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Crewe Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 18/01/2002

WILL Town's season all change at Crewe, or will it totally go off the rails at Gresty Road? Robert Taylor goes straight into the side to give Grimsby a much-needed presence up front.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Crewe (a)

The Story So Far


Crewe have had a slightly better season than the Mariners, staying out of the relegation zone for most of it, but after loosing their last three league games, they have been sucked, yet again, into a relegation dogfight. Alas, this may sound like good news for Town fans - a contender to go down with Stockport, but this is Crewe we are talking about, the team that year upon year have defied the odds (along with the Mariners) to stay up. Credit to them, and in particular Dario Gradi who must be one of the best managers in the football league. But with a bit of luck, Town can make them feel uneasy that little bit longer by pinching all three points at Gresty Road come Saturday afternoon.

If you forget the disastrous result against York in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, then in the last four league matches, Town haven't done badly under the new management team of Paul Groves and Graham Rodger. Although they haven't lost in these four league games, they have only won one, and scored just three goals. Hopefully the new signing of Robert Taylor will inspire Town to continue this run and capture all three points which would see them go above opposition Crewe Alexander. Previous to this of course, the Mariners have had an indifferent season, even topping the table early on, but since September, the Mariners have plummeted down the table, and only the woeful form of Stockport County has prevented the Mariners falling rock bottom of the pile. Hopefully Town can put this behind them, and start a fresh on Saturday.

Recent Form


LYork (Cup)(h)0-1
DWest Brom(a)0-0
DYork (Cup)(h)0-0
WSheff Wed (Cup)(h)2-1
LSheff Wed(a)0-1
DWest Brom(h)1-1

Overall League Record






Phil Jevons

Town's top scorer is former Everton striker Phil Jevons. Jevons scored two of Towns goals in the 3-1 win against Portsmouth recently and will be looking to add to his tally. Scorer of that wondergoal to beat Liverpool in the Worthington Cup earlier in the season

Dean Ashton

Ashton began the 2000/2001 season as a fringe first team player who was thought to have the potential to go on and be a class act. But by the end of that season he had achieved all that, bursting onto the scene with eight goals in just twelve league starts. This record makes him one of the hottest properties in the division, which is a worthy achievement for a player who this time last year had only just signed professional terms. Will be a real threat to the Town backline on Saturday, even if he comes off the bench, as he is expected to do.

Town Team News

  • Bradley Allen and John Mcdermott are both nearing full fitness, as is Johnny Rowan. However, they will not be risked for this game, but will be in contention for the game against Rotherham a week on Tuesday.
  • Alan Pouton will hope to be back by February, while Steve Livingstone wants to be back by March.
  • Elsewhere, Stacy Coldicott is a doubt, but should be OK, and will play instead of Stuart Campbell who is not fit enough to play three times in a week. If Campbell fails to make it then Menno Willems will deputise.
  • Crewe Team News

  • Phil Charnock is a doubt after missing the midweek game, but could make the bench.
  • Meanwhile, Dario Gradi is desperately searching for a goalkeeper after Clayton Ince went away on international duty this week, leaving Stuart Tomlinson, a 16 year old, as the only back up for Ademola Bankole.
  • Defender Dave Walton if not fit enough to play despite playing for an hour in the reserves this week, but he may make the fourth round tie next Saturday.

