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Ban leaves Alex short

Ban leaves Alex short

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Defender Matt Tootle's suspension leaves Crewe Alexandra with selection issues ahead of their weekend visit to Preston North End.

"Matt will be a loss to us because it's not a position we are overly blessed with players" - Neil Baker
The 22-year-old was dismissed late on during the midweek Johnstone's Paint Trophy victory against Doncaster Rovers and now faces an automatic one-match ban.

The Alex are already without regular right-back Kelvin Mellor due to a knee injury, which leaves Gregor Robertson as their only remaining senior full-back.

"It leaves us short in that position because Kelvin is not quite ready to come back yet," assistant manager Neil Baker conceded to This is Staffordshire. "Matt will be a loss to us because it's not a position we are overly blessed with players so we will have to have a look to see what we can do."

Harry Davis could be one option after filling the role during last season's promotion-winning campaign, although he has since been performing especially well in central defence. Teenagers Paris Bateman and Jon Guthrie may also come into consideration.

Meanwhile, manager Steve Davis is hoping that skipper Luke Murphy will recover from a groin injury in time after missing out against Doncaster. Goalkeeper Steve Phillips, Adam Dugdale and Max Clayton were all recalled for the tie while on loan Brad Inman earned himself a senior debut.

Otherwise, striker AJ Leitch-Smith is recently back training after an ankle injury but is not yet ready to return.

Preston boss Graham Westley could name an unchanged side after defeating League Two leaders Gillingham in the FA Cup last weekend. Defender Scott Laird and midfielder Keith Keane remain long-term injury victims.

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Writer:Vital Crewe
Date:Thursday December 6 2012
Time: 3:55PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 32 19 7 6 64 23
2 Plymouth 31 19 4 8 61 17
3 Carlisle 32 15 13 4 58 11
4 Luton 32 14 11 7 53 18
5 Portsmouth 31 15 7 9 52 16
6 Exeter 32 15 5 12 50 16
7 Mansfield 32 12 11 9 47 4
8 Stevenage 32 14 4 14 46 1
9 Wycombe 31 13 7 11 46 0
10 Barnet 32 11 12 9 45 -2
11 Colchester 31 12 8 11 44 6
12 Grimsby 32 12 8 12 44 0
13 Cambridge 31 12 7 12 43 3
14 Blackpool 31 10 12 9 42 12
15 Morecambe 30 12 5 13 41 -7
16 Crawley 31 11 6 14 39 -11
17 Yeovil 32 9 11 12 38 -7
18 Crewe 32 8 12 12 36 -11
19 Accrington 30 8 9 13 33 -10
20 Notts County 32 9 6 17 33 -21
21 Cheltenham 32 7 11 14 32 -10
22 Hartlepool 32 7 11 14 32 -18
23 Leyton Orient 32 8 5 19 29 -15
24 Newport 31 5 10 16 25 -15
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