Sunday, 25 October 2009

Parking The Bus

Even if we hadn't won yesterday, at least we would have made an impact on Halifax!

We managed to stop traffic for a fair distance around the ground when the team coach grounded itself in the entrance to the club car park!

Apparently the coach driver was told to back in by a steward and found hinself high and dry as a result!

I suppose Wes Baynes did that to their team a couple of hours later, plucking victory from a match which looked destined to remain goalless, ad although I spent the game feeling frustrated that we never really looked like turning the advantage we had in terms of quality and stamina into goals, a day later I can look at it with a bit more perspective.

The fact is that we did score at a remarkably opportune time to snatch the win, we did defend very robustly, and we did find a player capable of doing something out of the ordinary. Perhaps most crucially, we took on a very tough tie against a side who are in remarkable form-15 consecutive wins anyone?-and a vociferous crowd, and came out on top. And it's a few years since we've looked capable of doing that as we've tended to crumble under that sort of pressure.

So on reflection we ought to feel very pleased with what happened in Halifax. Apart from our parking.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Wemberlee, Wemberlee!!

The travelling Red Army set off for West Yorkshire tomorrow to face another ex league club who have fallen on hard times in FC Halifax Town. The FC prefix points to the fact that the side we are facing tomorrow at The Shay are another of the so called phoenix sides that are around these days. Neil Aspin's men are on a great run of form with 15 yes FIFTEEN consecutive wins in all competitions and are undefeated in 19 games this season winning 18 of them.

OK it is a level three tiers below Wrexham but a win is a win is a win and you can only beat the teams you come up against. Saunders men had a succesful trip to Hertfordshire on Tuesday with what Mark quite correctly called their best result of the season. Wrexham showed spirit, organisation and resilience at the Lamex and they are going to need more of the same tomorrow.

The question arises do we need a good cup run because unless we can make some money out of say a draw with Leeds, Norwich, Southampton or Charlton our best hope of success will surely come later in the year with the FA Trophy. But this is THE cup and we have a great tradition and also we desperately need confidence brought about by not losing and preferably winning football matches. Our main aim has to be improving our league position but a cup run can be a welcome distraction so I for one would like to see us replicate the great cup runs of the Flynn era.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Thrill of the Cup

Are you as excited about Saturday as I am? Let's be honest, it's the tie of the round; pity the TV coverage doesn't kick in yet!

Why is it the best match to come out of the hat? It's obvious: a side going like a train against one three divisions above but stuttering for form, and it'll be held at the minnows' ground, where they can guarantee excellent, vociferous support while the visitors always come mob-handed. It'll have the atmosphere of a cup tie like no other match this Saturday.

It sort of brings to mind the Wrexham-Arsenal game and dozens of other such ties at The Racecourse over the years.

But hang on, we were always the underdogs rising to thrilling victory in those games; now the boot's on the other foot. Maybe I shouldn't be feeling quite so eager!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

On Reflection

You know what? The more I think about it, the more I suspect we've just achieved our best result of the season so far. After all, Stevenage are second in the table and unbeaten at home, and we dug in and, with Frank Sinclair, Mani Assoumani and Chris Maxwell once again forming a redoubtable triumvirate at the heart of our defence, kept another clean sheet.

Not only that, we ended a couple of weird sequences of results, one of which is particularly remarkable.

It was our first away draw since we went to Woking in March, eleven away games ago, but even more impressively, it was our first 0-0 draw away from home since February 2008, forty-four away games ago.

Incredibly, it was the first time Marc Williams started a goalless away draw!


Well, I'm glad that's over. And you know what? I hated every minute of it. Especially the last fifteen minutes, when it felt like we couldn't possibly survive.

Still, we did, and there was one aspect of the experience I enjoyed: Steve Edwards and Paul Jones' commentary was superb and a real pleasure to listen to. Except for when I was accused of missing the game because I was at my ballet lesson. There'll be consequences.........

Stevenage podcast

The Final Whistle podcast and audio highlights are now up at

Idle Hands

Being stuck at the laptop listening to Wrexham makes you do odd things. Like this.

This is agony!

Final whistle please ref!!!!!! We're hanging on grimly!

Wrexham vs Juventus

Wrexham vs Juventus

Now here's a thing!


I am so disappointed! I can't get to the Stevenage game, or the Wimbledon match, and Kettering's a push as I can't get that far after work! What a nightmare! Bizarre as it might sound, missing out on a Wrexham match is still a punishment rather than a reward!

It just feels so wrong to be sitting around when I should be on the open road (traffic permitting!) And then what about tonight? Steve, Paul and Geraint are great to listen to, BUT I WANT TO DO IT TOO! IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!!! So I'll sit there and listen to it, feeling sulky and helpless.

At least when you see us getting pasted you can make sense of it; listening to a game or following it on teletext or text commentary is just cruel. The feeling of powerlessness is akin to being Forest Green's goalkeeper, I'd imagine.

