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28 November 2020 Venue Jonny-Rocks Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Preview: Crewe Alexandra

27 November 2020

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League One Crewe Alexandra are the opposition on Saturday as Cheltenham Town take a break from League Two action to appear in the second round of the FA Cup (kick-off: 3pm).

The Alexandra Stadium side were rivals at the top end of League Two last season, with the side from Cheshire making it up into the third tier after gaining automatic promotion at the end of the curtailed season.

But now they meet again with a place in the third round of this year's world famous competition at stake.

It will be a good challenge against a side who finished five points ahead of the Robins last season having played a game more, and who are now enjoying the challenge of playing at the third level of the English football pyramid.

The match is available to watch online this weekend for free via the BBC Sport website.

Team news

There are no injury concerns following the midweek draw with Cambridge. Sean Long remains the only player out however he is making good progress on his return from a hip injury.

Check out what Michael Duff had to say about the game in his pre-match press conference.

Opposition

Having already got past one League Two team to reach the second round in the shape of Bolton Wanderers, Crewe will be aiming to do the same on Saturday in pursuit of a much sought after third round stage place.

They travel to Gloucestershire this weekend currently in 14th position in League One though have suffered back-to-back losses in the league in their last two outings.

Once again their team is based mainly around players they've developed through their highly thought of academy including goalkeeper Will Jääskeläinen, son of former Bolton great Jussi.

In defence 24-year-old captain Perry Ng is likely to feature alongside the likes of former Swindon Town man Olly Lancashire and 21-year-old product Harry Pickering who already has a century of league appearances to his name for the Railwaymen.

Oliver Finney, Ryan Wintle, Tom Lowery and Callum Ainley are all potential midfield picks behind an attack that features the likes of Mikael Mandron, who may miss the game through injury, and veteran of the squad Chris Porter who brings important leadership at the top of the pitch.

The manager: David Artell

Since taking over as manager of 2017 it's been a steady but impressive upward curve for David Artell as manager of Saturday's opposition.

The 40-year-old played for the Railwaymen as a defender in a playing career that also featured spells at the likes of Mansfield, Rotherham United, Morecambe and Chester City. He also played international football for Gibraltar towards the end of his playing days.

While still playing for Bala Town in the Welsh Premier League he was appointed academy operations manager at Crewe and three years later replaced Steve Davis in the top job at Gresty Road.

He is assisted by long-serving player and coach Kenny Lunt in his duties.

One to watch: Charlie Kirk

Unsurprisingly another one off the Crewe Alexandra production line, Charlie Kirk is a livewire in a wide position for Crewe.

The 22-year-old has already made over 150 professional appearances since first breaking through while still a second year scholar.

He has made 18 appearances for them in all competitions this season and has found the back of the net on three occasions.

Match programme

The match programme for Saturday's fixture is available to buy online in either print or digital.

It's a 12 page edition featuring goalkeeper Max Harris as the big interview, while there is also a look back at how both teams got to this stage of the competition looking back at their respective first round ties.

Purchase a print copy online for £1.50, while a digital version is available to download and keep for £1.

Coverage

You can watch the whole game online for free on the BBC Sport website.

Stay a track of events at the stadium too by following @CTFCofficial on Twitter. There will also be team news and goal updates available on the club's Facebook page and Instagram account.

After the game visit the club website to read a report and to hear reaction from Michael Duff and a member of his squad.

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Match Reports

Full-time: Robins 2, Crewe Alexandra 1 (AET)

28 November 2020

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Cheltenham Town sealed their place in the third round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Crewe Alexandra at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium after extra time.

After a 1-1 stalemate during normal time, George Lloyd’s winner in extra time ensured Cheltenham’s passage to Monday’s draw as Michael Duff’s side extended their unbeaten run to six in all competitions.

Cheltenham have now reached the third round of the FA Cup for the tenth time in the club’s history following a win over League One side Crewe Alexandra.

The Alexandra Stadium side were rivals at the top end of League Two last season, with the side from Cheshire making it up into the third tier after gaining automatic promotion at the end of the curtailed season. But there was no disparity of quality on the pitch, as hosts Cheltenham sought after making a quick start to proceedings.

Chris Hussey found space down the left flank before delivering into a congested penalty area to where Harry Pickering cleared only as far as Finn Azaz at the edge of the box.

On the volley, Azaz picked out Will Jääskeläinen’s bottom corner to hand the Robins an invaluable advantage after only two minutes had passed at the Jonny-Rocks.

Crewe were intent on striking back in double-quick time but an organised Cheltenham defence consisting of Ben Tozer, Charlie Raglan and Lewis Freestone remained in control as an energetic first 20 minutes unravelled.

Freestone, on his first start in four games, was shown a yellow card after preventing Chris Porter a chance to level the scores in the 30th minute. Under pressure following Ryan Wintle’s hoisted ball over the top of Cheltenham’s defence, Freestone made a foul on the box but the resulting free kick came to nothing for Crewe.

After the interval, Cheltenham came close to replicating the quick start made in the first period as Alfie May and Azaz combined to carve out the host’s best chance since the early minutes. Having scored two in his last four, May would rue missing the target after he received a one-two off Azaz inside the box.

Crewe were building momentum as the hour mark approached and were unlucky not to have forced an equaliser on several occasions before eventually levelling the game up on the 62nd minute.

On two occasions Flinders thwarted promising Crewe attacks, but the Railwaymen would get back on level terms when Porter’s strike took a deflection en route to goal. With Flinders unsighted, the visitors pegged Cheltenham back with under half an hour left to play.

As extra time approached, the introduction of Tom Sang instilled some much needed energy as the Robins searched for a late winner. The midfielder’s strike from range in the 88th minute whistled past Jääskeläinen’s post before the referee called an end to normal time.

Cheltenham were able to force an early extra time advantage through George Lloyd who headed in after Sang found Sercombe at the back post with a pin-point cross. Lloyd’s bravery was rewarded when he found the net to score his third goal of the season and Chletneham's FA Cup winner.

Cheltenham will travel to the The Utilita Energy Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off 19:00) to face Bradford City as the Robins return to League Two action next week.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): S Flinders (Gk), C Raglan, B Tozer, L Freestone (W Boyle ’84), M Blair, C Hussey, C Clements, L Sercombe, F Azaz (T Sang ’74), A May, G Lloyd (A Williams ‘104). Subs not used: J Griffiths (Gk), D Bowry, E Chapman, R Reid.

CREWE ALEXANDRA (4-3-3): W Jääskeläinen (Gk), P Ng, L Offord, O Lancashire, H Pickering, C Ainley (O Finney ’4 (T Lowery ‘100), R Wintle, L Murphy (O Zanzala 105’), D Powell (O Dale), C Porter, C Kirk. Subs not used: D Ricahrds (Gk), T Johnson, R Griffiths.

REFEREE: James Adcock.Assistants: Andrew Laver, Samuel Ogles. Fourth Official: Adam Crysell. 

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