PREVIEW Wrexham AFC v Braintree Town

Last season saw us stop the rot against Braintree, as our home results against them had got gradually worse after a promising start.
Their first trip to The Racecourse certainly went according to plan. Andy Morrell, Adrian Cieslewicz, Mathias Pogba, Danny Wright and Neil Ashton all scored in a spectacular 5-1 win, Ashton’s injury time penalty being his first goal for Wrexham.
The Iron next ventured to North Wales at the conclusion of the following season, and the pattern of disappointment set in. We were preparing ourselves for the play-offs and things certainly got off to a perfect start. As early as the fourth minute player-manager Andy Morrell scored a contender for goal of the season with a brilliant chip from the edge of the area, but within minutes his plans had been left in disarray.
Top scorer Danny Wright fell as he chased the ball into the Braintree penalty area and seriously injured his elbow. It was the end of his season and without him we failed to get through to the Football League
September 2013 saw things go from bad to worse. Braintree arrived without much fanfare, but were to get a helping hand from a grim opening period by the home side. A freak own goal by Mark Carrington in the third minute set the tone, and by the twentieth minute we were 2-0 down.
Still, Morrell’s side showed heart and hauled themselves back into the game as Johnny Hunt and Jay Harris struck the goals to level the match.
However, there was one final twist to come. In the 70th minute Steve Tomassen put the ball into his own net in controversial circumstances as Wrexham complained that who had run into a clear offside position behind the defender was and interfering with play. After a lengthy spell of consultation with his linesman the referee correctly chose to allow the goal, although since then the rules have been changed, and if the incident was repeated tomorrow the goal would be chalked off.
Thankfully, last season we got back to winning ways. Like tomorrow’s fixture, it was our last home match of the campaign, and caretaker manager Carl Darlington’s side certainly thanked the Racecourse faithful in style.
Darlington selected a boldly attacking side, with Louis Moult at the attacking end of a diamond, playing behind Connor Jennings and Andy Bishop, and although the tactic failed to produce a breakthrough in a goalless first half, after the break the visitors’ rearguard finally cracked.
Moult opened the scoring just after the hour and grabbed another with twelve minutes left. In the first minute of injury time Bishop snatched his final goal for Wrexham, bidding farewell to the fans in style, as did Joe Clarke and Jay Harris, who each came off the bench for their final home appearances for the club and contributed assists.
In total eleven of Darlington’s sixteen were not around by the start of the next season. It will be interesting to see if Gary Mills can manage a greater level of stability over the Summer.

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