So when you hear weeping throughout the night emanating from the general direction of Borras, spare a thought for me!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Huddle leads to toil and trouble

Could a clue to Grays' defeat lie in their inability to assimilate new signing Fola Onibuje?

He certainly didn't seem to be welcome in their huddle!

You'd think if any club was used to making new players welcome it's be Grays!!

Grays Podcast

The Grays podcast is now up at featuring Dean Saunders, Jamie McCluskey and Julian Dicks

Lamine Sakho 1 El Hadji Diouf 2

Obviously Lamine Sakhp's Hummer is the most exciting thing every to happen to Wrexham-indeed, all of North Wales. However, as you can see, fellow Senegal international El Hadji Diouf has a car which is even more of a crime against decency:

Our Ideal Midfielder!

We need a bt of creatviity and there's a promising young midfielder who can't get into his first team who might just fit the bill!

Darren Ferguson played for Peterborough reserves last week and seems to have done very well. He might well be unattached soon, as he's just had a vote of confidence, so let's hope Dean Saunders keeps an eye on him!

Friday, 16 October 2009

A fresh start?

Well the Red Dragonss return to competitive action tomorrow after the enforced lay off caused by the international break. We sit in 18th position in the BSP (our lowest position since at least 1921) 3 points off the relegation zone and 14 points off the play offs albeit with three games in hand over our rivals. When you take in to account that the three games are all away against Stevenage who are 2nd, Kettering (3rd) and AFC Wimbledon (6th) one does wonder what sort of points total we will accumulate from these matches.

So is there any cause for optimism at all? Well there is always hope in this league as any team is capable of beating any team - clubs have a habit of doing well and then collapsing even from such positions as Burton were in last term. We have not played well for 90 minutes in any game this season so one has to say that we are due a good run soon but with FIVE consecutive away games if you count the FA Cup tie at Halifax the match tomorrow against Grays is certainly in the category of a MUST MUST win. The players have scored thirteen goals in two friendlies in the International break so now have the opportunity to get back in to league action with some confidence and start to climb the league.

Keep the faith


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The Kids Are Alright

I went to see the youth team play Bangor last night, and felt more positive than I have for a while! While the first team scrap away in The Conference, the young lads look to have something to them.

Okay, let's not get too carried away. It's only youth football, and they were up against opposition which was certainly decent-Bangor gave a very feisty performance and were in the game deep into the second half-but flagged as the game wore on and Wrexham's superior quality told. The final score of 6-0 was at the same time harsh on City but a fair reflection of how a better side, if it's patient and works away at gutsy opposition, can break them down and open the floodgates.

I suppose that's what I liked about Joey Jones' team. He's got them playing good football, knocking it around on the floor and probing for openings, while also possessing a genuine winger in Nick Rushton who could beat his man and deliver good crosses. It was a stark contrast to what happens when the likes of Barrow sit deep and frustrate our first team.

Other impressive performances came from the centre of midfield, where Rob Pearson and Liam Shipton dominated play and showed an impressive range of passing, able to switch play to the flanks but also combining often with striker James Colbeck when he dropped off or Rushton with some snappy short passing.

The back four was reassuringly big and solid, and keeper Danny Ward was commanding and loud-the sort of combination you want in a young goalkeeper.

It was a most enjoyable evening. Not only was it nice to watch a Wrexham team and not feel stressed about the outcome, it was also a pleasant novelty to see one win!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

New Dragon Talk Podcast

There's a new podcast up at featuring an interview with James Hunter and Lee Jones about the WrexhamFC Foundation, and a quick report from the Welsh Youth Cup.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Llewellyn's soap opera continues!

Fair play to the bloke! After missing two penalties in the Neath-Llanelli derby last weekend, Chris Llewellyn made amends yesterday by scoring both goals for Neath as they came from behind to win 2-1!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Saunders has a lot to learn!

Dean Saunders' recent run-ins with the BBC have been very entertaining, but he has some way to go to match Roy Keane's intimidatory skills when handling the beeb. I like how the interviewer hasn't got the guts to ask the difficult question straight out, and says "people have told me to ask you"!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Will Eddy Return?

I guess it's the same old same old. I feel that familiar thrill when I see Paul Edwards could come back to us, mixed with the sense of foreboding that my logical side experiences when an old favourite returns.

I really liked Edwards in his two years at Wrexham, and thought he didn't always get the credit he deserved. I recall his struggles in the intial games of the 2002-3 season as he learned how to be a wing back rather than an out-and-out winger, but he adapted superbly and was able to fulfil his defensive responsibilities without losing the ability to be dangerous at the other end. Quick, able to beat a man and direct, he used to chip in with a few nice goals too.

On the other hand, if he's looking for a move into The Conference,you've got to assume he can't do those things any more.

