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) www.leaderlive.co.uk.
If you want excitement tomorrow, you’ll be hoping the game doesn’t follow the example of Macclesfield’s trip to The Racecourse last season.
They attracted over four thousand fans to The Racecourse for the first time but it was one of the drabbest encounters these sides have managed to conjure up between them. It ended goalless, the only time neither side has managed to summon up a goal in twenty seven clashes.
Overall our record with Macclesfield is pretty well balanced. Their 3-2 victory over us at Moss Rose earlier this season edged them ahead in the head to head, having won twelve to our eleven. However, that’s only part of the story. The fact is that as time has passed, Macc have grown increasingly dominant in this fixture.
We haven’t beaten them in our last eleven matches, our most recent win coming in August 2002 when substitute Hector Sam scored the only goal in an away league win which was made possible by the excellence of Andy Dibble between the sticks.
Since then we’ve lost seven times to them, and of two those losses came at The Racecourse. Lee Trundle scored a consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat on New Year’s Day 2003, and we also lost 1-0 at home to them in the LDV Trophy in September 2007.
That was a particularly miserable evening as, in front of a meagre crowd of 1,503, Wrexham felt highly aggrieved about the nature of their dismissal from the competition.
Having dominated the match but failed to take their chances, they lost to a contentious penalty call as Marc Williams seemed to be pushed over in his own box but was penalised for handball as he landed on the ball with his arm.
The spot kick was dispatched and Wrexham’s fury boiled over as by the end of the game we were down to nine men following dismissals for Chris Llewellyn and Michael Proctor.
We haven’t beaten them in North Wales since 1998, seven home games ago, when Macc’s first game against us after their promotion to the Football League saw Dean Spink and Gareth Owen score the goals in a 2-1 win. To find our last home win over them before that you have to go all the way back to 1896!
Bearing that in mind it’s perhaps unsurprising to find that no players in the modern era have enjoyed a great deal of success over Town. Sammy McMillan is the only Wrexham player to have scored more than once against them since the Nineteenth Century, having got both his goals in a 2-1 away win in the 1964 F.A. Cup.
Any form of away success has been thin on the ground since then though. In fact, we’ve lost our last five games at Macclesfield, and often by exotic means. This season’s defeat was the third of those five to end 3-2, and was clinched by a 94th minute goal.
It’ll be interesting to see how Brett Ormerod does tomorrow as The Racecourse doesn’t seem to be agreeing with him. His last seven goals all came in away games, his last home goal coming in the 4-1 win over Ebbsfleet exactly thirteen months ago!