Rail Against The Machine


By Pete H

In this devilish dystopian world of ours, our last two results have been brought to you by the number eight. It’s, as you darn well rootin’ tootin’ know, the whatever you want to call it in our humbling at the hands of Charlton. Athletic that is, not Heston. And it’s also how long in minutes after the ref should’ve just called it quits that we lost the match in our last league outing. So, Count von Count – what’s it going to mean for us this week?

It’s that time of the year when we take on The Railwaymen; that time being when we’re told to, rather than for any seasonal reasons. It’s not like they need to wait on the tide to be right when sailing over from the Island of Sodor. The more mundane reality (for all concerned) is that they’re clickety-clacking down the line from Crewe. In true British Rail fashion, let’s charge ’em a premium and give ’em an uncomfortable experience. Peep peep!


Stevenage v Crewe Alexandra: Bits and Pieces

The Referee

PWDLFA4; last result: Norwich City 3-1 Stevenage, 14/08/2018

So, huge thanks to Football League HQ for switching last week’s ref after we’d already signed this preview off and gone down the pub. Craig Hicks is who we’re almost tempted to screengrab from the Football League site. That’s ‘cos he’s the guy on the docket for this fixture. Sound familiar? Should do. He was meant to take charge of us last week for the second time this term. Don’t be shocked if Boots McReplacement refs this instead then.


The Opposition

P10 WDLF15 A10; last result: Stevenage 2-2 Crewe Alexandra, 10/03/2018

It’s not that long ago that it was unheard of for Crewe to get the better of us. And you’d have accused of being a witch for daring to predict such a devilish thing. That all went tits up, however, when the Alex came back into League Two; beating us on our own patch early doors in the 2016-7 campaign. Our record has turned from four wins in six (including a league double in the season we got relegated) to one win in four. What’s that about?


The Form

Taking 12 points from the first 12 games, the Alex have been toddling along since the start of the season. Take into account the fact that 11 of these points have been earned indoors, and a smile might start to break out. A goalless draw at Cheltenham on 15 September is the best they’ve done on their travels so far; 85% of the total goals they’ve let in have also come on the road. That’s a big proportion in anyone’s book.

In the spirit of giving with one hand and taking with the other, however, we’re up against a team that does low-scoring affairs. While a large chunk of their goals against have gone in on the road, they’ve still only let in 13. It is the same as us and nowhere near being the worst tally in the division. Two-thirds of their games, meanwhile, have seen fewer than 2.5 goals. So, don’t expect this to be pretty. But we’d certainly expect the outcome to be.


• MORE ABOUT ‘EM: Crewe Alexandra Club Profile