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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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18 January 2020 Venue Alexandra Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Crewe Alexandra (A)

17 January 2020

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Cheltenham Town head to Cheshire on Saturday for the first of two big away matches against teams in and around the higher echelons of League Two.

Michael Duff leads his side into battle at Crewe Alexandra in a third against fourth clash (kick-off: 3pm).

The Robins occupy an automatic promotion spot heading into the weekend, and though facing a difficult task against an eye-catching football outfit, will be eager to continue the 11 match unbeaten run away from home that stretches all the way back to September.

Crewe will be looking to get back to winning ways after they lost at top of the table Swindon Town last weekend, with an opportunity to leapfrog the Robins if they get a positive result.

Team news

There have been no January incomings this week so there are no debuts to contend with, though new goalkeeper Owen Evans is in line to make his second appearance and his first away from home for the Robins.

Luke Varney has been back in training and is in contention to face his former employers.

Scott Flinders, Reuben Reid and Ryan Broom all miss out through injury. Alex Addai returns from his suspension.

Watch Michael Duff's press conference looking ahead to the game:

Goalkeeper Owen Evans has also been discussing the match. You can watch footage for free on iFollow from the players training session on Thursday.

Opposition

Crewe have bolstered their defensive options this week with the signing of Michael Nottingham on loan from Blackpool.

The 30-year-old brings more experience to a young side that also has its sprinkling of knowledgable pros who have played the game at a higher level.

Goalkeeper Will Jääskeläinen, the son of former Bolton Wanderers great Jussi, is likely to be the man they rely on in goal on Saturday.

In front of him their options range from academy graduates Perry Ng and Harry Pickering to 36-year-old Nicky Hunt - a former teammate at Bolton of Jääskeläinen's father.

In midfield Tom Lowery adds lots of energy to an area of the pitch where experience is provided by Republic of Ireland international Paul Green.

Callum Ainley is another from their long line of academy products who could line up in midfield, while 22-year-old Ryan Wintle could also be deployed there.

In attack Chris Porter has been their top goal scorer this season with ten goals though has been out of action of late with an injury problem.

Despite that FC Midtjylland loanee Chuma Anene carries a goal threat, as do the exciting Charlie Kirk and former MK Dons attacker Daniel Powell.

Crewe go into the game on the back of consecutive losses to Championship outfit Barnsley in the FA Cup third round and table toppers Swindon Town last weekend.

They've lost at home only three times this season and when it comes to league competition they are unbeaten at home in four. Their last home loss in League Two coming against Port Vale at the beginning of November.

David Artell is in charge at the club where he spent two years of a career that also saw him play for Rotherham, Mansfield, Port Vale and Wrexham among others. He finished his playing days in non-league with seven caps for Gibraltar to his name.

Earlier this season

It was late September when the teams first met this season. Crewe held on with ten men to earn a good point on their travels to Gloucestershire.

Gavin Reilly gave Cheltenham an early lead after only nine minutes when he swooped inside the six-yard box to score from close range when a corner fell to him.

Crewe levelled though on the stroke of half time when Chris Porter found the back of the net.

Perry Ng was shown a second yellow card for Crewe with 20 minutes of normal time to play. Michael Duff's side couldn't make the most of their one man advantage though and the game ended in a draw.

Watch the highlights from that meeting:

Tickets and travel

Supporters can buy tickets on the day at Crewe. They are priced at:

Adults £22
Senior Citizens £17
12-16 years £10.50
Under-11s £6.50
Disabled £17

Supporters who have booked on the Travel Club coaches making the trip are advised that it leaves from the Jonny-Rocks Stadium at 10.30am.

Fans can check out this useful guide from Away Games on making a trip to The Alexandra Stadium. The Corner Bar has been recommended as a local pub for away supporters to visit - it's both close to the nearest train station and stadium.

Coverage

Keep up to date by following @CTFCofficial on Twitter for team news and match updates. You can also visit the club's Facebook page to see score updates.

Full match commentary is available online via iFollow. Purchase an audio match pass to listen to Pete Matthews and Mark Halliwell online.

After the match visit the club website to see the on the whistle match report and watch reaction from manager Michael Duff and a member of his squad.

Highlights will be available on iFollow as well as on the club's YouTube channel.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Crewe Alexandra 1-0 Robins

18 January 2020

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Apologies, this video is unvailable.