They say never go back for a reason. Yet I'll be getting over-excited if Edwards puts pen to paper. Being illogical comes with the territory when you're a football fan. Especially a Wrexham fan.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Oh Boy Anoruo!

Another notable match in the Welsh Cup this weekend saw Obi Anoruo in action. He maintained his excellent scoring record, although he also missed an easy chance before he hit the net, but was also sent off.

Anoruo had been involved in an earlier incident which led to an opponent getting a red card: before a corner he appeared to be arguing with his marker-nothing physical was going on-and for some reason another defender came across, gripped him round the throat from behind, and was off!

It looked like things continued to be feisty afterwards, and when he took a swipe with his foot at an opponent as he lay on the floor, the ref showed a straight red-possibly a little harshly as he didn't seem to make contact.

It's never a good thing to get sent off, and it's a shame he'll now miss three games when we've sent him out to gain experience, but I must say I don't mind seeing a young lad who is willing to stand up for himself either.

I suppose all experiences are valuable if you can absorb and analyse them. I suspect Obi will return ready to join the fray.


Watching Sgorio's Welsh Cup highlights this weekend was quite a ride, with ex-Wrexham players certainly claiming centre stage!

The main game-and what a game!-was the Neath-Llanelli derby. For Neath, Anthony Williams was between the sticks and was rather static for the opening goal, while Llewellyn missed a penalty and picked up a yellow for a rather vindictive, needless hack. No surprises so far!

To be fair, Llewellyn scored a 120th minute tap-in to send the game to penalties-although he then missed the spotkick which ended the game!

Elsewhere, Jamie Reed got two for Bangor against Cefn Druids, the second being the more entertaining as he took the ball off the toe of Chris Sharp, who of course had a trial with us in the Summer, as Sharp rounded the keeper and tapped it in. Sharp's sulky reaction suggested the individual's more important than the team in his mind!

Savage Fate

Dodged a bullet there, I think! What a surprise-he said some populist comments but didn't follow through!

It's not as if you couldn't see this coming: if you think I'm being harsh, I refer you to this and this! Even the incentive of hooking up with Rebecca Lowe's gone now!

Let's hope the media finally decide to drop these stupid "Savage to Wrexham" stories and let Mr Rent-a-Quote give them some other gems instead. I for one am heartily sick of it.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Holmes Sweet Holmes

Dean Saunders' post-match performances have come under ever-increasing scrutiny recently, as the BBC appear to have made a decision to pursue a more aggressive line with him.
It'll be interesting to see how he handles it if we don't win, and especially if we also manage to get hold of the Salisbury general manager, Nick Holmes.

It's a bit hit-and-miss whether we get anyone from the opposing team: the excellent work of David Roberts after the match (without him and Geraint Parry we'd be stuffed!) means we usually get the opposition's point of view. but sometimes the visiting team's media hijack their man and the rest of us are left high and dry. If he can deliver Holmes, we'll be able to compare his reaction to Saunders in tonight's podcast.

Salisbury's problems came to a sadly inevitable conclusion when they went into administration and were docked ten points. Thankfully, the side had made a strong opening to the campaign, meaning the penalty only dumped them to mid-table rather than consigning them alongside Chester City amongst the dead men.

That the team was able to absorb the punishment is down in no small part to the excellent work of Holmes and his first team coach, TommyWiddrington. The avuncular general manager is a class act in a profession packed with self-promoting bullies, cutting a gentlemanly air and rising above the infighting which characterises so many aspects of the game.

No doubt his sang froid came in handy when matters came to a head and the administrators came in, and he seems to have succeeded, along with Widdrington, in insulating the squad from the external problems to an extent.

I suppose that's why I view today's game with a certain trepidation; although that seems to be my default mode at the moment!

Salisbury podcast

The Salisbury podcast is now up at featuring Dean Saunders, Gareth Taylor, Chris Maxwell and Salisbury boss Tommy Widdrington.

The Dark Arts at Crawley

Steve Evans completes a three-match ban today from even being in the ground while Crawley play! He still has a further ten game touchline ban to come. Couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow!
No doubt it won't affect Crawley too much. After all, it has seemed of late that he's passed the abuse baton to his assistant Paul Raynor, who now patrols the touchline on his dark master's behalf, like when a side takes it in turns to clobber the opposition's best player to share the yellow cards around.

I know I'm getting obsessive about the bloke, but the sights I've seen when we've played Crawley have gone beyond what you normally see at a match. EVERY TIME!

In fact, I'm astonished that they didn't try to pull a fast one by claiming that last Wednesday's Sussex Senior Cup tie against Crowborough counted towards the ban!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Man of Mystery

So where is jamie McCluskey exactly? I know he was injured at the start of the season, but is he still? Maybe so, in which case fair enough, although information on him is thin on the ground, and I don't recall reading that he was badly injured.

I wouldn't mind seeing him in the current side, as when you look as unlikely to score as we do, you need to explore every attacking option.

Wrexham Calendar