2022 kicks off with an enticing fixture, and once again the travelling reds will be filling the away end to roar the Red Dragons on.
Obviously, this game is conditioned by what happened at The Racecourse on Boxing Day, but it would be incredibly naive to expect a repeat of that emphatic Wrexham win. Solihull Moors might have hot a rough patch of form, but a trip to Damson Park is never easy, as The Red Dragons' record there illustrates.
Paul Mullin's third hat trick of the season, along with goals from Ollie Palmer and Aaron Hayden, secured our biggest win over The Moors last Monday; a just reward for a fine team performance.
The Moors won't just carry bruised egos into this match: they will also be without their skipper Kyle Storer. The ex-Wrexham midfielder will serve the first part of a three-game suspension for picking up a straight red card for a challenge on Luke Young.
Moors boss Neal Ardley refused to hide behind the red card when he conducted his post-match interview, but instead lamented his side's second half performance, while acknowledging the ability of Phil Parkinson's side to "score from all angles".
It was good for 40 minutes, and then it crumbled.
-Neal Ardley, Solihull Moors manager
He was pleased with how his side set themselves up in the opening half though, and there's no doubt that his players, stung by the result, will be bursting to return to familiar territory and exact revenge.
He will have Ben Coker available again after suspension, and might return to the back four which has been his preferred defensive for much of the season, having seen his back three struggle to contain Wrexham's attack on Monday.
HEAD TO HEAD
Solihull Moors will be hungry for revenge after the 5-0 thumping they suffered on Boxing Day. They have a strong home record against Wrexham to back them up, as we’ve only won one in 7 games at Damson Park.
That victory was our first game there, as Anthony Barry scored the only goal from the penalty spot in the 7th minute of a league match in February 2017. We earned a goalless draw in the following season, but then suffered 4 consecutive defeats.
A late goal by Alex Gudger settled a depressing August afternoon in 2018, as Manny Smith suffered what would turn out to be a career-ending injury.
The following season we were beaten 3-1, despite Bobby Grant rounding off an excellent move which spanned the length of the pitch to give us some hope in the second half. That hope was extinguished when Jamey Osborne scored direct from a corner with twenty minutes left. The abiding memory of the match came in the first half, though, when future Wrexham left back Jamie Reckord scored a magnificent goal to give the Moors a two-goal advantage.
We met twice in the space of two weeks in October 2020, as the COVID-struck season behind closed doors kicked off. First we lost a tight leage match to a James Ball header from a corner early in the first half, and then we crashed out of the FA Cup, as Joe Sbarra turned in a match-winning performance with two goals.
That miserable run meant we arrived at Solihull on the opening day of last season having scored just one goal in 533 minutes there. The game, the first under Phil Parkinson, was a dramatic affair. Sbarra gave The Moors a deserved lead, but Paul Mullin earned and scored a debut penalty before David Jones scored an incredible long range volley to give us a half time lead.
We looked to be successfully keeping Solihull at arm’s length throughout the second half until Sbarra popped up again with a 94th minute equaliser. Sbarra maintained his fine run against Wrexham by scoring at The Racecourse in the return match, his fifth goal in this fixture.
James Jones' 300th career appearance.
Sam Dalby's 100th league match.
Reece Hall-Johnson's 75th Wrexham appearance.