Cheltenham Town suffered a first away League Two defeat in 11 matches as Perry Ng’s second half strike settled a closely fought encounter at The Alexandra Stadium.

The Robins were left to rue first half missed chances and despite defending well with goalkeeper Owen Evans keeping the Railwaymen at bay for long periods, Crewe edged above them in the table with a narrow win.

Manager Michael Duff made two changes to the side that started last week’s home victory over Walsall as the injured Ryan Broom was replaced by Sean Long and Alex Addai returned up front in the place of Tahvon Campbell.

Addai was making his first appearance after coming back from a three-game ban after a late sending off at Northampton Town in the final match of 2019 – having scored in back to back away matches before a brief substitute appearance against the Cobblers.

It was Addai who had the first attempt of the match, running forwards after some clever play from Conor Thomas, although goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen stopped his effort comfortably enough.

Chris Hussey then played a brilliant ball over the top for Alfie May to control but his chipped attempt was too weak to lob the goalkeeper in what was a bright start for Duff’s team.

Tom Lowery and Addai exchanged efforts at both ends before Long’s deep cross from the by-line was nearly met by Hussey but for a great interception by Alex skipper Ng.

The Robins then really should have gone a goal up after a great piece of movement from May saw him spin away from Nicky Hunt, only for a sliding Addai to miss the ball when the ball was squared to him one on one.

Daniel Powell then slammed into the side netting as the half an hour mark approached following penalty claims being waved away.

May was causing issues for the hosts and Cheltenham were finding space in behind their hosts, who had only lost three times at home all season, in what was a very open game between two sides who were level on points before the start of the game.

Robins goalkeeper Evans then made an outstanding save to deny Lowery. The midfielder looked certain to score after bursting through the middle, only for Wigan loanee Evans to push his shot past the post from close range.

With big chances missed at both ends, an entertaining opening 45 minutes finished goalless at Gresty Road.

Powell found space on the wide right early in the second half only for Evans to save again, pushing the ball away from danger with three Crewe players positioned to score. There was no lack of entertainment in Cheshire.

David Artell’s team were starting to turn the screw with their front three receiving the ball in some dangerous positions as Lowery pulled the strings and Duff made his first change after an hour as George Lloyd replaced Addai.

Their opening finally arrived in the 69th minute as skipper Ng took aim from outside the box and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner past a full stretch Evans.

Campbell replaced Sheaf and came close with a curling effort and a snapshot in the final ten minutes but it wasn’t to be for the Robins as they suffered a rare away defeat in Cheshire.

CREWE: Jaaskelainen (Gk), Ng ©, Pickering, Wintle, Powell, Kirk (Dale 78), Green, Hunt, Lowery, Anene, Nottingham.

Subs not used: Richards (Gk), Jones, Ainley, Finney, Johnson, Mbulu.

ROBINS: Evans (Gk), Hussey, Greaves, Tozer ©, Raglan, Long, Clements, Thomas, Sheaf (Campbell 69), May, Addai (Lloyd 60).

Subs not used: Lapworth (Gk), Boyle, Debayo, Doyle-Hayes, Ince.

ATTENDANCE: 4,478 (305 away)

REFEREE: S Oldham

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Ticket News

Tickets & travel: Crewe

14 January 2020

It's third place Cheltenham Town against fourth place Crewe Alexandra on Saturday at the Railwaymen's The Alexandra Stadium.

The Robins make the trip to Cheshire for the first of two big back-to-back away matches against rival teams in League Two's top seven. Kick-off is at 3pm.

It's incredibly tight in the promotion places of the division and the next two games for Michael Duff's charges, which includes a midweek visit to Bradford City, could be huge if two positive results were to come from them.

The team are going to need the Robins fans to get behind them for both games and the ticket office is open this week for fans to purchase tickets and away travel for Saturday's clash.

Ticket prices for Saturday are:

Adults £22

Senior Citizens £17

12-16 years £10.50

Under-11s £6.50

Disabled £17

The Travel Club transport for the match departs from the Jonny-Rocks Stadium at 10.30am on Saturday.

A seat on the coach is £14/£12 for members, £16/£14 for non-members and £6 for Junior Robins.

The ticket office is open on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 10am and 3pm. You can pop into the stadium to buy in person or ring 01242 573558 (option 1).

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