Now then, isn’t it better late than never – not least when it’s getting what you want from Santa for Christmas. What you really, really want. We’re talking something much more heart-warming than novelty pants and Lynx gift sets too. Three points away from home on Boxing Day. That’s the true meaning of the festive period, isn’t it; the joy that you’ll only otherwise get after putting away the 15th pack of Gaviscon after your turkey dinner.
Crewe Alexandra v Stevenage: The Lowdown
The out-of-office replies are still on and we’re still in 2018, so this means we’re now into the eye of the festive storm. Christmas behind us, New Year to come – and Boro’ are on the road once more. This time out, it’s up to Crewe we must go. And let’s hope the team bus doesn’t conk out again. Think of the taxi fares! At least there’s always the train back once we’re there. But, first, there’s a job to be done. And maybe doubts still to be eased?
P2 W0 D1 L1 F3 A4; last result: Port Vale 2-2 Stevenage, 17/03/2018
Some hattricks in football are clearly better than others, and ref Anthony Backhouse brings up a super-special one here. It’s the third time he’s taken charge of a Boro’ game – though any fallout from this particular fixture won’t come close to matching last time out. It was back in March when we last met Mr Backhouse; us throwing away a two-goal lead at Port Vale and needing a brand new gaffer the next morning. Careful now, Dino!
P11 W5 D3 L3 F15 A11; last result: Stevenage 0-1 Crewe Alexandra, 20/10/2018
The Alex used to be a team we could almost depend on for a point or three, but it’s not so much the case now. Out of our five meetings since their 2016 relegation, only the one has gone in our favour. Ben Nugent saw red last time out; a 1-0 reverse at our place bringing up their third win over us. If it helps, the one lonely badger of a win since we were in League One did come at their place back in February 2017. Had a red card in that, too.
We weren’t the only ones upsetting the form guide on Boxing Day. After a run of three straight defeats, they bounced back with some style in beating title-chasing Lincoln indoors. Them sitting in 17th doesn’t give a lot away if you’re trying to work out what we’ll be up against. You could say – much like us – there’s no consistent pattern to results. And the Alex are yet to rack up two wins on the bounce this season in the league.
Yes, we know. It sounds like we’re tempting fate. But our last two back-to-back wins came in late October; the last time (before Colchester) we won away. How’s that then, eh? Sadly, Crewe have a superb home record this term; it’s on the road where they fall down big time. Out of their 28 points, 23 have come on home turf. They have scored in all but two of their home matches too, despite having the third worst attack. So, who knows!
• MORE ABOUT ‘EM: Crewe Alexandra club profile