Wrexham AFC: The National League King Makers

Fasten your seatbelts. We’ve ridden the storm and now the genuinely serious business can begin.
It would be rather tardy of me to suggest that the key run of fixtures starts now. After all, we’ve just played the top three back to back! However, having come out of those games in pretty good condition, we now get down to the real nitty-gritty. Five games remain, and three are against our direct rivals for a top five place. There couldn’t be a better point for players to stand up and be counted.
I’ve been a little fixated with our failure to get victories against the sides at the top of the table, and with some justification. After all, our win over Cheltenham was the first time we’d beaten anyone in the top seven positions, and if we don’t take points off our promotion rivals it’ll be very difficult to get into the play-offs.
Yet there are still causes for optimism in our games against the top teams. Specifically, we’ve shown against the two title contenders that we’re more than capable of performing against the best sides at this level. The four point gap between the top two could have been twisted in either direction by our games against them. In fact, you might almost see us as the king-makers in this division, as our four matches against Cheltenham and Forest Green each could have gone either way, and were packed with dramatic late twists.
We only lost one of those matches, and in many ways that was our best performance against the top two. Our 2-1 loss at Cheltenham came against the run of play and if the referee had given an obvious penalty and red card when Wes York’s shot was handled on the line, we surely would have emerged with three points from that game.
Our injury time win over Cheltenham showed we could match the league leaders, and we would have also beaten Forest Green if we hadn’t conceded an equaliser in the ninety fourth minute.
Perhaps most crucially, the heart we showed with nine men at Forest Green last Saturday was highly encouraging. Again we dug deep against strong opposition; again the game could have turned in added time, as we withstood terrific pressure. But we survived, and we can take heart from that as we go into a series of huge matches. Our fate is in our own hands, just as, by giving the title contenders four tough matches, the title’s fate has been to an extent.

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