Preview: Crewe Alexandra vs Exeter City

City’s unbeaten start had to end some time, and so it proved with a 3-1 defeat to surprise package Grimsby in what Matt Taylor suggested was possibly a “game too far”. Last weekend’s defeat may therefore lead to a slight shuffling of the pack ahead of a busy October starting with a top of the table clash at Crewe, with Taylor’s options improved by the possibility of a long-awaited debut for summer signing Nigel Atangana – who may be in line to feature from the bench. Otherwise Taylor has identified a lack of goals as being an issue, which could lead to a return to a back four, wingers and two strikers.

When the pundits were choosing their promotion contenders, Crewe were generally nowhere to be seen – in fact some thought that their less than impressive campaigns in recent years could lead to a season of struggle. A heavy 3-0 home defeat to that lot down the A38 on the opening day would have done little to sway opinions, but David Artell has shaped a squad that looks impressive and the Railwaymen go into Saturday’s contest trailing City only on goal difference. Veteran Chris Porter continues to bang in the goals and leads the way with five, but it’s young Tom Lowery stealing headlines lately with four goals from midfield. City will be boosted by the news that key man Perry Ng will miss Saturday’s match having picked up two yellow cards in last week’s draw at Cheltenham.

After Crewe won the first match between the sides in in nearly 15 years, City have won the last five encounters including picking up maximum points last season. The corresponding fixture finished 2-1, goals from Taylor and Jay sandwiching an equaliser from Porter. Before Christmas Lee Martin opened his City account at the Park with a stunner to take the points. As a result of this recent form City’s head to head lead in league fixtures is now 20-16, with 12 matches finishing level. Information on the last six games between the two sides can be found at

The match officials for this game will be:-

Referee: Ross Joyce
Assisrant Referees: Paul Newhouse and Ian Dudley
Fourth Official : Thomas Harty

Ross Joyce has refereed four Exeter games, details can be found at

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