Barnsley will be targeting their first away league win in three games when they visit Crewe on Saturday afternoon.
Tuesday night’s goalless draw at Bury came 10 days after the Reds lost 2-1 at Gillingham; a result which ended the Club’s seven-game winning streak in League One.
Although results have dipped away from Oakwell, the Tykes have continued to pick up wins at home, meaning they sit in 10thplace and just six points outside the division’s top seven.
Hammill sits out his first of a three-match suspension
Despite only winning once in their last 12 league outings, Crewe’s 3-1 loss at Chesterfield last weekend ended a six-match unbeaten run for Steve Davis’ side.
Five of those six games ended in draws however, leaving Saturday’s hosts sitting second bottom in League One and five points adrift of safety.
Failure to turn draws into three points has come both at home and on the road for the Railwaymen, with the Cheshire-based outfit drawing two of their last three games at the Alexandra Stadium going into Saturday’s clash with the Reds.
Barnsley will look to return to winning ways in this fixture when they cross the Pennines to face Crewe this weekend.
In October goals from Ryan Colclough and Lauri Dalla Valle at Oakwell secured a 14thvictory for Crewe against the Reds.
That ended a two-match winning run for the Tykes against the Railwaymen, with the Club completing a league double over their Lancashire-based opponents last season.
In August 2014 a late winner from Martin Cranie secured all three points for the Reds, while six months later and a Lewin Nyatanga effort as well as a Paul Rachubka own goal earned Barnsley their 25thsuccess in this fixture.
Those two meetings between the sides were not the only ones last term however with Crewe winning a League Cup clash at Oakwell 2-0, which extended their winning run to five games against Barnsley before the Reds’ league double brought that impressive run to an end.
Barnsley will be without the suspended Adam Hammill for their visit to Crewe this weekend.
The Reds’ winger was sent off eight minutes from time in Tuesday night’s draw at Bury for a challenge on former Tyke Danny Rose.
Hammill’s absence will open an opportunity for a new face however, with both Ashley Fletcher and Otis Khan pushing for a starting berth.
In defence, George Williams looks set to continue at left-back with Aidy White out with an ankle injury, while Josh Scowen will be hoping to be included once again after starting his first game in nearly four months on Tuesday.
George Williams: Set to continue at left-back
Crewe meanwhile will be eager to welcome back central defender George Ray following an ankle problem.
The 22-year-old played 45 minutes for the Club’s development side on Monday and he could be fit enough to return alongside Ben Nugent at the heart of the Crewe defence.
His inclusion would be a timely boost for Steve Davis’ side with fellow centre-half Semi Ajayi returning to parent Club Cardiff City after a loan spell, but if Wales U21 international Ray fails to recover the Railwaymen will call on the versatility of Jon Guthrie.
Elsewhere, Saturday’s hosts could hand a second Crewe debut to striker Tom Hitchcock after the MK Dons man re-joined the Club on loan earlier this week.
The former Rotherham front man spent a five-week spell at the Alexandra Stadium in the 2013-14 season and re-joins Crewe after on-loan Southampton attacker Ryan Seager suffered a serious knee injury.
Man in the middle
Sebastian Stockbridge will take charge of a Barnsley game for the second time this season on Saturday. The Tyne-based official watched over the Club’s 2-0 home defeat against Wigan in December; meaning the Reds are still without a win in his company.
That is because the Club have drawn two and lost one of their previous three meetings with Stockbridge including last season’s 3-2 home loss against Notts County and their 1-1 draw against Peterborough at Oakwell back in April.
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge
Crewe meanwhile are also yet to taste victory when Stockbridge has been the man in the middle; losing once and drawing twice. The most recent of those meetings came in October when the Railwaymen secured a goalless draw at promotion chasers Burton Albion.
Stockbridge – who will be assisted by linesmen Robert Atkin and Barry Cropp this weekend – did not dish out a single card in that game but so far this term he has brandished 73 yellows and four reds in 21 games. The most recent of those dismissals came just last weekend when the Tyne-based referee sent Mansfield defender Krystian Pearce for an early bath in his side’s 3-2 triumph against Dagenham & Redbridge.
Their Star Man
Following a stop start campaign for Australian-born midfielder Brad Inman last time out, many would have failed to predict the impact that the 24-year-old would have on Crewe this season. The central midfielder – who joined the Railwaymen on a permanent deal in August 2013 after a successful loan spell from Newcastle – has bagged a career high nine goals so far this term.
