YNWA takes a look back at our past friendly encounters with Crewe as we continue our pre-season campaign on Saturday with the short trip to Gresty Road. This is the eighth time we have travelled to Crewe in friendly competition. We have played them a further seven times in first-class competition as well as another six war-time encounters. Of these nineteen meetings overall, we have only lost twice - both times at the end of the Second World War.
Craig Lindfield scored in his first reds outing a year ago, as we won 1-0. Fábio Aurélio and Mark González both also made their first appearances for the club. ‘Les Gems' Anthony Le Tallec and Florent Sinama-Pongolle both played their first reds games in July 2003, with Michael Owen on target in a 1-1 draw. The game was a testimonial match for Crewe's Steve Macauley and Shaun Smith, held over from the season before.
Other recent trips
Sean Dundee and Vegard Heggem both made their first appearances in a red shirt, as we won 3-1 in July 1998. This was our first pre-season match that season, with our goals coming from Danny Murphy, Dominic Matteo and Bjørn Tore Kvarme in a three-minute flurry.
World Cup winner Karlheinz Riedle made his reds bow in August 1997, as we won 3-1, with goals from Michael Owen, Paul Ince and a Danny Murphy penalty, just three weeks after he had signed from the Alex. Reserve keeper Tony Warner made a rare start, although he was one of eight reds to be substituted.
We won our first pre-season match of 1996/97 in front of a crowd of just over five thousand in July. The only goal of the game was struck by reds midfielder Phil Charnock. Lee Jones partnered Stan Collymore in attack.
First time against DG
Our first meeting with Crewe under the command of Dario Gradi, still the boss at Gresty Road today, came back in July 1985. The game ended 2-2, with Ian Rush and Steve Nicol on target. Young forward Wayne Harrison made his first of very few reds appearances in this game.
South African-born outside-right Berry Nieuwenhuys scored the only goal of a friendly in October 1939, played six weeks after the outbreak of war. Nivvy went on to join the RAF during the war, before returning to South Africa in 1949 to become assistant golf professional to Bobby Locke.
We won 6-3 in March 1940, with Willie Fagan grabbing a hat-trick, including two penalties. Billy Liddell, Jack Balmer and Len Carney scored our other goals. We visited Gresty Road twice in 1944, winning 3-1 in February, thanks to a Billy Liddell brace and Jackie Campbell strike, and going down 4-1 seven months later, with former reds boss Don Welsh nabbing our consolation.