Preview: Kidderminster (a)

Here’s my column from last week’s Leader. It forms part of the paper’s comprehensive pre-match coverage every Friday, featuring interviews, an in-depth look at the opposition and lots of statistical analysis. All content in the column (c)

Wrexham travel to Kidderminster in fine away form and might be glad to hit the road again as six of our last eight games were at home!

We’ re unbeaten in eight on the road, our best run since a sequence of twelve which ended in January, and have scored at least four in each of our last two away games, a feat we last achieved back in March when we beat Darlington and Ebbsfleet.

It’s hard to believe that just three years ago we only scored three goals once away in the whole season!

Things have been improving for us against Kidderminster lately. After a poor run of results against them in the Conference, we’ve started to get the upper hand.

We failed to win any of our first five clashes against the Harriers at this level, losing our first three then drawing the next two. The promising pattern continued as we enjoyed our first win over them in seven years in the FA Trophy, starting a run of three wins in our last four clashes with Kiddy.

At Aggborough last season we clinched a hard-earned 1-0 victory. Andy Morrell scored the only goal in the forty-ninth minute of the first half, and an obdurate rearguard effort ensured we kept our first clean sheet in Kidderminster since April 2004.

Morrell played in that match too, which was also our previous win at Aggborough, although unusually in what was a prolific season for him, his strike partner stole the headlines. Lee Trundle scored both goals in a 2-0 win to aid our promotion effort.

Overall, we’ve got a good record at Aggborough. In nineteen visits we’ve won nine, with just one draw. The fixture goes back to our pre-Football League days, when both sides were in the Birmingham and District League. Indeed, our first match against them was a 2-1 home win back in September 1905. However, that proved to be a false dawn, as we lost the next five games against them, and only earned one draw in the nine matches which followed that opening defeat!

However, things swiftly swung back in our favour, as we then won six of the next seven games against Kiddy, and embarked upon an identical run of success in the run-up to our rise into the Football League in 1921.

The last match before we went up was our greatest victory at Aggborough, as Bert Goode snatched two in a 4-2 win.

We’ve taken a few beatings there too though. In January 1914 we went down to a 6-0 defeat which is still our worst result there, replacing a 6-1 loss in 1909, and had gone down 6-2 two years earlier as well!

Compared to that, maybe the long ninety minutes which the faithful Wrexham fans had to suffer in September 2009 weren’t so bad. A reckless Silvio Spann challenge saw us reduced to ten men inside the first twenty minutes, leading to an exercise in damage limitation which ended in a 2-0 loss during which we rarely crossed the half way line.

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