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10 November 2020 Venue Alexandra Stadium Attendance

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Match Previews

In focus: Crewe Alexandra

10 November 2020

Take a closer look at the latest facts and stats ahead of Town's Papa John's Trophy fixture with Crewe Alexandra.

Crewe Alexandra have had a mixed start to their Sky Bet League One season having won three games, drawn one, and lost six. The Alex currently sit in 18th position in the league table following on from their impressive promotion last season.

So far in the Papa John’s Trophy, the Railwaymen have won both of their games. David Artell’s men secured a 3-2 win over Bolton Wanderers away from home and clinched a 1-0 victory at Gresty Road over Newcastle United’s under-21 outfit.

Name: Crewe Alexandra Football Club

Nickname: The Railwaymen, The Alex

Founded: 1877 (143 years ago)

Stadium: Gresty Road

Capacity: 10,153

Biggest win: 8–0 v Rotherham United (Division 3 North, 1 October 1932)

Biggest loss: 1–11 vs Lincoln City (Division 3 North, 29 September 1951)

Highest league finish: 11th, first division, 1997/98

Read Sam Ricketts' thoughts ahead of the tie...

Feature

Sam Ricketts previews Crewe Alexandra

The Manager – David Artell

David Artell took up the post as Manager at Gresty Road in January 2017 following on from an extensive playing career. As a former defender with the Alex, Artell made 82 appearances in red - scoring six goals. He captained Crewe Alexandra's promotion to Sky Bet League One in 2012 via the play-offs.

During an 18-year playing career, Artell made 495 first-team appearances for a total of 11 clubs. Towards the end of his playing career, Artell was presented with the opportunity to play International football for Gibraltar - making seven appearances on the world stage.

Artell embarked on a role within Crewe Alexandra's Academy as Operations Manager before he succeeded Steve Davis as the Alex boss. Artell also has a degree in forensic biology after he graduated from Chester University in 2010.

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Goalkeeper – Will Jaaskelainen

Goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen signed for Crewe in August 2017, joining the club after leaving Bolton Wanderers. The 21-year-old is the son of former Trotters legend Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Since making his debut at home to Yeovil Town on Good Friday in 2019, Jaaskelainen has been the number one shot-stopper at the club and was the first choice keeper as The Alex secured promotion into Sky Bet League One during the 2019/20 season. Before breaking into the first-team, Will spent time out on loan with Loughborough Dynamo, Nantwich Town, Buxton FC, and Chester FC.

Defender – Omar Beckles

Grenada international, and former Shrewsbury Town defender, Omar Beckles joined Crewe this summer following on from his contract expiration at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.

The 29-year-old started his career at Millwall, before joining Jerez Industrial in Spain. He then played for a number of non-league clubs, including Kettering Town and Boreham Wood.

Beckles then moved to Aldershot for a solitary season, before a spell at Accrington Stanley. He joined Salop in 2017, spending three seasons at Montgomery Waters Meadow. Beckles was given the number 29 shirt at the club, and made his debut against Bolton in the EFL Trophy.

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Midfielder – Charlie Kirk

One of the more skillful players in the team, Charlie Kirk is a handful for almost any defender. A product of the club's academy, Kirk made his first-team debut in 2016 against Rochdale and became a regular in the Crewe side.

Awarded the number ten shirt, Kirk was very impressive for the Alex as they secured promotion to Sky Bet League One last season, being named in the PFA Team of the Season. With an eye for creating goals, Kirk provided more assists than any other League Two player last season.

Forward – Mikael Mandron

Frenchman, Mikael Mandron signed for the club in the summer, joining from Gillingham. Starting his career in the lower leagues of France, Mandron joined Sunderland in 2011. After five years, and a number of loan spells away from the Stadium of Light, he left Sunderland for Eastleigh.

He only spent half a season in non-league, before signing for Wigan. His spell with Wigan didn't last long either, joining Colchester the following season. After two seasons with the U's, as well as a lone season at Gillingham, Mandron joined Crewe in the summer of 2020. Mandron also spent a brief period on loan with the Shrews.

