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.
It’s cup tie time again, and if history repeats itself I can guarantee one thing: you won’t have to cancel any plans you’ve got on Tuesday because of a replay!
That’s because Wrexham have never drawn at Macclesfield. We’ve been there fourteen times, but there’s yet to be a draw as Macc have won nine and we’ve triumphed in the other five.
In another way we’ll hope to avoid a repetition of previous events between the sides, though. Last season’s frustrating defeat at Moss Rose capped a remarkable hat trick of unhappy recent results for Wrexham at Macclesfield.
We’ve lost the last five times we’ve visited The Silkmen, and that defeat last November was the third of those occasions in which we’ve been defeated 3-2! At least Macclesfield’s star man from that match won’t hurt us tonight, as Conor Jennings is now a Wrexham player! He scored a superb hat trick to condemn us to defeat. He opened the scoring from the spot in the first minute after Andy Coughlin was very harshly punished by the award of a penalty after what looked like a clean save at the feet of an onrushing striker and added another just before the break to cancel out Joe Anyinsah’s equaliser.
Wrexham pulled level with ten minutes left through Brett Ormerod, but Jennings pounced again to score the winner deep into injury time.
The other 3-2 losses also saw us concede late goals. In March 2006 Sam Williams and Andy Holt put us 2-0 up but shortly before the break Holt scored an own goal. We conceded twice in the last quarter of an hour, the final goal coming with seven minutes left, to suffer our first loss in Macclesfield in one hundred and thirteen years.
Things got even worse two seasons later. In October 2007 we again raced into a 2-0 lead though Chris Llewellyn and Michael Proctor and we still held a 2-1 lead going into injury time despite being down to ten men following a controversial red card for Robbie Garrett. However, Macc struck twice in added time, the winner coming from a mishit cross which went in off the post.
Blaine Hudson seems to enjoy playing against Macclesfield. He hit the net for Wrexham against them earlier this season, and his one career goal before arriving at the Racecourse was for Welling last season against the Macc as well.
This weekend marks the anniversary of an auspicious cup match for Wrexham. Thirty six years ago on Sunday Arfon Griffiths’ side took a notable scalp in the third round of the League Cup as they defeated top division Bristol City 1-0, with Bobby Shinton scoring the goal five minutes after the break. We would go on to reach the last eight of the competition that season for the only time in our history, not to mention getting to the same stage in the FA Cup and winning the Welsh Cup. Perhaps tonight’s cup tie could kick off a similar season of cup exploits!