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.
We need to turn things around tonight because our trips to Braintree have become progressively more depressing as time has passed!
Our first trip to the Amlin Stadium, in November 2011, ended in a goalless draw with Danny Wright missing a simple late chance to clinch the victory.
The following year we enjoyed a fine 5-1 victory, with Wright making amends with two goals, Brett Ormerod and Nick Rushton each scoring with a fine solo effort and Adrian Cieslewicz rounding off the scoring. Since then, things have gone pear-shaped.
In March 2014 we collapsed to a 3-0 defeat under caretaker manager Billy Barr in a match notable for the debut f sixteen year old Danny Reynolds.
We also lost there last season in worrying circumstances. The only goal, which came half way through the first one, was an odd one as Charlie Strutton struck a free kick into the wall but the rebound bounced back to him and he thrashed it in from outside the box. The tame nature of the performance was the real concern as we failed to rally against a side which was in awful form: Strutton’s goal was their first in over nine hours!
Blaine Hudson’s late red card was harsh, but it made no real effect on the final outcome as we had shown little side of rallying when we had all eleven players on the sodden pitch.
We go into tonight’s match in rare away form, seeking our fifth consecutive away win.
We won our first three away games last season but to find the last time we’ve won enjoyed four consecutive successes on enemy territory you have to go back to September 2011 when Andy Morrell won his first four away games as Wrexham manager at Grimsby, Gateshead, Hayes and Luton.
If we win tonight we will record our best run of away wins since 2003, when we cantered to promotion from League Two by winning the final five away matches of the 2002-3 season.
Just to put our current run into further context, it’s worth considering that two seasons ago we didn’t manage to win consecutive away games once!
Furthermore, it’s over two months since we let in a league goal away from The Racecourse. Dover’s Toby Ajala scored the winner on October 10th and we’ve gone 349 minutes without conceding in the league since.
At the other end the goals are flowing this season and a number of players are already enjoying the best form of their careers. Wes York’s goal at Tranmere means he has already scored more goals this season than he has in any other season, while Dom Vose’s fine strike at Prenton Park both took him into double figures and doubled his previous best season’s total.
Apart from his ten goals, Vose also has an impressive eight assists to his credit, but those figures are rivalled by Jennings’ nine goals and twelve assists, which mean he’s had a decisive hand in a remarkable forty four percent of our goals this season.
Mark Carrington will play his hundredth game for Wrexham tonight.