A look at the opposition: Crewe Alexandra

by 24britishtvMay 6, 2024, 10 p.m. 24
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The Sky Bet League Two play-off campaign begins for Rovers with the visit to Crewe Alexandra in the first leg.

The two sides were separated by a single goal in the league standings after finishing level on 71 points, with Rovers doing enough to earn home advantage in the second leg.

And they have a win apiece to their name in meetings so far this season, with the home side taking the victory on both occasions.

Rovers ran out 2-0 winners when the two sides met at the Eco-Power Stadium back in March to set off on a club-record ten-match winning run.

Hakeeb Adelakun found in spectacular style as he scored directly from a corner in directly from the quadrant before second-half substitute Tommy Rowe poked in at the far post to secure all three points for Grant McCann’s men.

The Railwaymen somewhat stumbled to a play-off spot towards the end of the season, having only picked up two wins from 12 in League Two.

More recently, it is one success in six with that run starting with a 3-0 home loss against relegated side, Forest Green Rovers.

A goalless draw with Accrington Stanley followed before their latest win at Morecambe.

Alex are winless in three after back-to-back 3-0 losses against Grimsby Town and Wrexham, and a point against Colchester United on the final day of the regular season.

Sky Bet League Two manager of the year nominee Lee Bell took to the helm at Gresty Road on a permanent basis in December 2022 having previously held roles as U18 and U23 manager at the club.

Bell also played for the club over two different spells and made 148 appearances for Alex, including 34 in the Championship. He won a promotion with the club during both spells.

Polish shot-stopper Stryjek joined Alex on an emergency loan from Wycombe Wanderers on April 13 due to injuries in the goalkeeping ranks.

The Sunderland academy graduate has made 88 appearances across the EFL with the majority coming with the Chairboys, where he claimed a runners-up medal in this season’s EFL Trophy.

Veteran defender Demetriou joined Alexandra in July 2023 after bringing a six-year stay at Newport County to an end.

The Englishman made 300 appearances for the Exiles and scored 26 goals before making the switch to Crewe where he claimed a spot in the Sky Bet League Two team of the year.

Winger Tracey made the move to Crewe in 2023 after bringing an end to a two-year spell at Cambridge United.

The 25-year-old joined Tottenham Hotspur from Ebbsfleet United in 2016 but never made a senior appearance for the club before joining Cambridge on a permanent basis in 2021. Tracey has made 43 appearances this term and scored three goals.

Top scorer Nevitt has netted 18 goals for the Railwaymen this term and assisted a further two to hit 20 goal contributions across all competitions.

The former Tranmere Rovers frontman arrived at Gresty Road during last season’s January transfer window and has struck a personal best tally for goals scored in his debut season with the club.

Formed in 1877, Crewe Alexandra joined the Football League in 1892 before losing their status four years later. Since then the Alex re-gained their spot in the EFL and climbed as high as the second tier in 2003.

Rovers first met Crewe in the 1923/24 Division Three North campaign and ran out 2-0 winners on the road before taking a 4-1 success in the return fixture just seven days later. The two sides have met 109 times in total and Rovers lead the head-to-head rivalry with 44 wins in comparison to the 37 of Crewe.

Rovers’ last two-leg fixture with the Railwaymen came in the 2006/07 EFL Trophy campaign when four goals from Paul Heffernan, alongside further successes from Brian Stock and Jason Price, secured a place in the final with a 6-5 aggregate scoreline.

TURNED OUT FOR BOTH

Former Chelsea youngster Alex Kiwomya featured for both Rovers and the Alex between 2016 and 2020.

The forward joined Crewe on loan from Chelsea in 2016 and made 39 appearances for the club – scoring seven goals and assisting a further five.

The Yorkshireman joined Rovers on a permanent deal in the summer of 2017 with then-Darren Ferguson’s side preparing for life in League One but he only made 20 appearances over three seasons – scoring once.

Now 27-years-old, Kiwomya last featured for Stafford Rangers in the Northern Premier League during the 2022/23 season.

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