Welcome to Wrexham!

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds made their Wrexham debuts on Tuesday, and were treated to the quintessential Wrexham experience of recent years: heroic failure.

Andy Davies asked a great question on #askwxm during the commentary: which match video should be given to the owners to enjoy the sensation of being a Wrexham fan. Naturally we focussed on the positives: the 1997 FA Cup run and the 2005 LDV Vans Final. However, perhaps the game they attended was the most typical Wrexham game they could hope to experience!

That 1-1 draw with Brighton, where we dominated a Championship team which was upwardly mobile for much of the game, is a prime example. We deserved so much more, but ended up losing on penalties.

You could even take the whole of last season as an example: battling against the odds, with a small budget, we stayed up there and looked likely to secure a play-off place. We had so many obstacles to overcome: the loss of Kwame Thomas and Jordan Ponticelli straight after Adi Yussuf walked out on deadline day; bureaucratic red tape meaning the owners couldn’t invest substantially until the very end of the January window, so we missed out on key targets; and the fact that we’re the only side which operates can’t sign new players for most of the season.

Despite all that, we went into the final game with our fate in our hands, and even when we failed to turn up we managed to get tantalisingly close: Jordan Ponticelli’s last minute goal pulled us level, and when Dior Angus burst clear deep into added time you wondered if there was going to be a fairy tale ending. There wasn’t

It was an heroic effort by Dean Keates and his squad, but ultimately nothing changed.

Tuesday’s performance followed on from that grand tradition. We started well, then suffered the triple whammy of conceding two soft goals and going down to ten men.

If you look “heroic failure” up in the dictionary, you’ll find an account of the second half. Down to ten men, we battled heroically, and when we pulled back onto level terms it seemed there would only be one winner. If you want some context for the performance, Bryce Hosannah is the 62nd Wrexham player to have been sent off since we joined the National League, but this was the first time we’ve scored twice when a man down since the very first game we played at this level, back in August 2008!

Then, Levi Mackin was dismissed with 11 minutes left, but we were still able to round off a 5-0 victory over Stevenage Borough through late goal from Christian Smith and Marc Williams. Even then, we weren’t at a numerical disadvantage because Borough had had a player sent off befor Mackin was sent packing.

Tuesday was a self-inflicted wound: we should have scored more when on top, and the first two goals were avoidable. We were great for long stretches of the match, roared on by an incredible away end, but again, it was an heroic failure.

Obviously, the owners have come to the club for many reasons, and one of them is to change all that. Investment in the squad adds quality, but it also adds other attributes. Introducing hard-nosed professional makes us hard to beat, bringing in winners makes it more likely that we’ll be the side snatching unlikely victories in future.

The future’s bright, but the owners got a first hand experience of something deep in our DNA on Tuesday, and they’re the ones with the ability to fix it.

Welcome to Wrexham!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s