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LEAGUE ONE GUIDE: CREWE ALEXANDRA

26 June 2013

A look at Brentford's opponents for 2013/14, continuing with Crewe Alexandra

THE GROUND

Alexandra Stadium
Gresty Road
Crewe
Cheshire
CW2 6EB
Crewe Alexandra have been based at the Alexandra Stadium, more commonly known to most supporters as Gresty Road, since 1906.

The 10,153 capacity ground has four separate stands and the official end for visiting supporters is the Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Van Stand, opposite the main stand.

There is usually room for 1,680 away fans.

The ground was redeveloped through the 1990s and is now a modern all-seater stadium with one large stand and three smaller stands.

 


THE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

It is approximately 170 miles from Griffin Park to Gresty Road by road, travelling via the A406, M1, M6, A500, A5020, A532, and A534 to the B5071.

There is no parking, except for residents, around the stadium for away supporters.

The nearest car park at the ground is a pay and display behind the main stand.
The nearest station is Crewe, which is served by Virgin Trains, from London Euston.

The station is a short walk from the ground and trains are regular and fast from London.

The Supporters’ Association will be running coaches to every game this season – details of times and prices will be announced in due course.

 


THE FIXTURES

Brentford will welcome Crewe Alexandra to Griffin Park on Saturday November 16.

The Bees will travel to Cheshire for the return fixture on Saturday February 15.

 


THE RECENT HISTORY

Crewe returned to League One after a three-year absence in 2012, winning the League Two Play-Off Final 2-0 against Cheltenham Town and continued their fine form last season.

The Alex were never in danger of losing their third tier status and won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, their second Wembley success in less than 12 months.

The last two years have marked an upturn in fortunes that had been on a downward trend.

Crewe were relegated from The Championship in 2006, having been there – apart from one season – since 1997, and then went down again in 2009.

In their third year at that level they got it right and an unbeaten run from February to the season’s end proved decisive, with Crewe finishing in seventh place.

They beat Southend United in the Play-Off Semi-Final and then Cheltenham at Wembley to earn promotion.

The 2011/12 season also saw the end of Dario Gradi’s reign.

He took over at Crewe in 1983 and turned the Cheshire side in to a club that developed young talent and sold it on to balance the books.

He stood down in 2007 but came back as caretaker in late 2008 and then again in 2009, when he took over permanently once more.

Dario Gradi stepped down in November 2011 after 1,404 games as manager to concentrate on the academy, leaving the way for Steve Davis, who proved an immediate success.

He continued that run last season, taking Crewe to Wembley in the JPT and leading them to a win over Southend United.

They also finished 13th in the League One table, 16 points clear of the relegation zone.

 


THE MANAGER

Steve Davis took the unenviable task of succeeding Dario Gradi but achieved promotion in his first season in charge and won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in his second.

The 47-year-old had been an assistant to firstly Guðjón Þórðarson, then Gradi, at Gresty Road since May 2009.

He started his playing career at Stoke City without making any first team appearances before a move to Gresty Road.
Four years followed before a move to Burnley, where he established himself as one of the lower leagues most coveted defenders.

A seven year spell at Barnsley together with a move to Oxford completed his league career.
He then joined Macclesfield Town, and finished his non-league career with Northwich Victoria and Nantwich Town - where he was player-manager of both clubs.

 


THE TOP SCORER

Mathias Pogba scored 16 goals in all competitions for Crewe last season, 12 of them in npower League One.

The 22-year-old, born in Guinea, joined Crewe last summer from Wrexham.

The brother of former Manchester United man Paul Pogba – who is now with Juventus, the striker was at Spanish side Celta Vigo and French outfit Quimper before joining Wrexham after a successful trial.

He scored twice on his debut for Crewe, in a Capital One Cup tie against Hartlepool United, and hit 14 more before the season was up.

 


THE KEY MEN

Crewe’s history of producing talent was shown in bold print when they named a starting XI containing only players who came through their Academy on the final day of last season against Walsall.

Luke Murphy, current captain and perhaps the best of the current crop, scored the first goal in a 2-0 win over Walsall.

Murphy played 48 games in all competitions last season and scored nine goals, including the first in the JPT Final win over Southend.

The 23-year-old is approaching 200 games for Crewe and The Railwaymen will want to keep hold of him if they can.

The XI against Walsall are signed up for next season and are supplemented with others including top scorer Pogba and goalkeeper Steve Phillips, best known for his spells at Bristol City and Bristol Rovers.

Crewe have added striker Vadaine Oliver, from Lincoln, and defender Thierry Audel, from Macclesfield Town, to their ranks so far this summer.

They will join established defenders Harry Davis and Mark Ellis – regulars in the centre of defence – in the Crewe ranks.

Matt Tootle was also a regular in defence last season while England Under-19 international Max Clayton, who scored nine goals, is an attacking option.

Abdul Osman and Kelvin Mellor were usually alongside Murphy in midfield while AJ Leitch-Smith was a partner for Pogba.

 


THE FIRST MEETING

September 12 1962, Football League Division Four – Crewe Alexandra 3 Brentford 0

Brentford line-up: Cakebread; Coote, Gitsham; Crowe, Dargie, Higginson; Block, Summers, McAdams, Dick, McLeod

 


THE LAST MEETING

April 10 2013, npower League One – Crewe Alexandra 0 Brentford 2

Brentford line-up: Moore; Logan, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw (sub Hodson), Adeyemi, Douglas, Saunders (sub Diagouraga); Donaldson, Wright-Phillips (sub Trotta)

Subs (not used): Gounet, O’Connor, Reeves, El Alagui

Brentford goal scorers: Wright-Phillips, Trotta

Brentford picked up their first away win for nearly two months as goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Marcello Trotta gave them a 2-0 win against Crewe Alexandra.

Click here for a full report.

 


THE MEMORABLE DAY

May 25 1997, Nationwide Football League Division Two Play-Off Final - Brentford 0 Crewe Alexandra 1

Brentford line-up: Dearden; Hurdle (sub Ashby), Bates, Hutchings, Anderson; Bent (sub Canham), Smith, Statham, Asaba; McGhee, Taylor

Subs (not used): Fernandes

Brentford are convincingly beaten in the Division Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium.


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