PREVIEW: Wrexham FC v Lincoln City

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.

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How quickly things change!

Two seasons ago we welcomed Lincoln City to The Racecourse knowing that a victory would be a fourth home win in a row over The Imps, meaning we’d be on our best run of consecutive home victories against them. Furthermore, merely avoiding defeat would equal our longest unbeaten run in this fixture, of eight matches, as at the time we hadn’t lost to Lincoln in seven years. We hadn’t even conceded a goal to them at home in six years!

Our grounds for optimism weren’t purely historical either, as we were on a fine run of form, unbeaten in twelve games and flying high in the league whereas The Imps were struggling at the other end of the table.

I’m sure you can see what’s coming. We crashed to our worst home defeat against Lincoln, as late goals from Jay Colbeck and Joe Clarke gave a slightly flattering gloss to a 4-2 defeat. And things haven’t improved much since, as we’ve gone from feast to famine. We’ve won just one of the subsequent four clashes, losing two, and in the process suffered back to back home defeats to City for the first time in the history of a fixture which stretches back to the early weeks of our first league season in 1921.

That match ended in a 3-1 win for us, but we won just one of our next eleven matches against them, and it has taken our recent run of successes to even up our record against The Imps. In ninety three clashes we’ve won thirty two and lost thirty five.

Last season’s loss, a grim 1-0 in April which was decided when Joslain Mayebi misjudged a long distance free kick in his last appearance in a Wrexham shirt, was a depressing way to mark our final home match of the season.

mathiaspogba2

Therefore, you have to go back to November 2011 for our last win over The Imps at The Racecourse. Mathias Pogba was the hero, netting both the goals, and we also equalled a club record by keeping a sixth consecutive league clean sheet.

Our names of our most successful strikers against Lincoln reflect the venerable nature of the fixture. Jack Boothway tops the list with nine goals against The Imps, our next most successful player against Lincoln being club record scorer Tommy Bamford with four. After him come Norman Sharp and Graham Cooper with three.

Boothway’s nine goals against Lincoln include the sole Wrexham hat-trick in this fixture, which set up a 4-0 win in August 1949 which remains our biggest home win over City. That match also attracted the biggest crowd to see a match between the two sides, of 13,162.

Jon Bowden

Jon Bowden

Tomorrow we’ll neither threaten that milestone nor the record for the lowest crowd to be drawn to The Racecourse by The Imps, of 1,269. They witnessed a 2-2 draw in April 1991 which saw us come from behind twice through goals by Joey Jones and a late Jon Bowden penalty.

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