That tally beats his previous best of eight – which came during that loan move from Newcastle – and with just six in total over the last two seasons, Inman is bang in form this time out. His first of the campaign came back in August when he netted a consolation for Crewe in their 3-2 loss at Coventry, before he struck in more rewarding circumstances four days later; bagging a late equaliser in the Club’s 3-3 draw at home to Bury.
Despite then finding the back of the net just once in his next 20 games, Inman has returned to the top of his game in recent months; hitting six goals in his last eight outings. The Scotland U21 international – who can still opt to play for his native Australia at senior level – netted a brace against Swindon in mid-January to kick off his goal scoring spree which has included equalisers against both Wigan and Walsall, as well as Crewe’s second in their 2-0 success at home to Rochdale earlier this month.
That fine run of form for the ex-Newcastle youngster leaves him needing just one more goal to hit double figures for the first time in his career and with the creative midfielder full of confidence the Reds will have to be on their toes come Saturday afternoon.
Jonathan Walters may now ply his trade in the Premier League with Stoke City and on the international front with the Republic of Ireland but the 32-year-old counts both Barnsley and Crewe amongst his former Clubs.
It was the Railwaymen who secured the Merseyside-born attacker’s signature first, after he joined them on loan from Bolton Wanderers in August 2003. Unfortunately for Crewe however, the Blackburn Rovers academy graduate failed to turn out for their senior side after a tooth infection blighted his time with the Club.
With that move cut short, Bolton tried again in November 2003 to secure some first-team football for Walters and with that in mind he joined Barnsley. The forward made his Tykes debut in a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, which was one of 12 appearances he would make for the Club.
Walters: Featured for both clubs
Despite failing to score for the Reds, the Liverpudlian did help the Club secure four wins during his stay at Oakwell, including an FA Cup success against Bristol City. With Walters showcasing his abilities at League One level, League Two title-chasers Hull City swooped in February 2004 and after his loan move with the Reds came to an end he moved to the KC Stadium on a permanent deal.
The Republic of Ireland international immediately helped his new side secure promotion to League One but after just 17 months with the Club he was on the move again; joining Wrexham. A year in North Wales was followed by spells with Chester and then Ipswich, for whom he made over 100 appearances before a switch to Stoke City in August 2010.
Crewe’s last five games at home: (LLDWD)
Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Shrewsbury Town
Crewe Alexandra 0-5 Coventry City
Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Wigan Athletic
Crewe Alexandra 2-0 Rochdale
Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Walsall
Barnsley’s last five on the road: (WWWLD)
Bradford City 0-1 Barnsley
Swindon Town 0-1 Barnsley
Fleetwood Town 1-1 Barnsley (Barnsley won on pens; JPT)
Gillingham 2-1 Barnsley
Bury 0-0 Barnsley
Going to the match?
The Alexandra Stadium, Gresty Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW2 6EBCrewe Alexandra plays at the Alexandra Stadium, its address is as follows:
How to get there
If you require the postcode for Sat Nav it is
Pass Crewe Hall on your right, and at the next roundabout continue forward down Weston Road. Away supporters parking can be found on the industrial estate on Weston Road, this is approximately a ten minute walk to the ground. If you continue down to the roundabout this will take you towards the ground, take the first left at the roundabout and continue past the train station. Take the second left down Gresty Road and continue down to the junction and the ground is on your left.
Exit the M6 and follow signs for Crewe on the A500 and then the A5020, at the roundabout take the 3rd exit and continue to the next roundabout, take the first exit continuing to follow signs for Crewe Town Centre and Crewe Railway Station.
Crewe Alexandra Football Club can be accessed by two junctions off the M6, but please note that it is easier to get here by leaving at junction 16.
Once you arrive at the train station, you can see the ground, turn left out of the main entrance and walk down to the second left, marked with the road sign Gresty Road. Then the ground is just a five minute walk down the road.
Crewe Alexandra is just a five minute walk from Crewe train station, and with great links to the country it's easy to get here.
Tickets for our upcoming away game against Crewe Alexandra are now on general sale from the Reds Superstore / Box Office. Tickets are priced as follows:
£17.00Senior Over 60:
£10.50Juvenile aged 12-16:
£6.50Juvenile aged 11 and under:
Tickets will be available to purchase from the Reds Superstore / BFC Box Office up until 4pm on Friday 26th February, subject to availability.