End of Term Report Part Three

The loss of Mark Creighton so early in the season, coming hot on the heels of Nat Knight-Percival’s departure, might have devastated our defence, but the heart of the back four has held firm as a result of some stirling efforts.
Centre Backs
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Martin Riley
My player of the season Riley has been consistency personified. So much so that the rush of blood to the head which allowed Kidderminster that play-off penalty was remarkably out of character. However, by the time we got to Wembley he was giving a demonstration of the qualities he’s brought to Wrexham’s back four: both combative and swift, smooth in his cover of his fellow centre back.

He has played the whole season sweeping up behind stoppers with less pace than him, and is a natural at the role. For a great example of his work, look at how he covered behind David Artell when Christian Jolley ran behind him in the 85th minute at Wembley. What a shame he had no chance of repeating the trick a minute later! 9/10

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Mark Creighton
The Beast cast a huge shadow over the season, both with his absence and his camera! Even the notion that he might be hurled on as an heroic, desperate gamble in the play-offs captured the fans’ imaginations.

What a shame that his injury deprived us of a Riley-Creighton partnership. Too few games to give a mark.

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Chris Westwood

Westwood didn’t have the happiest of first seasons at The Racecourse. Injury decimated his pre-season and he never looked like he’d recovered. As a result, hopes weren’t necessarily too high for this campaign, and when Creighton was injured the thought of Westwood stepping in wasn’t necessarily a great comfort.

But Westwood has enjoyed a terrific season. He might not have the pace he once had, but he has learned to compensate, and the experience which allowed him to do that has permeated the players around him. He and RIley made a sound partnership, and Wrexham looked more solid when he was available.

Ironically, he’d eventually fall to injury too, and he was badly missed in the closing stages of the campaign. 8/10

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Leon Clowes
A revelation! Clowes’ couple of appearances last season, a Welsh Cup match which ended in a red card and a static display against Hinckley when Andre Grey gave him a torrid time, did little to imply Clowes would make the step up to being a valuable player at Conference level or beyond. The run of games he enjoyed at the end of this season changed everything.

Andy Morrell put his finger on it when he described Clowes as an old fashioned stopper who likes heading the ball and clearing it. Clowes and Artell made a formidable obstacle in front of the back four, and the youngster even looked to have picked up a little pace. A very impressive spell of games which gives hope of more to come from this proto-Creighton! 7/10

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David Artell

Artell was an astute emergency loan signing and, although he was caught out for Newport’s decisive Wembley goal, that shouldn’t colour a successful spell at The Racecourse. An out-and-out stopper, he is aggression personified, and not only intimidates opponents but looks to referee the game as well!

Although we appear to already be quite well stocked with his type of centre back, it would be no bad thing if Artell’s time at The Racecourse was extended. If nothing else, it would be fun to reacquaint him with Kidderminster! 7/10

Tomorrow: Midfielders

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One thought on “End of Term Report Part Three

  1. This was after Wrexham sold star striker Jake Speight went the opposite way to Mansfield. At The Racecourse Ground Riley would be reunited with former defensive partner from his Aggborough days Mark Creighton , although after just 3 games Creighton suffered a season-ending injury. Riley made his debut in a Conference National game against Woking , Wrexham won 3–1. In March 2013 Riley won his first honour by winning the FA Trophy with Wrexham, beating Grimsby Town on penalties at Wembley.

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