainley (2), Kirk

I asked Morecambe supporter Jack Steer, trustee for the Shrimps Trust, for his thoughts going into the game.

How do feel that your season has gone since we last played?

It still doesn’t feel like it has got going. We don’t seem to be able to put a string of results together and while we can play some good stuff one week, we can then go on a run of not even looking like scoring. Some of our football has been ok, but has really lacked any cutting edge and that is why we are where we are in the league.

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

With their being so many fixtures over the Christmas period, I suspect Jim will shake things up after the Carlisle home defeat. I would be surprised if Leitch-Smith and Mandeville don’t re-join the starting 11. We have had a number of injuries, some long term, so have not had a great deal of depth in the squad over the last few months.

Is Lavelle the danger man for this game or is there someone else that we should look out for?

Sam is certainly the man to beat at the back – he is having another good season and I’m sure he is being watched by other clubs. It would be nice if he added some goals to his game, along with Old our other centre back. Gone are the Bentley-Artell days where we could score from corners for fun!

Any changes in where you will finish (previously said that you would finish in mid-table) or to who you think will be promoted and relegated?

It is hard to see past a relegation scrap at the moment. We have been in the bottom 5 for most if not all of the season and can’t seem to get a run together to get out of it. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to the last day again – I don’t think we could take it!