MX23RW : Monday, May 23 17:35:15| >> :600:1561079:1561079:
[monks data]
Jan 18, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Lamex Stadium
2 - 1
Taylor (29'), Norris (73')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Nichols (45+1')
Tilley (68'), Frost (77')

Preview: Stevenage vs. Crawley Town - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's League Two clash between Stevenage and Crawley Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Following a breathtaking back and forth match over the weekend at Broadhall Way, Stevenage return to League Two action on Tuesday when they host Crawley Town.

Even though both sides conceded an equaliser in injury time in their respective weekend fixtures, they are each in good form at the moment, with The Boro unbeaten in their last two games and The Reds having earned at least a point in five successive encounters.

Match preview

Crystal Palace's Jack Wells-Morrison in action with Stevenage's Jake Reeves, July 23, 2021© Reuters

Judging from the comments made by manager Paul Tisdale following their match on Saturday, you would not have known that Stevenage had dropped two points, squandering a two-goal lead in the second half including a 98th-minute strike to Richie Bennett.

Their experienced coach had nothing but praise for his team's performance against Sutton United, calling his players fabulous in their commitment and aggressive play.

It took them a while to settle into playing a more direct and forward-thinking style of football under their new boss, but so far in 2022, they have shown plenty of quality in attack, scoring three goals in each of their previous two league contests, a significant improvement from how they ended last year, as the team from Hertfordshire were only able to score once in their final six matches of 2021.

They still have a long way to go to get themselves out of relegation danger, although their recent form has given them a bit of a cushion, currently sitting five points above Scunthorpe United, who are second from the bottom.

This group will have felt a little hard done by this past weekend as a temporary issue with the lights in their home ground caused a slight delay, and because of that, the referee added an incredible eight minutes of injury time, which to many, including Tisdale, seemed to be somewhat generous.

That amount of stoppage time was certainly a topic of conversation following the match, but it is clear that Stevenage need to do a better job of maintaining their defensive shape when coming back onto the field after half time, having now conceded six goals in their three games played this year, all of which have come in the second half.

Crawley Town manager John Yems and Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa during the FA Cup clash on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Another bright start for Crawley Town did not end the way the team had hoped as they crumbled in the dying stages of their match on Saturday, allowing two points to slip through their fingertips.

Assistant manager Lee Bradbury was at the helm, with John Yems having left the club temporarily for personal reasons, and the former Bournemouth boss was left disappointed with the result this past weekend, in a match where his team seemed to have much better spells in possession than their opponents.

Crawley appeared to be in control of their last encounter for long stretches but failed to put The Cumbrians away, hitting the woodwork in the first half and missing a penalty in the second, which would have given them a 2-0 lead and likely secured The Reds all three points.

These players may not have the same kind of flair as the sides in the top half of the table, though there is no denying how hard they work throughout a match for one another, and that has enabled them to earn several points recently.

Their defensive shape has been exceptional on the road in recent games, conceding only four shots on target in their previous three fixtures.

While the effort is undeniable, technically speaking, they have struggled, especially when passing the ball, with an accuracy of 60% or fewer in each of their previous five encounters.

Stevenage League Two form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D

Crawley Town League Two form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Jack Wilshere scores for Bournemouth against Crawley Town in the FA Cup on January 26, 2021© Reuters

A brace from Jamie Reid helped Stevenage to a 3-1 lead on Saturday, and the forward from Northern Ireland now has three goals in this campaign, one fewer than Luke Norris, who scored the opener and is second on the team, well back of Elliott List who has eight.

Tisdale made changes against Sutton, with Luther James-Wildin replacing Luke O'Neill in defence, Terence Vancooten taking the place of Michael Bostwick in midfielder and Reid being the preferred choice ahead of Bruno Andrade up front.

Their previous encounter versus Crawley was back in May of last year, which was also the last time in which Arthur Read scored for Stevenage, in a game that ended 3-3.

Crawley midfielder Jack Powell was the hero on that day, finding the back of the net in the 92nd minute in a game where The Reds were behind three times but still managed to collect a point.

Ashley Nadesan has three goals in his last three games, but his penalty miss on Saturday might have cost his side an extra two points, while Tom Nichols has notched a goal and an assist for this club in their last three fixtures.

Leading goalscorer Kwesi Appiah has eight thus far in this campaign, though he has not found the back of the net since December 11 when he fired home the winner in the second half versus Leyton Orient.

Stevenage possible starting lineup:
Pym; James-Wildin, Cuthbert, Prosser, Coker; Lines, Bostwick, Reeves; Taylor, Norris, Andrade

Crawley Town possible starting lineup:
Morris; Lynch, Craig, Francomb; Tsaroulla, Davies, Powell, Tilley; Nichols, Grego-Cox; Nadesan

SM words green background

We say: Stevenage 1-2 Crawley Town

Tisdale may have been pleased with the way his side performed last weekend, and their quality in the final third has undoubtedly improved, but Crawley have been stronger defensively, with a lot more structure and balance all over the pitch.

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Jack Wilshere scores for Bournemouth against Crawley Town in the FA Cup on January 26, 2021
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