THE MANAGER - Alex Morris
As a player, Alex Morris came through the Crewe academy at the same time as the likes of David Vaughan and Dean Ashton, but a succession of injuries hampered his progress. He was named in the 2006 first team squad but was never able to make a first-team appearance for the club.
He was forced to retire early from the game and he became focussed on his coaching badges. Now as a highly qualified coach, Morris was appointed Crewe’s First Team manager in April after David Artell departed.
Morris had worked in Crewe’s academy for many years and took the U18s to the quarter-final of the Youth Cup in 2015 where they were beaten by Manchester City. Morris led the club's reserve side to Cheshire Senior Cup glory in 2017, beating Nantwich Town 3-2 in the final. Morris also won the Cheshire Senior Cup as a player.
Since taking over Crewe, things have got better after a miserable bottom-place relegation finish last season. The Alex started the league emphatically, winning their first two games, but since they have only managed one win in their last eight in all competitions, a 1-0 home victory over Sutton United. Despite the lack of recent wins, Crewe have earned draws against the likes of Bradford City and Northampton Town.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Daniel Agyei - Winger
24-year-old Daniel Agyei penned an 18-month contract with Crewe last January after moving from Oxford United.
The dynamic attacker came through the youth ranks at AFC Wimbledon but signed for then Premier League Burnley at the age of 18.
He made three appearances for the Premier League side and spent time on loan at Coventry City, Walsall and Blackpool before moving permanently to Oxford United in 2019.
Agyei spent two-and-a-half seasons in League One with The U’s, scoring eight league goals and making 71 league appearances. Since joining Alexandra, he has scored four league goals, three this season in eight appearances, including a late equaliser last week against Hartlepool United.
Courtney Baker-Richardson - Striker
26-year-old striker Baker-Richardson began his senior career with spells at Redditch and Kettering before he discovered his goalscoring form at Leamington in the Southern Premier League. His 22 league goals in 62 matches alerted clubs to his potential and after having a trial with Premier League side Leicester City, he duly earned a move to then top flight side Swansea City in 2017.
He played over 20 games in the Championship for the Swans following their relegation and was often utilised by then boss Graham Potter. He also had a successful but brief spell out on loan at Accrington Stanley.
Following his release from Swansea in October 2020, the forward signed for Barrow for the rest of the season, but was later loaned out to Barnet in the January window, scoring three goals in 17 games.
After leaving Barrow, Baker-Richardson signed for League Two Newport on a one-year deal and he quickly repaid that faith with five goals in his first 10 games for the club, linking up top all season with Crawley’s Dom Telford.
Courtney then signed for Crewe in the summer and he has started strongly, scoring four goals in eight league appearances, as well as a goal away at Bolton Wanderers in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Arthur Okonkwo - Goalkeeper
21-year-old goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo was promoted to the Arsenal first-team squad at the start of the 2021/22 season, shortly after signing a new contract with the North London club.
He made six appearances for the Under-23s last season in the Premier League 2 under Crawley manager Kevin Betsy, and made his senior debut in a pre-season friendly against Hibernian. Okonkwo faced the reds in our 2-1 EFL Trophy defeat in West Sussex against Arsenal U23 in October 2020.
The previous season was blighted with injury, but he has developed rapidly through the age groups at Arsenal. He made his under-23s debut aged just 17, and won the under-18s league title in 2018/19. An England youth international at under-18 level, he has been at the club since joining the Hale End Academy aged eight, and is also eligible to represent Nigeria.
Okonkwo joined Crewe Alexandra on his first senior loan in the summer, and has impressed already with his 6’6” frame. He has already kept three clean sheets for Alex, including a goalless draw away to Bradford City and a home win over Sutton United.
HEAD TO HEAD
This will be the 17th league meeting between Crawley and Crewe. We have beaten them three times within the sixteen matches. Most recently, the Reds ran out 3-0 winners in December of 2018. Joe McNerney, Dannie Bulman and Josh Payne were all on target in that game.
The first meeting between the sides was in 2011, when Matt Tubbs cancelled out Wes Fletcher's first half strike. Shaun Miller, who would later sign for Crawley, was sent off inside 15 minutes. Our first win over Crewe came in our fourth meeting, when Jamie Proctor's brace sealed a 2-0 home win.
Since then, we went four matches without a win against the Railwaymen, until December 2016 when we recorded our first win on Gresty Road. James Collins scored both the goals for the Reds to secure the win.
Our last trip to the Alex saw last minute drama when Nathan Ferguson looked to have found our equaliser in the 84th minute from the spot before the home side grabbed a heartbreaking 90th minute winner through Chris Porter, as the game finished 2-1 to the side that were promoted later that season under David Artell.
The game will be available to listen to with an audio pass for UK supporters on our iFollow service from 2:55pm with live commentary from BBC Sussex & Surrey Sport's Gary Smith and summariser Ken Blackmore.
The game is available to watch live for £10 for non-UK supporters with an iFollow match pass.
There will also be coverage across our social media channels throughout the game. @crawleytown on Twitter, Crawley Town FC on Facebook and officialcrawleytownfc on Instagram followed by a post-match match report and reaction from Kevin Betsy and a player.
Manager Kevin Betsy confirmed that defender Tobi Omole will be out with a long-term injury. Joel Lynch is making his way back but won’t be available. Dion Conroy, George Francomb and Teddy Jenks are all edging closer to a return soon.
HOW THEY BET*
Crewe Alexandra: 23/20
*Odds correct at time of writing from league betting partners Sky Bet. Please gamble responsibly.