Crewe Alex v Walsall

JJ1532

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4th of 5 winnable home games to end the season. Not won any of the others and I see no real reason to suggest we can win this one, not without a massive improvement on the last 3 home performances at least.

Team wise, Tate is almost certainly out which means I'd imagine we'll see the same back 5 which finished the game on Tuesday. This is H.Davis's big chance to put his dodgy form truly behind him and prove he is in fact a competent defender in Tate's absence, needs to lead the defence and play like he has been doing in his last 5 games. Whilst it would be harsh to drop Turton, you can't help but feel Tootle might be the better option to play at RWB in the final 3 games. His extra attacking nous might be crucial for us as we search for the win(probably 2) we need to stay up. Whilst they had average games between them, I would give the front 3 of Ajose, Haber and LDV another run out, even if Colclough is fit. Jones and Grant can hold the fort in midfield, our midfield don't really offer much anyway, may as well have the extra bodies in defence and upfront.

As for Walsall, just when they seemed to be sliding into deep trouble, 2 wins from 2 have seen them reach safety. Well, maybe not mathematically, but realistically, they aren't going down on 54 points. The last 2 wins will have seen them gain a fair whack of confidence, so we'll have to be on our guard as Tuesday proved if they catch a team unawares, they can romp to victory. But on the flip side, they now must feel a great deal of pressure eased and might back off in terms of intensity and desire for this one.

Games are running out and we still need at least 4 points, probably more given our GD, to secure safety. If we fail to win this one, we give ourselves no room for error in our last 2. Its not a must win, but its as good as. Going for drab 0-0 draw.
 

Jonny Owen

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#2
2-0 Saddlers, shackles are off and confidence is high. Bradshaw and Morris with the goals.

Never tried the famous Crewe chippy and won't get a chance this time as we're leaving later than usual, so I hope you stay up so I don't have to wait seasons for the next away day at Crewe!
 

Crewelad87

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#4
Really looking forward to this one, my eldest (4) is mascot for the first time (be nice saddlers) and sitting in the "posh" seats for this game.

As for the game I keep saying these games are must wins then we fail to win and still end up keeping our heads just above the water.

Crewe 2-2 Walsall (LDV, Haber, Sawyers, Bradshaw) 4,966 (750 Saddlers?)
 

TimeyWimey

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#5
With the other fixtures there's a good chance to build a bit of a gap. One or both of Crawley and Notts County are going to drop points, MK should beat Orient and above us Preston should beat Vale and Bristol City should beat Coventry. So we could... possibly.... have a four point gap whilst leapfrogging Vale with 2 games to play and making Coventry next week a proper six pointer.

Walsall at home is one game we should be able to win at this stage but fact seems to be if they score, we won't win. Just do not seem to have the goals. I'd also throw Colclough right back in, if we're going to get more than 0/1 goals then it's going to come from his spark. He's the only one who looked remotely dangerous in the last 80 minutes against Orient. He's a match winner, which we just don't have otherwise.
 

Saddlerrad

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#6
We tend to be a bit of an enigma under Smith. We are either good and a pleasure to watch, or slow, confidence lacking, weak and poor. You would suggest that theoretically, Crewe's players should be 100% up for this more than ours and if I was a Crewe fan, I'd be expecting a passionate performance where your lads want the win more than ours. The entire 'minds of Wembley' thing seemed to have set the side back for a couple of months and we didn't look like creating a chance, let alone scoring or winning a game. As soon as we did finally put the ball in the net last Saturday and win a game, it appears to have spurted us back into life and filled us with confidence.

Tuesday night's win against Crawley made it 4 consecutive cleansheets in the league and 21 in total, pretty much an automatic promotion defensive record, if only we could add a few more goals at the other end, we would have been able to properly threaten the play-offs. When we score, we tend to at very worst draw 1-1, but normally win, so I'd suspect the game may be hinged on that. It appears that for only the third time this season Smith has his entire squad to pick from. With Bradshaw back fit, Hiwula banging the goals in, youngster Morris showing the most raw natural potential of any player we have had since Paterson left, Sawyers back into some sort of confidence and form and then Cook/Forde on the bench, I actually feel like we may pose enough goal threat to win this one.

It's hard to say on away following really. 450 to Chesterfield the other week, with this one being slightly closer and us now being safe, it's hard to put a number on it. 600 I'd say sounds about right, possibly a few more if the weather is nice and money isn't too tight after a spree of away games and Wembley. Our away fans are normally pretty good all round, so it should be a reasonable atmosphere. On paper Crewe have far more to play for than we do, but I can definetely seeing us potentially putting the cat amongst the pigeons.

