Crewe Alexandra Vs Northampton Town, Sat 20 Feb 2010

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New signing Dan Gardner could go straight into the Crewe squad for the visit of Northampton.

The teenage striker, who was plucked from the relative obscurity of Vodkat North West Counties Premier Division outfit Flixton, has signed a deal until the end of the season following a trial at Gresty Road.

Caretaker boss Dario Gradi said: "Dan would've been on the bench at Burton last Friday if he'd been signed in time - he's that close to the team.

"He's come from nowhere but he's a real competitor with a lot of go in him. He's always on the move and has decent technique."

Striker Clayton Donaldson, midfielder Danny Shelley and defender Carl Martin will be hoping to force their way back into the side after helping Alex reach the Cheshire Premier Cup final in midweek.

Donaldson scored twice in the 5-2 win over Stockport as he stepped up his recovery from an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, captain Mat Mitchel-King has recovered from his ankle ligament problem and has resumed training but this game comes too soon for the defender.

Northampton will be without midfielder Kevin Thornton.

The former Coventry midfielder begins a three-match ban after he was sent off for a reckless challenge after just 11 minutes of last Friday night`s 3-0 home defeat to Aldershot.

Andy Holt is set for another fortnight on the sidelines with his knee injury so Liam Davis will take Thornton`s place on the left of midfield.

Davis has made two substitute appearances since recovering from his latest foot injury but will start at Gresty Road for the first time in the league this season.

Forward Steve Guinan remains sidelined with his hernia problem but Billy McKay and Adebayo Akinfenwa will resume their strike partnership.

Last Friday`s defeat was the Cobblers` first in 11 games but a win at Crewe could move Ian Sampson`s side to within a point of the play-offs.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Crewe Alexandra
Northampton Town
Steve Guinan
Danny Shelley
Clayton Donaldson
League Two
Billy Mckay
Liam Davis
Coventry City
Adebayo Akinfenwa
Kevin Thornton

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