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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: United kick off the New Year in Crewe

The Blues first-foot at Gresty Road

30 December 2019

Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: United kick off the New Year in Crewe

The Blues first-foot at Gresty Road

30 December 2019

The Cumbrians kick of their 2020 fixtures with the relatively short trip to Crewe to face the promotion chasing Alex.

David ArtellA solid first half of the season has seen Crewe score goals and pick up vital points, with a tight defence also a feature of their play.

Currently sat in the third automatic promotion place, they head into the Wednesday meeting off the back of a 3-1 home win over Scunthorpe. 

Recent evidence of their ability to bag goals came with five in each of their meetings with Morecambe and Scunthorpe, but a defeat at the hands of Salford and a draw at home to Mansfield Town reminded them that there is still work to do and that nothing can be taken for granted.

Just six league defeats, complemented by 12 victories and five draws, is the reaosn behind the charge for a promotion spot, and with net bulges coming from all over the pitch it looks like boss David Artell has found a good blend of ability and League Two nouse.

The predatory Chris Porter has 10 goals to his name, and Chuma Anene is hot on his heels with seven to his name. Add six from Charlie Kirk and five from Tommy Lowery to that mix, with a sprinkle of assistance from elsewhere, and you get a potent and effective means of attack.

Our October meeting here at Brunton Park saw the visitors race to a two-goal lead before the break. Hallam Hope and Christie Elliott got us right back into it, but Crewe finished strongly with two goals in the last 15 minutes which saw them take the points.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Always a good game, between two teams who like to play football the right way, it should be another interesting encounter this weekend.


From Chris Beech ...

Chris BeechSpeaking ahead of the game manager Chris Beech said: "We’re going against a proper possession-based team that have unbelievable individual talents.

"They're solid, and we’ve got to break that down somehow.

"They get some magnificent results and they tend to come out of the blocks quickly.

"They’ve got good experience  up front in Porter, great energy and movement in the midfield, and some great lads at the back. We need to look at that and consider how we’re going to play against them effectively and with purpose."

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Did You Know?

+ Crewe’s first cup success actually came in the Welsh Cup, which they won in 1936 and 1937 before being banned from the competition.

+ In 1995, the Railwaymen went 56 games without winning away from home, until a 1-0 win at Southport stopped the rot.


Head to Head

The sides have met regularly over the years – 91 times in total – with United having won 40 of those encounters to Crewe’s 38.

  Carlisle wins Draws Crewe wins
League 36 12 35
FA Cup 2 1 2
Cup 1 0 0
League Cup 1 1 1
Total 40 14 38

We were at Gresty Road twice during the 2018/19 season, with the last meeting between these teams coming in February 2019. Chris Porter got the Alex off to an explosive start with three minutes on the clock, and the afternoon took another downward turn when Jamie Devitt was given his marching orders with just 20 minutes of the game having passed by. Gary Miller bagged a beauty to level things up before the break, but former-Blue Shaun Miller made sure the points stayed at home when he came off the bench to score the winner.

Watch the highlights from that game here: 

We were down in Crewe just a few months earlier for a first round FA Cup meeting. The Blues missed a penalty but won the game in dramatic fashion when keeper Ben Garratt got his bearings wrong as he smashed a poor clearance right at Jamie Devitt in time added on. The shocked stopper could do nothing as the rebound found its way into his bottom corner.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Our first meeting in 2018/19 was at the end of August, just five games into the campaign. It was a match of ups and downs for the Blues as they played good football, with Hope and Yates going close early in the piece. The down side for the Blues was the loss of Grainger and Fryer to injury, but Ashley Nadesan left everyone smiling when he grabbed the winner and his first goal of the season with 20 minutes left to play.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Looking back to the 2017/18 season and the away game went the way of the Blues with goals from Danny Grainger [2], Reggie Lambe and Hallam Hope added to by an own goal from former-Carlisle centre back Michael Raynes, which combined to give United a comfortable 5-0 away victory back in the September of that campaign.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The home game in the January was a much closer affair, with a late strike from Sam Cosgrove the difference between the sides.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Man in the middle

John BusbyOur referee for this game is Mr John Busby. He has taken charge of 23 games so far this season and has shown 92 yellow cards and five reds.

Now into his fourth season as an EFL official, it's perhaps somewhat surprising that this is just our third game with Mr Busby on the whistle.

We met him at Valley Parade earlier in September 2019 when Bradford ran out as 3-1 winners. Olufela Olomola got our goal but the day was blighted when Jack Bridge was given his marching orders just after the half-hour mark. Jack Iredale and Nathaniel Knight-Percival also went into the notebook.

Prior to that he was with us for the 1-1 away draw at Exeter in March 2018. Dean Moxey put the Grecians ahead just before half time, but Ashley Nadesan pegged them back with a great finish just after the hour mark. Luke Joyce and Gary Liddle had their names taken on the day.

Referee - John Busby
Assistant Referee 1 - Gareth Mellor
Assistant Referee 2 - David Plowright
Fourth Official - Ravel Cheosiaua


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