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.
There’s a certain monotony about our home fixtures against Welling United.
We’ve welcomed them to The Racecourse twice. Both times were early in the season, both times saw us win 2-1, and both times saw us triumph through goals in the last ten minutes. Here’s hoping the pattern will be maintained tomorrow!
Their first visit was on the opening day of the 2013-14 season. Joe Clarke gave us the lead with a spectacular strike from the edge of the area, but we conceded an equaliser to Joe Healy just before the break.
It looked like we would be frustrated, but with seven minutes left late substitute Rob Ogleby broke into the box to smash home the winner, and then memorably practice his golf swing in celebration!
The following season United arrived with a much more defensive mind set, and were given further incentive to park the bus when the gloriously-named Harry Beautyman scored against the run of play in the thirty-third minute.
The remainder of the game resembled an attack against defence training ground exercise, especially after Jon Nouble picked up a needless red card, but Wrexham lacked inspiration in their attempts to turn possession into opportunities. However, they managed to carve out an opening with six minutes left, which fortunately fell to the reliable Louis Moult, who scored for the third time in our home games.
Two minutes later, things got even better for Wrexham, and again it was Clarke who punished The Wings. His long range shot was powerfully struck but took a cruel deflection to wrong-foot the keeper and earn Wrexham a fortunate win.
We go into tomorrow’s game looking to maintain our terrific home form. We’re unbeaten at The Racecourse since mid-January, our last defeat being that appalling display against Telford United, which ended in a remarkable 4-0 loss to the side at the bottom of the table. That’s a run of thirteen games under three different managers without defeat!
We’ve also won four home games in a row, which is our best sequence since the end of 2013. It might be surprising to discover this, as that season was something of a disappointment, but three months before he departed Andy Morrell led his Wrexham side to a run of seven home wins in a row, halting only by a brave FA Cup defeat to higher division opposition in the form of Oxford United.
Furthermore, our perfect start at home this season means we’re already chasing landmarks by the third weekend of the season! We’ve already beaten Torquay United and Aldershot Town in our two fixtures at The Racecourse, and surprisingly this is only the third time we’ve won the first two home games of a season in the last 30 years! The two other times were also in the Conference, in our first two seasons at this level.
Should we beat Welling tomorrow we’ll have won our first three league matches of the season for the first time since 1976, when John Neal’s side beat Portsmouth, Shrewsbury Town and Walsall.