U18 Preview: Crewe Alexandra Vs. Cardiff City
Cardiff City’s U18 side travel to face Crewe Alexandra this Saturday, for their penultimate away fixture in the Professional Development League Two, 11am kick-off.
City go into this match after a 2-1 defeat against Sheffield United on Wednesday, however a win against the Railwaymen would see the young Bluebirds secure a place in the PDL2 Play-Offs, and potentially regain 1st place in the PDL2 South with Cardiff City just two points behind Ipswich Town with a game in hand.
Know Your Opponent
The hosts are currently sat bottom of the PDL2 North table, having only won six league games all season and accumulating 21 points from 24 games. As of late, Crewe have continued to struggle, having lost their last nine games in all competitions – a run that stretches as far back as December.
Incidentally, the last game that they won was in the FA Youth Cup against Bristol City, a 2-1 victory at Ashton Gate in the third-round of the competition. A brace from Connor Heath was enough for his side to progress into the fourth-round against Leicester City, however the visitors were knocked out of the competition at the King Power Stadium, succumbing to a 4-0 defeat.
The Railwaymen are managed by Lee Bell, a former midfielder who came through the ranks at Crewe, before going on to make 53 appearances for the club in his first stint at Gresty Road, scoring three goals between 2002-2007. Bell would then play for Burton Albion, Mansfield Town and Macclesfield Town, before retiring in 2015.
Crewe’s U18 manager was appointed in January 2017, just two years following his retirement from professional football. He is assisted by Michael Jackson, who has also previously appeared for the hosts between 1992-93, having started his career at the club.
Jackson made over 500 league appearances, scoring 37 times for sides including Bury, Preston North End, Tranmere Rovers, Blackpool and Shrewsbury Town. He had a short stint as manager for Shrewsbury Town in 2014 but couldn’t prevent the Blues from being relegated to League Two.
Last Time Out
Cardiff City last faced Saturday’s opponents was in the 2017/18 campaign, as the Bluebirds travelled to Alexandra Park on Saturday April 7th, 2018. It would be a successful trip to the North-West, as City claimed all three points in a competitive encounter, beating the hosts 3-1.