Crewe? They Know It’s Christmas?


By Pete H

Here we go, our festive elves; Boro’s last match before Christmas and hoping for that new boss bounce. Never mind the fact that we’re bothered about already using the title “All We Want For Christmas Is Crewe“, this could make or break our seasonal mood. And this is a strange one – a new old gaffer at the helm looking for a winning start even though he ain’t present; a caretaker boss on the way back to the coaching staff looking to finish on a high; and a team looking for three points.

Well, that last bit isn’t so strange.


Stevenage v Crewe Alexandra: The Preview…

Crewe Alexandra – who are they?

It’s nearly exactly one year since our last meeting with Crewe. That day, it was the second of our two 2018-9 league encounters – and the second to finish 1-0 to them. It’s a far cry from when we first came up against the Railwaymen. In our first six games, we won four and drew two. Even during the season we went down from League One, we did the league double over them. That, however, has all changed.

For Boro’, it’s now one win in the last six against Crewe – and even then you’ll have to go to back February 2017. Yep, the Railwaymen have been on a surge against us since they came down to League Two for the 2016-7 campaign. We took one point from the possible six on offer in 2017-8, before last season became the first in our head-to-head history where they swept the board. Need to do something about that, yeah? Yeah we do.

Our Record vs Crewe Alexandra: P 12 — W 5 — D 3 — L 4 — F 15 — A 12 — Pts 18
Last time out: Crewe Alexandra 1-0 Stevenage, 29 December 2018

How are Crewe Alexandra doing so far this season?

Much better than us, LOL. As if you didn’t know that already, uh-huh? After all, there are 22 teams currently doing better than us so far this season. But we ain’t fussed about the other 21 for now. For Crewe, it’s been a tidy ol’ season up to this point. They sit fourth in the table and are second only to Swindon Town in the goalscoring charts; 33 in 20 matches is almost THREE times as many as our tally.

In more recent times, their form guide isn’t watertight. Sure, we’re up against a team who have scored in 78% of their games on the road and almost average two points each game away from home. But their points haul from the last eight is now down to 12. Much of that comes down to a run of one victory in six, which was a 5-0 home rout of Morecambe. With three draws and two defeats, this completes that little assortment box.

So, we’re not the only ones looking to build up a head of steam going into Christmas.

Tell us something we don’t know about Crewe Alexandra

In January 1960, Crewe won much respect for holding Bill Nick’s Tottenham Hotspur side; drawing 2-2 in the FA Cup Fourth Round. But that respect was in much shorter supply after the replay at White Hart Lane; Spurs not so much edging it but smashing it 13-2. Yeah, that was thirteen. It remains, obviously, the Railwaymen’s biggest-ever defeat.

What are the bookies’ odds for this game?

It could be a very merry Christmas if Boro’ win and you’ve backed it at the bookies. The odds are long on a home win, with 13/5 (multiple) the pricing pick of the pops. Our guests are fully expected to come away with the three points, which explains why they’re only out as far as 31/25 (Marathon). As we’re feeling in the mood for a festive golazo bonanza, 4/5 (multiple) on Both Teams to Score is worth a punt. Charlie Carter is 11/2 (multiple) to score any time.

Don’t forget – be responsible. And when the fun stops, stop.

Which Crewe Alexandra player should we watch out for?

Not that we’re predictable or anything, but it’s hard to look past Chris Porter here. The 36-year-old striker is still going strong, with 10 goals to his name so far. Out of his 37 shots on goal, 22 hit the target – one reason why his scoring ratio is a goal every 194 minutes. But, there’s a problem. He hasn’t scored since bagging Crewe’s consolation in a 4-1 defeat at Northampton Town on 16 November. And it means he’s well overdue now on that basis…

Who is our ref for this match?

Josh Smith. In terms of what we’ve done when Mr Smith has been on the scene, there’s not a huge amount to talk about. New to the Football League this season, our only cause to bask in the shining aura of this Peterborough ref’s company came in the Trophy match at Wycombe Wanderers back in October. We won that day, though – didn’t we? So, more of that please. And maybe less of the five red cards he’s already shown so far this season.

Unless it’s for a Crewe player. We’d be fine with that…

Our Record: P 1 — W 0 — D 0 — L 0 — F 1 — A 0
Last time out: Wycombe Wanderers 0-1 Stevenage, 08 October 2019

And, finally, what do you reckon?

Oh, well, who knows. On the face of it, this is an uphill struggle against a side with hopes of promotion this season. But Sheriff GW is back in town and has no doubt made it clear what he expects from this group of lads. First goal could be the key, however; Crewe are pretty nifty at holding onto leads and we’re not exactly banging ’em in from all angles. So, we’ll let fate take charge – or should that be destiny take over? It’s Christmas – time for a miracle.

Stevenage v Crewe Alexandra scorecast: 2-1