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.
Wrexham welcome Halifax tomorrow in fine form, having won four games on the trot for the first time since February 2013. A win against The Shaymen would be our best run of wins since October 2011.
Our home record against Town is impressive. With 33 home wins to our credit against just 12 defeats, we have a commanding advantage when the sides meet in North Wales. However, recent clashes at The Racecourse have hardly got the pulse racing.
Town have been traditional rivals over the decades, but since they returned to our level following a lengthy spell reforming and climbing back up the leagues all the drama has come when we’ve met them in Yorkshire
We’ve been there twice in the league and both goals and red cards were abundant in both matches, while a fine Neil Ashton volley earned us victory at The Shay last season on the way to the FA Trophy final.
However, both clashes at The Racecourse have ended in rather dull goalless draws.
In fact, the only matter of real interest in either match came when Brett Ormerod picked up an unnecessary red card for retaliation, which brought the total of dismissals to three in the last two seasons.
That dismissal helped Halifax to an uncharacteristic run of positive results in Wrexham. They’re unbeaten in five matches at The Racecourse, so to find our most recent home win in this fixture you’ve got to go back to February 1992, when Lee Jones and Gareth Owen scored in quick succession to clinch victory after a goalless opening hour. Halifax have won twice at The Racecourse since then, most recently in a 1-0 victory in the LDV Vans Trophy in December 2000.
Wrexham need to break a barren run at home to Town if we’re to maintain our winning streak as we haven’t scored at home to Halifax in 420 minutes! The last player to do so was Karl Connolly in a 1-1 draw in October 1992.
It wasn’t always this way. Our biggest home win against Halifax was a festive feast! Shortly after Christmas 1947 we galloped to a 6-3 win, with Dick Yates scoring the only hat trick a Wrexham player has managed in 121 games against The Shaymen.
Billy Tunnicliffe also chipped in with two goals, and he made a habit of punishing Halifax as he is our equal top scorer alongside club record scorer, Tommy Bamford. They each got six goals against Halifax, with Albert Kinsey and Sammy McMillan level on five and Karl Connolly, Gordon Gunson, Gordon Richards and George Snow behind them on four.
Our worst home defeat to The Shaymen came in March 1936 in the Third Division North. Charles McCartney grabbed us a goal but couldn’t prevent us from falling to a 3-1 defeat in front of just 946 fans.
That remained the only attendance of under four figures to watch the two sides until December 1991, when the 881 who turned up at The Shay for a Fourth Division match were rewarded with a 4-3 home win.