PREVIEW | Rochdale v Wrexham AFC

Wrexham AFC’s name is built on beating sides from higher divisions. It’s eight years since we last managed that feat, when we defeated Brentford in the second round of the FA Cup.

To be fair, since then we’ve not had many chances to cause a shock, and we’ve acquitted ourselves well on the four subsequent occasions we’ve faced Football League opposition.

The win at Brentford earned the famous tie against Brighton, which we lost on penalties after two superb performances yielded draws. We were also unlucky to lose to Oxford as we led at half time through Joe Clarke, and, of course, gave a heck of a fright to Stoke!

Last season we had the better of a goalless draw against Newport, and this season we’re hoping that, having done the same against Rochdale, we can do rather better in the replay!

We’ve a remarkably good recent record at Spotland. We’re unbeaten in 6 games there, stretching back to April 1992, when Steve Watkin scored in a 2-1 defeat.

Steve Watkin

Watkin scored there again the following season, n happier circumstances. This time it finished 2-1 in our favour, Watkin scoring the winner after Gareth Owen opened the scoring.

In November 1997 we enjoyed a 2-0 win at Rochdale in the FA Cup, with Karl Connolly and Neil Roberts scoring, maintaining our perfect record against The Dale in the competition: we’ve gone through on the previous 6 occasions we’ve drawn them.

Neil Roberts

Our last win at Spotland came in March 2006 when Matt Derbyshire scored the only goal, in a match marked by Dave Bayliss getting sent off while playing against us, on loan from us!

Chris Llewellyn

Since then, we’ve drawn there twice. On Boxing Day 2006, Lee McEvilly and Chris Llewellyn scored in a 2-2 draw, and a year later we fought out a goalless match in Brian Little’s second game as Wrexham manager. a performance which Dale boss ad ex-Dragon Keith Hill blasted as incredible negative.

Ben Tollitt will play the fiftieth game of his career tomorrow.

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