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Club News

PREVIEW: STEVENAGE

11 January 2019

Reds head to Stevenage tomorrow looking to extend their unbeaten run to four games in Sky Bet League 2.

SCENE SETTER

Reds have picked up seven points from their last three games, their best run of the season so far. Like Crawley, Stevenage have struggled for consistency. They are 16th (Crawley 14th) in the current form table with two wins, three defeats and a draw in their last six. They have lost two of their last three at home but did neat Newport County 1-0 at the Lamex last time out.

TEAM NEWS

Reds hope to have Filipe Morais available. The midfielder has missed the last eight games after hand surgery was followed by an Achilles problem but he is back in training. New signing Tom Dallison will be in the squad but Joe McNerney misses out as he serves the second of his three-game ban.

Stevenage have doubts over Joel Byrom (groin) and Michael Timlin (thigh) while keeper Seny Dieng has returned to QPR at the end of his loan spell. But Alex Revell, who scored twice when Stevenage won 3-1 at Crawley in August, is back after missing their last two games.

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Gabrielle Cioffi: “We are on a nice little run. Keeping clean sheets again has been very important to us. If you stop the opponent scoring then you give yourself an opportunity to win the game. But we have to keep going and going and going – don’t stop after three games without losing. Stevenage are another tough opponent – similar to us in terms of the size of the club. They are having a good season and they are at home so this will be a difficult test for us.”

Dino Maamria (Stevenage manager): “I enjoyed the win there, but it’s going to be a different game this time as they are on the back of two wins and they have three clean sheets. They’ve gone through a difficult patch and they’ve gone back to keeping clean sheets first and foremost and that works for them so they are in a good place.

“Anyone who turns up expecting Crawley to roll over for a beating, well it’s not going to happen. Crawley are a similar-sized club to us and we’re both fighting for the same cause. It’s going to be a difficult game and we’ve both got to be right at it to win.”

THE HISTORY

Crawley can boast two wins at the Lamex and four overall in 11 previous League meetings.

In December 2012 the League One encounter finished 2-1 to the Reds who won it through second-half goals from Hope Akpan and Dannie Bulman, who was playing against one of his former clubs.

Then in February 2016 Matt Harrold was on target as Reds won 1-0 when Mark Yates was in charge.

Last season Ibrahim Meite’s goal secured a 1-1 draw but such is the turnaround in our squad only five players in the starting XI that night are still at the club. Reds also won the return fixture 1-0 thanks to a first-half goal by Enzio Boldewijn.

Stevenage won the most recent meeting 3-1 in our first home game of the season when they scored twice late on after Ollie Palmer had equalised for the hosts.

James Collins scored with four minutes to go the last time we lost at Stevenage – 2-1 in September 2016 – and our only other loss there came in 2013 when Stevenage won 2-0. Bulman and Mark Connolly are the only survivors in the squad still at the club from that day six years ago.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE

Thomas Bramall will be in charge at the Lamex on Saturday when Reds head to Stevenage for a Sky Bet League 2 fixture.

In his first season at this level, he was in charge on the opening day of the season when Ollie Palmer’s goal sealed a 1-0 win at Cheltenham Town. He has taken charge of 28 league and cup games this season, showing 61 yellow and three red cards.

On Saturday he will be assisted by Andy Hendley and Matt Lee. The fourth official is Paul Kelly.

THE ODDS

League sponsor SkyBet have Stevenage priced at 11/8 favourites with Reds 9/5 and the draw 9/4.

GOING TO THE GAME?

Pay on the day at Stevenage. More information can be found here


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