PREVIEW: Wrexham AFC v Aldershot Town

aldershot

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 go into tomorrow’s game looking to run up a sixth consecutive home win for the first time in over a year. The last time we enjoyed such a run at The Racecourse was at the start of last season. We won our last two home games of the 2014-15 season under caretaker manager Carl Darlington, and followed that up by winning our first five under Mills.

We should seek that sixth win with some confidence as we have an excellent home record against Aldershot to defend. The Shots have visited The Racecourse twenty times and have never won. Indeed, they’ve only returned with a draw on four occasions. Our record at The Recreation Ground isn’t great, but we’ve at least won four times there.

They’ve come to North Wales three times in The National League, and lost on each occasion. Last August Wes York, James Grey and Dom Vose scored in a 3-0 win, and the season before Mark Carrington, Andy Bishop and Louis Moult hit the net in a 3-1 victory.

The closest Aldershot have come to getting a point at The Racecourse at this level was on their first visit, in January 2014. Joe Clarke gave us the lead but it was 1-1 in the 87th minute when Jay Harris took a punt and saw his long range shot catch the Shots’ keeper unawares.

In total we’ve won our last four home games against Aldershot. In October 1989, Gary Worthington and Ollie Kearns each gave us the lead, but Aldershot equalised twice to earn a 2-2 draw, the final goal of the match being scored twenty minutes from the end by a youthful Steve Claridge.

Our biggest margin of victory over Aldershot is 4-0, a scoreline we’ve managed on three occasions. Each of those wins featured a hat trick: in October 1964 Martyn King got three; almost exactly a year later Sammy McMillan repeated the feat; and in March 1975 Dave Smallman got to keep the match ball. Having scored the winner in a 2-1 win at The Recreation Ground earlier that season, Smallman is top of the list of Wrexham scorers in this fixture.

It’s a double milestone day for Chris Dunn tomorrow, as he makes his 175th career league appearance, which is also his 200th game in all competitions.

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