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.
A lot has changed since Nuneaton made their first ever trip to The Racecourse last season. Tomorrow they arrive in North Wales having converted themselves from Skrill Premier also-rans to genuine promotion contenders, a process we’ve achieved in reverse.
It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see a repeat of what happened when the sides clashed at The Racecourse last December, much as we’d love to see it. We enjoyed a terrific victory over Nuneaton last season. Johnny Hunt opened the scoring in the twentieth minute and just after the half hour mark player-manager Andy Morrell doubled the advantage. Nuneaton might have hoped to get to the break without sustaining any further punishment and regroup, but that hope was ruined when Neil Ashton got his head to a corner in the last minute of the first half to make it 3-0.
The second half also saw Woking ship three goals. Rob Ogleby snatched the first one, and Adrian Cieslewicz also chipped in with seven minutes to go. It was left to Ashton to give the game a certain symmetry though. Having scored in the closing moments of the first half, he did so again at the end of the second, scoring from the spot to round off a 6-1 win. It was the least he could do, as a minute before that penalty he’d scored an own goal to give the visitors their consolation goal!
This game is being played on a notable date in Wrexham’s history, as plenty seems to happen on April 12th!
We played a remarkable Welsh Cup Final on that date back in 1903, as we thumped hapless Aberamon 8-0, with Llew Griffiths, a prolific scorer in our pre-Football League days, helping himself to a hat trick.
Six years later we played another Welsh Cup final, and although the scoreline was much closer as we only won 1-0 this time, the victory was just as sweet as the defeated side were deadly rivals Chester City, Ernie Huffadine scoring the goal.
More recently, and much more painfully, we also played a Welsh Cup final on that date in 1965, and came a terrible cropper! Cardiff thumped us 5-1 at Ninian Park, but that didn’t necessarily mean they were going home with the trophy! The match was the first leg, and Wrexham went into the return match with more hope than you would have under today’s aggregate score system. In those days, two-legged games were decided on the result, not the scoreline, so if Wrexham managed any sort of victory in the second leg the tie would be level at one win apiece, and a replay required.
That’s exactly what happened, as a goal from Martyn King secured a 1-0 win which came somewhat out of the blue as we’d mustered just one other win in our last twelve games of the season. That result necessitated a third game, and in that sort of form it was no surprise that we emerged