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Crewe Alexandra v Crawley Town preview: Can the Reds bring back all three points after improved performances?

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After two decent home performances Reds travel back up North this week as they face Crewe Alexandra.

Two home games in a row saw Reds pick up four points and ease themselves out of trouble.

Tom Dallison has been part of an impressive defensive partnership with Joe McNerney and George Francomb

Tom Dallison has been part of an impressive defensive partnership with Joe McNerney and George Francomb

The game against Grimsby produced a very good performance and the final score line could have been more than 2-1. The performance level slightly dropped against Mansfield, but it was still a good display by the Reds getting a point from one of the best teams in the division.

Hopefully the side’s performance can be the same as the Grimsby game and the Reds will give themselves a very good chance of picking up three points.

Crewe have been on a bit of a slump in recent weeks with no win in their previous five games.

They’ve only scored two goals in those five games, and with Reds not in the best of form in front of goal either, it doesn’t set up to be a game full of goals. However, both teams do have the capability of scoring goals and their fortunes could turn during the game. Crewe currently occupy 15th in Sky Bet League Two and comfortably sit mid table with neither the play-offs or relegation on their mind.

If Crawley win the game, they will move just one point behind Crewe and also secure a comfortable mid table position. Prior to their run of five games without a win Crewe had just one defeat in nine matches, with this defeat coming against Bury.

This run shows what Crewe are capable of and they can be a very good side.

Crawley have started to look a bit better recently in games against MK Dons, Grimsby and Mansfield.

The partnership between Tom Dallison, Joe McNerney and George Francomb looks stronger with every game that goes on.

Matty Willock is also improving with the more game time he is getting. He had an effort hit the crossbar against Grimsby and a first goal is not too far away for the Manchester United loanee. Reece Grego-Cox has also put in performances that are good enough to keep his place in the starting 11.

He also had an effort cannon off the crossbar just moments after Matty Willock’s in the game against Grimsby.

We will hopefully see another strong performance from the Reds up in Crewe and bring back all three points.

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Crawley Town star misses out on top award

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Crawley Town forward Reece Grego-Cox missed out on taking home the Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-21s Player of the Year Award at the ‘3’ FAI International Awards ceremony in Dublin on Sunday.

The Reds’ striker was nominated alongside Portsmouth winger Ronan Curtis, the winner of the award, and Liverpool defender Corey Whelan.

The 22-year-old has made eleven appearances for the Irish under-21s since debuting in 2015 and scored all four of his international goals in the Republic’s failed attempt to qualify for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championships.

The former Woking player, who is now ineligible to represent the under-21s, is now aiming to cement his place in Gabriele Cioffi’s team and catch the eye of Ireland senior manager Mick McCarthy.

Grego-Cox has made 25 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils this season but has yet to score for the club.

Speaking to crawleytownfc.com Grego-Cox said: “I really enjoyed playing for Ireland and it definitely improved me as a player. It was nice to get nominated for the award, a proud moment for me and my family.

“Now I want to kick on at Crawley and hopefully I can force my way into the full squad soon.”

SEE ALSO The major football rule changes that will affect Crawley Town next season | Taste of the Terrace: Crawley Town’s coaching staff must restore confidence after shocking defensive lapses | Crawley Town verdict: Management and players should take long look at themselves after appalling performance

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Portsmouth have no clause to sign striker on a permanent basis, Doncaster Rovers player sacked for gross misconduct – League 1 and League 2 latest news

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Portsmouth have no clause to sign Omar Bogle on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

Bogle, on loan from Cardiff City, has impressed the Pompey-faithful with four goals in eight appearances.

Niall Mason (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Niall Mason (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

While there is no clause in place, boss Kenny Jackett has spoken about the possibility of keeping him at Fratton Park beyond the summer.

HERE‘s what the Blues manager told the Portsmouth News.

Barnsley midfielder Kenny Dougall has spoken for the first time after attempting to play-on against Doncaster Rovers with a leg break.

The Australian was withdrawn in the 18th-minute in Friday’s stalemate, where scans further revealed he had broken his leg – ruling him out for the rest of the season.

He said: “Injuries are part of the game and unfortunately I’ve been hit with another tough pill to swallow. Full trust in the lads to get us up into the Championship!

“Don’t know why I’ve tried to play on with a broken leg but nobody can say I didn’t try.”

