Crewe front men battle for start

27 January 2011 01:22
Crewe assistant manager Steve Davis has told his strikers to prove they are worth a start in place of the suspended Clayton Donaldson against Accrington.Donaldson was sent off for violent conduct during the 2-1 home victory over Bradford on Tuesday night and will be banned for three matches. [LNB]Davis told BBC Radio Stoke: "It gives them an opportunity to stake a claim and keep their place in the side." [LNB]AJ Leitch-Smith is likely to partner Shaun Miller up front on Saturday. [LNB]Manager Dario Gradi could also call upon former Lancaster striker Jordan Connerton or 16-year-old Nick Powell, neither of whom have made a league start for the Alex. [LNB]Leitch-Smith, 20, has scored twice in nine appearances this season, although his only start came in the 5-5 draw at Chesterfield in October.[LNB] [LNB][LNB] The Alex have been boosted, however, by the return to fitness of Mat Mitchel-King, who played around an hour in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Aston Villa on Wednesday. [LNB]The former Histon defender has not featured at first-team level since 6 November. [LNB]"He came through fine," said Davis. "He was stiffening up a little bit towards half time so I didn't risk him much beyond another quarter of an hour. [LNB]"We're going to have to ease him in and wrap a bit of cotton wool around him to protect him because we are going to need him at some point."

Source: BBC_Sport