PREVIEW Wrexham AFC v Maidstone United

We’re unbeaten in seven matches against Maidstone United. We lost there the first time we played them, back in 1989, and since then have beaten them four times and managed three draws.

We’ve enjoyed two emphatic home wins over The Stones. Their last trip to The Racecourse was an FA Cup second round tie in December 2014, when a rare Manny Smith goal gave us the half time lead. Andy Bishop put us two ahead from the spot but United swiftly pulled one back and gave us a few frights before Bishop grabbed a second three minutes from the final whistle to secure a 3-1 win.

SONY DSC

Our other home win in this fixture came in April 1990. Brian Flynn’s side were battling the drop to the Conference, and the game got off to an explosive start. Eddie Youds and Gary Worthington put us 2-0 up after just six minutes, but by the time the tenth minute came round Maidstone had pulled one back.

They equalised around the hour mark, but Flynn’s side had developed a true fighting spirit and hit back with two late goals from Worthington and Mark Sertori to claim a 4-2 win.

Gary Worthington vs Maidstone

Maidstone came away from The Racecourse with draws in the next two seasons though. We fell behind twice in 1991 but Andy Preece and Jon Bowden earned a 2-2 draw, and the following season we played out a goalless draw in front of three thousand fans, seven days after we’d attracted ten thousand more to a rather more memorable match against Arsenal!

Jon Bowden

Four players share the honour of being our top scorers against Maidstone, and one of those names might be surprising. Bishop, Worthington and Gareth Owen have all managed two goals against The Stones, and last September they were joined by Callum Powell, who scored the only two goals of his Wrexham career when the sides met at the Gallagher Stadium. However, Curtis Tilt’s underhit backpass meant we had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

This is 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.

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