A last gasp come from behind win in the pouring rain at Barnet on Tuesday night preserved City’s unbeaten start and three point lead in the table, a win that led Paul Tisdale to declare “I loved us tonight” (so did we, Tis). The exertions of successive away wins may have taken their toll somewhat, although Tisdale is unlikely to want to tinker too much. Hiram Boateng and Jayden Stockley both had a massive impact from the bench, and Tisdale must be tempted to put them in from the start against Crewe, although that would be harsh on those who’d likely make way such as Jordan Tillson and Liam McAlinden. Reuben Reid picked up a knock in scoring the equaliser at Barnet but seemed to get over it enough to continue playing, while Dean Moxey made a very brief return to the field for his second City debut.
After something of a tumultuous season where a second successive relegation was a real possibility, accompanied by unsavoury historical off-field stories emerging, Crewe are looking to get back on track this season and have made a reasonable start to life in their second season back in the basement. The Railwaymen do, however, travel down on the back of a defeat against Cambridge. One key signing has been Chris Porter from Colchester, and he is flying so far with six goals in all competitions.
Last season, the first in which the sides were in the same division since 1991, saw the home team come away with the points in both matches. Crewe won 2-0 at Gresty Road back in September thanks to goals from Alex Kiwomya and Danny Hollands, but they had the misfortune of visiting the Park during City’s blistering run early in 2017 and were trounced 4-0 thanks to goals from Moore-Taylor, Wheeler (2) and Lloyd James, the latter after Crewe were reduced to 10 men with Charlie Kirk picking up a straight red seven minutes after coming on as sub (game details here). The win apiece ensured the clubs are still level in league head to heads with 16 wins each (12 draws).
The match day officials are:-
Referees: Antony Coggins
Assistant Referees: Matt Eva and Simon Knapp
Fourth Official: Simon Shaw
This is Antony’s first season as a referee in the English Football League.