Tomorrow is Dean Keates’ hundredth game as Wrexham manager. He’s the sixteenth person to reach that milestone, and boasts the fifth best league loss percentage in our history.
Keates is only the second person to have two spells as our boss, and is enjoying considerably more success than the other one. Billy Morris was in the Racecourse hot seat twice in the early 1960s, but lasted a grand total of 20 month as he struggled in the bottom half of Division Four.
We all dream of returning to the golden age which, when it comes to playing Torquay, is 2015. We faced them five times that year and, after a goalless draw at Plainmoor, enjoyed four wins over them, including a conclusive victory in the semi-final of the FA Trophy.
Since then, this fixture has been rather less happy for us. We’ve won just once in six clashes, although it was an emphatic affair. Chris Holroyd struck a hat trick and Manny Smith got the other in a 4-0 win in January 2018 which is our biggest win over Torquay.
Holroyd’s hat trick is the only one a Wrexham player has managed against The Gulls, and it puts him level with Barry Horne, Albert Kinsey, Louis Moult and Jim Steel as our top scorer against them.
Our home record is impressive against United. We actually lost our first two games against them at The Racecourse, and three of our first four, but since then they’ve beaten us on our patch just once in 19 attempts.
That most recent defeat came back in February 1988. We were on the back foot from the start, going 2-0 down after just six minutes. Goals from Kevin Russell and Joe Hinnigan saw us mount a rousing second half fightback, but we eventually lost 3-2.
Since then we’ve been unbeaten at The Racecourse against The Gulls in 14 games.
Tomorrow will be Luke Summerfield’s 75th appearance for Wrexham.