Date: 20th December 2019 at 4:00pm
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Tomorrow afternoon sees a trip to 23rd-placed Stevenage’s Broadhall Way looking to keep the pressure on the top 3 in the league heading into the Xmas and New Year period. Stevenage will be buoyed a little by the news from yesterday that Macclesfield Town have been deducted 6 points for their financial problems, which would see them lose another 4 points if another game is postponed for the same reasons (that said their game at home to Plymouth Argyle tomorrow is in doubt at time of writing), and the re-appointment of Graham Westley this week.

So far this season, they have beaten Grimsby Town and fellow strugglers Morecambe, they’ve drawn with Leyton Orient, Mansfield Town, Macclesfield, Forest Green Rovers, Cambridge United, Port Vale, Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Crawley Town and Newport County while they have lost to Salford City, Exeter City, Bradford City, Cheltenham Town, Carlisle United, Northampton Town, Colchester United and Swindon Town.

In the cups, they lost to Southend United in the EFL Cup 1st Round while they lost in a replay against Peterborough United at the same stage of the FA Cup. In the EFL Trophy, they finished in second in their group having beaten Wycombe Wanderers and Fulham’s Under-21 side (the latter on penalties) after a defeat in the first group game against MK Dons. They also beat Colchester in Round 2 to set up a game against Bristol Rovers in January.

Over the summer, Stevenage have signed 18 players over the summer, 15 of which are permanent signings, a loan until January and 2 season-long loans while letting 14 leave the club permanently. Arriving at the club are goalkeeper Sacha Bastien, defenders Jamie Fielding, Chris Stokes (a former Alex loanee), Tyler Denton, Adam El-Abd and Kelland Watts (EOS loan), midfielders Charlie Carter, Paul Digby, Dean Parrett, Noor Husin, Tom Soares, Michael Timlin and Charlie Lakin (EOS loan) as well as forwards Jason Cowley, Paul Taylor, Elliott List and Craig Mackail-Smith (on loan until January).

Looking back in the archives, the two teams have met 12 times with Stevenage leading the head-to-head with 5 wins to 4 with 3 draws. Crewe’s biggest win came in a 2-1 victory at the Broadhall Way in August 2016 while Stevenage’s biggest win came at Gresty Road in October 2013 where they won 3-0. Last season Crewe do the double over Stevenage, winning both games 1-0.

Who are the officials for the game?

The officials for this game see Josh Smith as the man in the middle where he is assisted by Alasdair Ross and Louis Marks with Gareth Viccars being the fourth official. Here is the Crewe game that have been refereed by Smith in the previous 5 years:

  • Leyton Orient 1-2 Crewe Alexandra (17th September 2019) – Nolan, Jones

I asked Stevenage supporter Aidan Cheevers for his thoughts going into the game.

How would you describe your season so far?

Pretty pitiful. I had expectations of the top half, maybe pushing playoffs. But we’re currently in a relegation dogfight that seems to grow bigger every week.

Which position is the one that you should improve the most from the squad you currently have?

Strikers and creative players are the main priority in January. Defensively we’re very sound, but it’s a lack of goals that has harmed us.

What do you think the team will be for the game?

I should think we will line up with a back three with two wing-backs. The three midfielders will then support the two strikers. With the extra defender, we can try and isolate Charlie Kirk, who I see as Crewe’s main threat.

Who is the danger man for this game?

Our danger man looks like it’s going to be Elliott List. The pacey winger can cause anyone problems on his day.

What do you think is a realistic aim for Stevenage this season?

Earlier I said that I was looking at a top-half finish, but for now, survival is obviously the aim. If we can finish in mid-table under Westley, I see that as a positive outcome.