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🔎 The Opposition: Crewe (A)

Joe Glanville takes an in-depth look at Saturday's opponents

22 February 2019

Exeter City fell to their first home defeat of the New Year, as Nicky Maynard’s goal proved decisive in Bury’s 1-0 victory at St James Park last weekend.

The Grecians sit in eighth place and just outside the play-off zone, but do have a game in hand in their favour.

Next up is a trip to Crewe Alexandra who are enjoying a fine renaissance with four wins and two draws in their last six league games.

Here’s everything you need to know about Crewe:

  • Founded: 1877
  • Nickname: The Railwaymen
  • Honours: Football League Trophy: 2013

With a long, illustrious history dating back to 1877, Crewe Alexandra have plenty of pedigree when it comes to producing a lengthy line of talented players.

They earnt the nickname ‘They Railwaymen’ following a move from Alexandra Recreation Ground – their first stadium – before taking up full-time residence at Gresty Road in 1906.

Crewe may have enjoyed seven Football League promotion’s down the years, but have only tasted major cup success on one occasion after winning the Football League Trophy in 2013.

The manager

David Artell

A former centre-back in the Crewe Alexandra ranks, David Artell has a close affinity to the club having secured promotion to League One via the play-offs back in 2012.

The 38 year-old made eighty-two appearances for the club and represented eleven different clubs, over a lengthy playing career that spanned just shy of 500 appearances.

Artell also played at international level with Gibraltar, but hung up his boots shortly after. The former defender then took the managerial reigns at Crewe in 2017 and has consolidated the club’s place in League Two.

The ground

  • Name: The Alexandra Stadium
  • Capacity: 10,153
  • Year opened: 1906
  • Address: The Alexandra Stadium, Gresty Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW2 6EB

The Alexandra Stadium, more commonly known as Gresty Road has been a staple of the Cheshire-based club for over a century after the club moved in permanently in 1906. Prior to that move, the Railwaymen played their games at the Alexandra Recreation Ground

The club were ever so close to reaching maximum capacity in a League Cup tie with English giants Manchester United in 2006, as 10,103 people were in attendance. The record attendance at the formerly known Gresty Road was 20,000 following an FA Cup game against Tottenham.

One to watch

Perry Ng

No player has amassed more minutes in the Crewe Alexandra team than the prodigious Perry Ng, who has made 36 appearances for the club this season.

After making the step up from the academy in 2016, Ng has been a consistent feature of the side and just another academy graduate on the club’s impressive conveyor belt of talent.

The 22 year-old was nominally deployed at centre back, before making the permanent switch to right back this season ,where bombarding runs down the flank have been a regularity.

Recent form guide

The Railwaymen are in imperious form following a run of seven games undefeated. That run has heralded four victories, as a once relegation-threatened Crewe gradually continue their ascent up the table.

Artell’s men have also not lost at home since early December, demonstrating their monumental challenge facing the Grecians this Saturday, though Matt Taylor’s side can take confidence in their 1-0 win in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

Key stats


2017/18 season in review

  • Position: League Two – 15th
  • Top goalscorer: Jordan Bowery - 13
  • Average attendance: 3,876

A remarkable start to the season ensured Crewe were sitting pretty in 4th after six games having completely dismantled Chesterfield 5-1 at the Alexandra Stadium, but the wheels soon fell off as they embarked on a five-game losing streak that included a 5-0 thrashing at home to Carlisle and a 3-0 crushing at the hands of Exeter.

Come Christmas and Artell’s men were loitering in 20th place having succumbed to yet another demoralising home defeat – this time a 3-0 loss to Swindon. To make matters worse, early exits in all the cup competitions compounded the club’s poor league form further.

January and February proved to be blue months for the club, as they stooped to 21st following six defeats in ten, as the very real proposition of relegation beckoned.

A late-season revival did just enough to ensure safety though with a twenty point haul in the last three months.

Most recent meetings

Exeter City 1-0 Crewe Alexandra (December, 15 2018 – League Two)

Exeter’s last outing against Crewe was of particular significance as Lee Martin’s goal stopped the rot and gave the hosts their first league victory in nine games.

The win moved Exeter back into the play-off zone, while Crewe remained in 17th and six points above the drop zone.

Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Exeter City (February, 20 2018 – League Two)

A frantic finish saw Exeter secure all three points with two injury-time goals after Shaun Miller had given the hosts the lead in the 88th minute.

Miller had looked to snatch maximum points for the struggling Railwaymen, but it was the Grecians who would have the last laugh as Jordon Moore-Taylor and Jayden Stockley sent the visitors into the play-off zone and condemned Crewe just two places above the drop-zone.

Exeter City 3-0 Crewe Alexandra (September 16, 2017 – League Two)

A comprehensive 3-0 victory maintained Exeter’s grip at the top of the table with Jordon Tillson on the scoresheet and Jake Taylor at the double.

It was a sixth successive league victory as the Grecians continued their rampant start to the season. While Crewe suffered the ignominy of slipping to 15th and their worst position of the season so far.

Ticket news

Tickets for our match away at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday, February 23, are still on sale, there are no advanced discounts.

To buy tickets online please click here

🎟 Tickets on advance sale for season opener! 🎟

Tickets for City's match against Macclesfield Town are on sale at advance prices until 5pm in person and midnight online, on Saturday, August 2, so you can save time and money, and pick your seat in advance. Click here to buy online!

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