  • Expected Line Ups


    Danny Coyne
    Town's player of the year last season, and it looks like he could be again this season. Coyne has been in inspirational form and has been the subject of many Premiership scouting visits for some time now.
    Alan Neilson
    Returned to the side in midweek after injury, and unfortunately marked it with an own goal. Was signed in October to replace the injured John McDermott. Now that Macca has regained full fitness, Neilsen will want to keep his place.
    Simon Ford
    Young defender who had not played before December, and now looks like a real talent. Thrown in at the deep end due to Paul Raven being injured, and has adapted very well.
    Paul Groves
    Towns new player boss has been in exceptional form this season, using his experience well with players like Simon Ford and David Beharall, and keeping it tight at the back.
    Tony Gallimore (c)
    The new skipper, in the absence of John McDermott, has a had a good season so far in a changeable back four. Naturally a left back, but has reveled in his position on the left side of a back three.
    Ben Chapman
    Has been a revelation for Town this season after failing to break into the team for the past few seasons. Has played at centre back, left back, left midfield and now left wing back. Wherever he plays, he always gives 110%.
    Danny Butterfield
    Utility player who came onto the scene at the age of 17 in the 1997/98 season when he made his debut against York in the second division. Since then has been a very useful player, and is now a first team regular.
    Wayne Burnett
    Skilfull midfielder who played for Plymouth and Huddersfield before he joined Town in 1998. Has had a decent run in the side lately and will be looking to keep things that way.
    Stacy Coldicott
    Tough tackling midfield player who has missed the last two games through injury. Is rated 50/50 for this game, but if he does play, he will take up his usual place in the midfield.
    Robert Taylor
    Expected to be thrown straight into the side after his loan move to Blundell Park. Strong forward who likes to bring other players in, is the ideal man to replace the injured Steve Livingstone and keep the Mariners up.
    Phil Jevons
    We will hopefully now see "Jevvo" begin to come into his own after a season without anyone to hold up or lay the ball of to him. Despite having to play this role himself, Jevons has managed 8 goals and looks a decent buy.
    Ademola Bankole
    Displaced Jason Kearton as Crewe's No. 1 midway through last season, and has retained his place ever since. Big strong keeper who had a trial at Town in the 1999/2000 season.
    Stephen Foster
    Product of Crewe's youth system who missed the whole of the 99/00 season with injury. Last season he was back on the scene and is now a regular fixture in the Railwaymen's defence.
    Shaun Smith (c)
    Ex-Halifax full back who joined Crewe in 1991. His no nonsense style defending has made him a firm favourite with the fans, and he went on to scoop various awards at the Player of the Year evening last season.
    David Wright
    Accomplished right back who was near ever present in the Crewe defence last season. A solid defender, who likes to get forward, Wright is a product of the Crewe academy.
    Efe Sodje
    Nigerian defender, renowned for his bandanna, who signed for Crewe in the summer of 2000. He played 29 games in the Crewe backline, with his pace and strength in the tackle proving very useful as a means of escape.
    Dave Brammer
    Combative midfielder who signed just before the start of the season for £400,000 from Port Vale. He had a great season with the LDV Vans Trophy winners last season, winning the Player of the year award, before his move to Gresty Road.
    Neil Sorvel
    Hard working midfielder who played every game last season for Alex. Was a trainee at Crewe before he moved to Macclesfield in 1992. After a successful spell at Moss Rose, Dario Gradi resigned him in 1999.
    Kenny Lunt
    Skilful player who adapted well in the centre of the park last season, playing all their games. Despite his slight build, Lunt is a very competetive player who is expected to move onto a better club in the near future.
    Ben Rix
    18 year old midfield player who scored a goal against Sheffield Wednesday in the Cup on Tuesday night. Apparently, several clubs were scouting the young protégée who is expected to be another one of Crewe's remarkable young players.
    Rodney Jack
    Lightening quick player who can play up front or on the wing. Was signed in 1998 for £650,000 from Torquay. Has gone on the represent St Vincent on international level.
    Rob Hulse
    Tall striker who only really came into the reckoning fully last season, chipping in with 11 goals, making him the clubs top league goalscorer. Formed and excellent partnership with Dean Ashton.

    Chris Thompson
    Stuart Campbell
    Michael Jeffrey
    Paul Raven
    Steve Croudson (GK)
    Dean Ashton
    Geoff Thomas
    Colin Little
    Phil Charnock
    Stuart Tomlinson (GK)

    Last Time Out

    Saturday is a repeat of the first games of this season, which means that the last time the two "minnows" of the division met was on the opening day when the Mariners won 1-0 thanks to a Wayne Burnett tap in. This victory started a run of five games which saw the Mariners top the division one table, while it began a poor sequence of games for Crewe, who since then have unsurprisingly improved.

    Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore (Burnett), Beharall, Groves, Campbell, Pouton, Willems, Butterfield, Jevons, Rowan.
    Subs: Coldicott, Jeffrey, Allen, Crousdon and Chapman.  Report

    Crewe Head-to-Head (23rd on The Opposition Ladder).

    Fishy Prediction

    Well, I must say that I am optimistic, with the arrival of a BIG striker, which Town have needed for ages. However, I will not get too excited and will go for a draw. (Even though I think we could win).

    Prediction: A hard fought 1-1 draw. Reader's POMs


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