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League stats:

Results: W3 D1 L6

Win percentage: 30%

Average points per game: 1

Average goals scored per game: 0.8

Average goals per game: 1.7

Average shots per match: 10.8

Average possession: 50%

Fouls per match: 3.7

Offsides per match: 3.10

Top goal-scorer: Mikael Mandron - 3

Top Assists: Callum Ainley - 2

Most cards: Mikael Mandron 2

Most frequent FT score: 1-0 (3 times)

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Match Reports

Match report: Crewe Alexandra 3 Shrewsbury Town 4

10 November 2020

Shrewsbury Town top the Papa John's Trophy group stage with a win over Crewe Alexandra.

Shrewsbury Town’s evening in Cheshire ended with Sam Ricketts’ men topping their group in the Papa John’s Trophy with a win over Crewe Alexandra away from home.

A rotated Salop side scored four goals – three coming from Shilow Tracey – as the Shrews left the Alex with a 4-3 victory. Town defender Matt Millar was also on the score sheet as his header secured his first goal for the Club in just his third appearance in blue and amber.

Despite a tight start to the game, the fixture erupted into life as fans watching on iFollow were treated to a seven-goal thriller at Gresty Road.

Chances were limited for both teams during the early stages of the game. One clear-cut chance came Crewe’s way shortly after the 10-minute mark. Offrande Zanzala got on the end of a through ball but couldn’t guide his effort on target as the shot dragged wide of the post.

Despite limited chances, it was Town that made theirs pay. Ryan Barnett delivered an inch-perfect cross into the danger zone and Matt Millar did well to throw his body towards the ball to head home for Salop in the 17th minute.

Town’s impressive play continued and Shilow Tracey managed to double the Shrews’ lead. Ryan Barnett struck a vicious shot towards goal and a deflection from Tracey saw the ball nestle in the back of the net.

Despite a near-perfect start, Town’s lead was halved with just over 10 minutes to go in the first period. Daniel Powell got on the end of a neat through ball and managed to curl a shot into the far corner of the Salop net - his shot going in off the bar.

Burgoyne made a fantastic contribution to his team in the 40th minute. The keeper converged quickly onto a through ball and managed to knock the ball away despite taking a boot to the body.

Unfortunately for Town, the home side managed to pull level minutes later. A dangerous ball was thrown into the box and the Shrews couldn’t clear their lines as Zanzala toe-poked home from close range.

60 minutes in, the Alex took the lead. A defensive error from Town saw Powell skip round Ebanks-Landell to poke home from close range.

It was Town’s turn to have a shot at goal and Tracey ensured Town were put back onto level terms with his second of the night. The winger got on the end of a Donald Love through ball and chipped the keeper from close range to score the sixth goal of the fixture

Tracey’s afternoon kept on improving as the winger bagged a hat-trick for the Shrews with less than 10-minutes to go. Tracey got on the end of a parried ball to poke home from close range - a goal that saw Town top the group stage in the competition.

The teams:

The Alex: Dave Richards, Eddie Nolan, Daniel Powell, Callum Ainley, Oli Finney, Offrande Zanzala, Olly Lancashire, Regan Griffiths, Owen Dale, Rio Adebisi, Travis Johnson.

Subs: Will Jaaskelainen, Perry Ng, Harry Pickering, Ryan Wintle, Tom Lowery, Charlie Kirk, Omar Beckles.

Town: Harry Burgoyne, Aaron Pierre, Ro-Shaun Williams, Sean Goss, Josh Vela, Jan Zamburek, Matt Miller (Donald Love, 45), Ryan Barnett, Shilow Tracey, Joshua Daniels (Charlie Caton), Ethan Ebanls-Landell.

Subs: Deyan Iliev, Donald Love, Scott High, Charlie Caton, Louis Lloyd, Nigel Aris.

Referee: D. Bourne

Assistants: M. Smith and A. Hendley

Fourth official: S. Rushton

Bookings:

Ethan Ebanks-Landell was the first player book as the defender committed a foul on the edge of Town’s box with 12 minutes on the clock.

Aaron Pierre was shown a yellow card with seconds left in the half for a foul in the middle of the pitch.

Donald Love was booked just minutes into the second half for a foul on the wing.

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