Aidy Boothroyd comes up against the team who provided his first opposition as Cobblers boss back in December. On that day the seeds were sown for the process that has become a move away from the relegation zone and despite not being out of it yet, the Cobblers are moving in the right direction.
Three and a half months after that initial meeting with Crewe, Boothroyd comes up against them again this weekend with both sides still in need of the points. The Alex are one place and four points from the playoffs and have risen from the wrong end of the table themselves since Steve Davis took over from Dario Gradi just a month before Boothroyd’s appointment at Sixfields.
Davis is no stranger to promotions have guided Nantwich up two divisions in three seasons in his first managerial post and will be hoping to add another dramatic finale to a season to his growing repertoire…
Crewe are in superb form and haven’t been beaten in nine games whilst winning all of the last four. They haven’t conceded a goal in the last three and came away from Hereford with a single goal victory last weekend.
The Cobblers have lost just once in the last seven games to climb out of the bottom two and go five points clear of danger. Back to back clean sheets have helped that cause with the win at Burton followed by a goalless draw with Plymouth Argyle last weekend.
Crewe have had a trio of players ruled of the game with Harry Davis (dead leg), Matt Tootle (thigh) and Max Clayton (foot) all missing out. Kelvin Mellor and Jordan Brown are set to come in after finishing last week’s game with Hereford.
The Cobblers have no new injury worries and the big news is that Bayo Akinfenwa is back to full fitness having only been able to start from the bench last weekend. Blair Adams, who was replaced by Anthony Charles against Plymouth, is also back in training and could come back in.
Previous Six Meetings…
10/12/11: Cobblers 1-1 Crewe
Bayo Akinfenwa puts the Cobblers in front in Aidy Boothroyd’s first game in charge but Byron Moore’s goal means that the new Town boss has to settle for a point. Kelvin Langmead is sent off late on.
01/02/11: Cobblers 6-2 Crewe
An extraordinary night at Sixfields sees the Cobblers hit Crewe for six with six different scorers. Shaun Harrad, Michael Jacobs, Dean Beckwith, Andy Holt, Abdul Osman and Billy McKay are on target for Town with AJ Leitch-Smith and Antoni Sarcevic replying.
01/01/11: Crewe 2-0 Cobblers
Clayton Donaldson and Shaun Miller complete a comfortable win for Crewe on New Years’ Day 2011.
20/02/10: Crewe 3-2 Cobblers
Ashley Westwood gives Crewe the lead before Ryan Gilligan and Bayo Akinfenwa turn the game on its head. Westwood levels again though and Simon Walton grabs the winner just a few minutes later.
21/11/09: Cobblers 2-2 Crewe
The Cobblers come from two goals down to earn a draw. After Clayton Donaldson and a John Johnson own goal hand Crewe the advantage, a second half brace from Bayo Akinfenwa turns it around.
24/01/09: Cobblers 5-1 Crewe
Billy Clarke’s debut is a memorable one as he scores a hat-trick to stun Crewe at Sixfields. Danny Jackman and Liam Davis net the other goals for Town with Colin Daniel replying for the visitors, who were down to ten men early on thanks to Julian Baudet’s red card.
The Man In The Middle…
The man in charge is Patrick Miller who last took charge of a Cobblers game in Ian Sampson’s last match – a 3-2 home defeat to Burton Albion in March last year.
It’s never easy at Gresty Road and I don’t expect anything less tomorrow afternoon. If we can get a point against such an in form and promotion hunting side then that will be an excellent return. 1-1