I'll be brave and call a 3-1 Walsall win. Not sure why. Confidence does strange things. As I said, we are enigmatic under Smith and could either win or lose on the day in miserable/brillant fashion.

O'Donnell

Purkiss
Chambers
O'Connor
Taylor

Cain
Chambers

Morris
Sawyers
Hiwula

Bradshaw.


Bradshaw, Bradshaw, Morris.
552 Saddlers.
 

The Alex

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#7
We've literally got absolutely nothing about us, in ability or passion. We are shite. 0-0, 1-1 or 0-1.

And we'll go down with ample opportunities to pick up the points we needed.
 

RJM

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#9
as others have said..huge game. need a win going in to our last 2 games I think 4 points from the next 3 games will put us safe!

think we'll nick it 1-0 personally or a 1-1 draw. anything but a loss!
 
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#10
We definitely won't win. Only players who deserve credit recently are Colclough, LDV (whose been a revelation) Grant, Leigh, Tate and Rachubka. Most of our squad fail to take responsibility when they should and it's costing us big time in games where the second goal would bag us 3 points.

Be a 1-1 draw, we'll score too early, fail to take any of our following chances and Walsall will hit us on the counter.
 
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#11
We definitely won't win. Only players who deserve credit recently are Colclough, LDV (whose been a revelation) Grant, Leigh, Tate and Rachubka. Most of our squad fail to take responsibility when they should and it's costing us big time in games where the second goal would bag us 3 points.

Be a 1-1 draw, we'll score too early, fail to take any of our following chances and Walsall will hit us on the counter.
 

Saddlerrad

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#17
I was so shocked when Walsall equalised.
How did the game go? How did we play? Literally not got the first clue, other than it looked like we had the better of things in the second half. How was our away following?

Edit - Reading our forum it seems we stole a point and were dire for 80 minutes before stealing a goal and then playing like we can for 10 minutes and nearly stealing all 3.
 

Crewelad87

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#18
Same old story, decent 1st half, 2nd half ran of of steam, ideas and sat back and the inevitable equaliser came albeit a fortunate one.

My little lad was mascot today (he was the tiny one) and sat in the directors box so despite the poor 2nd half had an enjoyable day
 

JJ1532

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Thought we had a decent enough first half, Walsall looked like they were on the beach. They had more possession but did little with it. Second half, our legs quickly went and it allowed them to get more on top, but once again we didn't look like conceding. Not saying we played or defended particularly well, but it just looked like we would see it out at 1-0. But then we concede a freak goal which deflects from one side of the goal to the other, nothing much we could have done about it and from then on, we were clinging on for a point.

Another display which showed all our weaknesses it one neat bundle. Full backs too defensive, needed to get forward way more than they did, midfield bloody awful(how did Liam Nolan get a professional contract again?), offering no protection to the back nor adequate support and service to the strikers, strikers only good enough to score 1 a game, manager too clueless tactically to help the players out and, worst of all, we don't have the fitness to last more than 60-70 minutes in a game. We are a professional football club with professional players and they aren't fit enough. That is utterly inexcusable. If we lose/draw games because we lack the quality, or the budget, or the players/manager make mistakes, I can generally live with it. But when the team are dropping points in a relegation fight because they can't last till the final whistle is beyond a joke. He shouldn't be made a scapegoat, but Andy Franks(fitness coach) should be out of the job. Why not get rid of him now? He has one main job and he has utterly failed to do it. Davis should follow him, but if we're realistic, Steve will be here next season regardless of league. But getting rid of Franks is a simple job and he is easily replaceable.

Another poor result, but we are still in with a shout of staying up. Massively hinges on Tuesdays games now though, Rochdale v Orient and County v PNE. If County and Orient win those games, we are in big trouble. They both draw or lose and it remains in our hands to stay up. Got to get 4 points from our final 2 games now, no room for error any more. 53 should do it, 51 or 52 might be relying on GD(which we don't have) to stay up. 4 points from Coventry(A) and Bradford(H). Is that do-able? It should be!
 

Jonny Owen

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#20
Shite for 2/3's of the game. Sawyers and Morris came off (both were poor, Sawyers in particular), Mantom came on and changed the game, wanted the ball and ACTUALLY PASSED TO A BLACK SHIRT! Goal dodgy but Crewe did nowt in the second half, sat back and invited us to carve out a chance.

Though we made good noise, Crewe were okay, drum made more than half their noise.
 

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