Town set for a reunion with a familar face at Crewe

Chesterfield travel to a relatively happy hunting ground on Saturday to face Crewe Alexandra and a reunion with a familiar face.

Thursday, 7th September 2017, 1:03 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:31 pm
Chesterfield V Rotherham United 
Jordan Bowery jumps with Kari Arnason
Chesterfield V Rotherham United Jordan Bowery jumps with Kari Arnason

The Spireites have lost just twice in their last 10 appearances at Gresty Road, but they face an Alex side who have got off to a solid start in League Two this season.

Although Crewe lost their last outing at Grimsby, they went unbeaten for the first four games of the league campaign, including a draw against title hopefuls Mansfield Town.

Like Chesterfield, David Artell’s men have also picked up a 1-0 victory over Port Vale in the early stages of the 2017/18 campaign.

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The two sides have more in common – both exiting the EFL Cup at the first hurdle and losing their first Checkatrade Trophy game.

And they’ve both had summer rebuilds.

Crewe brought in eight new faces and saw 11 depart.

One of their first bits of business was to secure the permanent capture of an ex Sprireite.

Jordan Bowery, who played 102 times and scored 17 goals for Chesterfield at the start of his career before a move to Aston Villa, featured on loan for Crewe last season.

He hit the net twice in 19 games during that stint and his performances were enough to land a move to Gresty Road.

Should he play, it will be his first encounter with the Spireites since his 2012 departure.

Chris Porter, who once had a brief loan spell with Town, was another summer signing for Alex and has hit the ground running with four goals in his first six appearances.

Before the deadline Artell added loanees Sam Stubbs and Conor Grant from Wigan and Everton respectively.

Crewe have had a few injury issues to deal with already this season.

Midfielder Tom Lowery missed the Grimsby game with a neck problem and his replacement Grant was knocked out in the first 10 minutes.

Lowery is hopeful of a comeback against Town.

George Ray is out long term with a fractured back and Scottish Under 21 international James Jones is not yet back in training after suffering a hip problem in the summer.

Artell, like Gary Caldwell, wants his men to keep the ball on the deck and has demanded a return to their passing game on Saturday, saying: “We have to get back to playing the Crewe way. I want us to pass the ball and have the courage to get on the ball. We were bang average at Grimsby and we have to do a lot better.”