Bradford City midfielder Sean Scannell is in line for a return from injury against Blackpool on Saturday.

The 28-year-old has been ruled out for almost six months following a stress fracture in his back.

Bantams boss Gary Bowyer told the Telegraph and Argus: “Shaun’s had a good week and we’ll look at giving him a little bit more this week.

“We’ve obviously got to tread with caution with him because of the amount of time he has been out.

“We want to have him for the remainder of the season, rather than just bringing him back for one game and not being quite ready.

“But he could possibly be back at the weekend. We’ll see how he goes in training and take it from there before making any decision.”

Niall Mason has had his contract terminated by Doncaster Rovers for gross misconduct in the aftermath of his conviction for sexual assault.

A short statement released by the club read: “Rovers have cancelled the contract of Niall Mason after he withdrew an appeal against his dismissal by the club.

“Rovers opened internal disciplinary proceedings immediately following his guilty plea for a sexual offence at Sheffield Crown Court.”

Mason has since protested his innocence. Tune in the Doncaster Free Press for the full details.

Peterborough United have launched a five-year plan in a bid to nurture more homegrown players into their first-team.

Posh are on a mission to ensure at least three players graduate from the club’s Academy to the first-team squad by the year 2024.

To help Academy staff meet their new target, Posh have tripled their budget and will double the current number of junior teams they run.

Co-owner Dr Jason Neale is a firm advocate of the club’s new plan – HERE‘s what he told the Peterborough Telegraph.

Former Portsmouth, Bolton, West Ham, Burnley and Northampton midfielder Matt Taylor has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

The 37-year-old will call time on his 20-year career with Swindon Town in May having made more than 600 appearances as a pro.

Taylor confirmed his retirement on social media in a lengthy statement which you can read HERE.

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Taste of the Terrace: Crawley Town’s coaching staff must restore confidence after shocking defensive lapses

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Another song reference seems appropriate for this result. You may recall The Who debuted with ‘I Can’t Explain’. That is spot on as the Reds’ display at Gresty Road simply beggared belief.

You can find individual explanations (perhaps excuses) but overall the fragility of the defence that has performed so well in recent weeks was inexplicable. The worst part was that the collapse started with Crawley a goal to the good and bossing the game.

Jordan Bowery’s well struck equaliser should never have happened as the handball by Perry Ng that we spotted at the time was confirmed by the post match video. Tom Dallison’s own goal was as undeserved and as cruel as could be but coming just two minutes later terrified our defenders.

George Francomb looked lost in the build-up to Chris Porter’s almost comical tap-in for the third while Joe McNerney will have nightmares about his error that led to Paul Green making it 4-1 just a minute later.

Half-time should have brought a regrouping but it took just over a minute for the Reds to be completely undone and Charlie Kirk sneaked in to help himself to number five. Then a fortunate deflection accompanied Owen Dale’s shot for the final goal

Some fans thought we had received some poor decisions from referee Seb Stockbridge but I thought his real error was the dismissal of Ibrahim Meite. Check this on video for play acting of the highest order.

See more:

Rule changes affecting Crawley Town next season
Crawley Town’s management and players should take long look at themselves after appalling performance

Sunderland target looks set to stay at Hartlepool: League 1 and 2 live blog

It wasn’t all bad as, especially early on, we built well and created chances and the onus is now on the coaching staff to restore confidence by showing that these defensive lapses were simply a one-off – or maybe six-off.

The feel good factor that had followed the defeat of Grimsby Town continued with last Tuesday’s visit of promotion seeking Mansfield Town. This was an entertaining free-flowing match that oddly ended as a goalless draw despite an intriguing tussle in midfield.

Crawley were full of tricks and flicks which came off more often than not and endeared them to the fans. Their lively approach play was positive yet, once again, nobody appeared keen to attack the ball in the box or to try a shot.

The team work was excellent and the superb backline nullified a powerful Stags attack. Midfielder Matty Willock and the hard working Ollie Palmer often surged forward but the striker frequently drifted wide to link up with Lewis Young and so rarely ran through the middle. Young’s drive was perhaps The Reds’ best attempt of the evening.

More often than not the diminutive Reece Grego-Cox adopted the role of target man and gave the Mansfield defence no end of problems.

Apart from the need to show self belief and to shoot on sight more often Crawley at that moment again looked like a side that had turned the corner and was aiming high.

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