Better late than never I suppose! My review of the 2012/13 season comes a bit later than Mark Griffiths’ but I personally blame A-levels! A tremendous season in terms of emotion and action for Wrexham, but also the most heartbreaking since that game at Hereford back in 2008 where Wrexham condemned to the league they very nearly escaped at the third attempt at Wembley. I’ll be taking a look back at the highs, the lows and the downright obscure that myself, Mark and Carl all experienced from the commentary box!
Well, obviously there is one high that stands out more than most! Unfortunately, it’s not Glen Little’s spectacular attempt at the Welsh National Anthem! Wrexham’s first ever trip to Wembley was well deserved.
The reds dispatched Rushall Olympic, Solihull Moors, Sutton United and Southport before setting up a semi final tie with Blue Square North outfit Gainsborough Trinity.
SCREAMER ALERT! Danny Wright’s spectacular goal with his “swinger” in the second leg confirmed Wrexham’s place in the FA Trophy final after a 3-1 first leg win at the Racecourse and despite losing 2-1 on the day.
So to Wembley where we faced Grimsby Town as we looked to become the first ever Welsh side to win the competition. Hundreds of Wrexham fans had to physically dig their way out to get to Wembley due to the sever snow we had, myself included! Not a chance I was missing this occasion and I’m sure every other Wrexham fan had the same mindset.
After trailing to an Andy Cook goal (Grimsby’s only attempt in the game I’m pretty sure) Wrexham levelled form the penalty spot. Kevin “the kitten” Thornton became the forst Wrexham player to score at Wembley. Cue the 15,000 Wrexodus ascend into bedlam. Amazing scenes.
After Johnny Hunt dispatched the winning penalty, the Wrexham contingent went berserk. Tim Edwards (Twitter Correspondent) couldn’t help but jump on me while I was still commentating!
Away from Wembley, the return of Mark Creighton gave a lift to the whole club. After a nasty knee injury at the beginning of the season away to Ebbsfleet, The Beast returned in his emergency striker role in a 1-0 defeat to Mansfield on the final day of the season.
The 6-1 mauling of Nuneaton Town was the joint biggest score of the season along with the 5-0 thrashing of Rushall Olympic in the FA Trophy. SCREAMER ALERT! Adrian Cieslewicz’s stunner from 25 yards perhaps didn’t get the credit it deserved in a season that contained a flurry of howitzers and was overshadowed by one in particular.
Jay Harris’ goal of the season doesn’t need analysing. Just watch it and admire. He picked up the Steve Edwards Goal of the Season award, an award dedicated to the well renowned Wrexham commentator who sadly passed away this season. A colleague, a friend and an inspiration to a young commentator like myself, but it also ended the fantastic commentating partnership that was established between himself and Mark Griffiths.
Aggbrorugh Pies! Next season I urge you to go to Wrexham v Kidderminster away purely for the Aggborough pies! They are the stuff of legend. I didn’t quite realise how special they were until trying one and they are by far the best thing I have ever eaten at a football match.
Again, the obvious. The second Wembley trip of the season could not have been more contrasting to the first. The first all Welsh play off against Newport was the chance for Wrexham to gain Football League status after 5 years away. It wasn’t to be, and in the London sun, Wrexham’s warriors collapsed with 5 minutes to play. A 2-0 defeat coupled with the engine of Keates and Harris driving to exhaustion resulted in despair for the Wrexodus.
The initial injury of Crieghton against Ebbslfeet which was a huge loss. In all fairness, Chris Westwood upped his game this season and was a rock at the back but he himself suffered an injury which ruled him out of the play offs.
The injury of Danny Wright against Braintree. Little did we all know that in that innocuous challenge, as soon as he put his hand on the deck, the injury that he suffered against Brighton the season before would resurface, and he would never play for Wrexham again. A huge loss through the play offs, and despite hammering Kidderminster, we certainly could have done with his goals against Newport. He has a good scoring record against the Exiles and it could have made the difference.
The shortness of Andy Bishop’s spell. 2 goals in 4 goals was an impressive return from the man on loan from Bury, it’s just a shame we couldn’t have kept him longer as his performances were fantastic and brought something new to the strikeforce.
The downright obscure
Getting the tube to Wembley was interesting. My brother and I, along with our dad’s friend who we came down with were the only Wrexham fans on a tube full of Grimsby fans! Stares were thrown our way I assure you! It was the Grimsby fan who spoke up first that effectively jinxed his team, “You’ve come a long way to lose haven’t you?” How wrong he would be. Making Chris Maxwell walk out of an interview was a personal moment of obscurity. It came in the interview at Wembley after we had won the FA Trophy. “You’ve won a trophy with your local club, you might as well stay now?” I asked the goalkeeper. A smile and a shake of the head along with the utterance “Right I’m off” was enough to confirm he wasn’t too impressed!
Andy Morrell entering the post match press conference at Wembley with a can of Fosters (other lagers are available) and making no excuse for it! Clearly in high spirits, and a moment I won’t forget.
Club secretary Geraint Parry hands a package to Chris Westwood in the office before the play off first leg game against Kidderminster. 5 minutes later, Chris enters back into the office and states “Geraint, this isn’t for me. It’s a part for a washing machine!” Brilliant. I don’t even think it was addressed to Westwood but Geraint handed him over the package!
So a season that will long live in the memory for the right and the wrong reasons. We now look to next year as Morrell looks to rebuild the squad that has begun to dissipate. Will we go one better next year? We all certainly hope so!