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MATCH PREVIEW: Swindon Town vs Crewe Alexandra

Town head to Cheshire in search of three points…

28 April 2023

Club News

MATCH PREVIEW: Swindon Town vs Crewe Alexandra

Town head to Cheshire in search of three points…

28 April 2023

Swindon Town look to bounce back from defeat to Stevenage in midweek as they make the trip up the M5 to Crewe Alexandra tomorrow, Saturday 29 April, kick off 3pm.

With both The Robins and Railwaymen safe from any potential relegation battle and Jody Morris’ side still in with a chance of overtaking Barrow into ninth, this weekend will pose another test for Town.

We’ve taken a look at our next opponents ahead of the clash at Gresty Road…

A brief history of The Alex

After their relegation from League One last season, Crewe would’ve wanted to bounce straight back up after promotion, alongside Swindon, back in the 2019/20 campaign.

This season has been disappointing for Alex, who currently sit eighteenth in the standings and twelve points from the drop.

Crewe are one of the original founders of the Football League Second Division in 1888 after being formed in 1877 as an offshoot to the Crewe Alexandra Cricket Club.

Throughout the years, they’ve bounced up and down the divisions with their highest stint being in the newly formed Championship during the 2004/05 season.

During that time, they had Dario Gradi as Head Coach who encouraged Alex to play attractive and technical football which led to the development of many great England players such as Danny Murphy and David Platt.

Gradi brought the club two promotions to the third tier and in 1997, won the Division Two play-offs to the Football League First Division, the second level of English football at the time.

They played here for eight of the following nine seasons, but by 2009 had dropped down to the fourth tier (League Two) once more.

The appointment of Steve Davis led them to them winning the play-offs back to League One in 2012 and in 2013, the club won its only ever Football League Trophy.

Their season so far…

It’s often the assumption that when a side suffers relegation, an immediate return is inevitable, but Crewe’s hopes of stepping straight back up to League One wavered some time ago after a disappointing campaign by their standards.

Their season started strong, winning their first two games against now relegated Rochdale and struggling Harrogate.

But this form didn’t last as they went on to lose 3-0 to Salford in the next league fixture, which seem to set a precedent for the rest of their campaign.

Their most promising period this term came back in early November, where a penalty shoot-out win over Leeds United Under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy led to an FA Cup victory over Leyton Orient and two subsequent league wins against Colchester and The Robins.

One win in the next eleven games that followed in all competitions seemed to set the trend as Alex found wins hard to come by.

They now head into tomorrow’s showdown off the back of two straight away defeats to Orient and Grimsby, but had recorded three wins out of our prior.

Last time out…

Swindon suffered defeat last time round against Crewe with a Dan Agyei goal on 23-minutes proving decisive at the County Ground back in November.

Alex managed to withstand Town’s pressure defending resolutely that day, with Scott Lindsey’s charges unable to capitalise having seen 70% of the ball despite creating numerous chances.

The lack of goals wasn’t for the want of trying however as Swindon peppered the Crewe goal with 18 shots, seven of which needed goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo to stand firm.


Since 2008, Swindon and Crewe have come up against each other 22 times, including fixtures in leagues one and two, as well as the FA Cup.

Town have a slightly better record against the Railwaymen with 11 of the clashes ending with a Swindon victory.

Eight have resulted in Crewe taking all three points, while there’s been three draws between the two sides in recent times.

The last five fixtures between the pair have finished as follows…

22/23 – Swindon 0-1 Crewe

21/22 – Crewe 0-3 Swindon

20/21 – Swindon 2-1 Crewe

20/21 – Crewe 4-2 Swindon

19/20 – Swindon 3-1 Crewe

The manager

Lee Bell has been a staple at Crewe throughout the years and since his retirement from playing football in 2015, he has worked through the Alex ranks becoming Under-18s coach once he hung up his boots.

He later became the manager of the 18s before stepping up to oversee their Under-23s in March last year.

It proved a big year for Bell as he was appointed Assistant First-Team Head Coach in April before stepping up into the hotseat in November.

This has been his only managerial role in professional football with a record of ninewins, eight draws and 12 losses – a 31 per cent win ratio.

Key players…

Daniel Agyei

The Alex number 11 has been an important part of Crewe’s season so far and has proved so through his goal tally which has far exceeded that of anyone else in the squad.

A total of 14 strikes this term from 43 games lands him in joint sixth position in the goal scorer rankings.

The forward has had his breakthrough season with Crewe after joining from Oxford United early last year and has certainly impressed.

Chris Long

New to the starting line-up is Chris Long, and it seems the former Everton youth player has made an impression in his few appearances this season.

After only making three starts at Crewe this term, he has contributed two goals, which by anyone’s estimations is impressive for the young forward who has had an instant impact and hasn’t lived up to the expectations when Burnley paid good money for his services back in 2015.

Elsewhere centre-forward Courtney Baker-Richardson is capable of finding the net and will always pose a threat. He has eight goals to his name this term but has just the solitary assist.

In the midfield, Callum Ainley has been in fine creative form, as has Tariq Uwakwewho attacks from the left side.

Connor O’Riordan is one of the key men at the back for Alex, and he’s even weighed in with three league goals this season.

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