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26 December 2023 Venue The County Ground Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview | Swindon Town vs Wrexham

All signs point to goals in the return match of last August's 5-5 classic.

25 December 2023


Do you like goals? Then this could be the game for you! For a start, these teams shared 10 goals in an incredible match earlier this season, and frankly they've continued in the same vein. Wrexham are the division's second highest scorers, and Swindon are just 2 goals behind. However, only Sutton have conceded more than The Robins, and there have been 89 goals in their matches so far, the most of any team at a striking average of nearly 4 per match. Fourth in the list of goals at both ends per game are Wrexham, so we could be in for a bit of Boxing Day entertainment at the County Ground!

Phil Parkinson was able to welcome Arthur Okonkwo and Stephen Fletcher back into the squad on Saturday for the derby win over Newport, although he lost Eoghan O'Connell in the pre-match warm-up. As the festive games come thick and fast, Parkinson will be keen to see more of his injured defenders return to contention, although the performance of Tom O'Connor, Ben Tozer and Max Cleworth, Eoghan O'Connell's last minute replacement, when Newport attacked in the first half with the wind at their backs showed that he has terrific strength in depth at the back.




Swindon got off to a strong start this season, but 3 wins in the last 17 matches have seen things fall away disappointingly, and they now stand in mid-table. Injuries have been a major issue in recent weeks, biting so deeply that Town have had to name between 3 and 5 academy players on the bench in the last few matches.

Jake Cain and Tyrese Shade returned on Saturday at Tranmere Rovers, but that good news was tempered by an injury goalkeeper Murphy Mahoney picked up, while Udoka Godwin-Malife dropped out with food poisoning.

Tom Clayton and Tom Brewitt hope to be in contention to face Wrexham, but Mahoney has injured a hamstring and will definitely miss out. Lewis Ward will step in, and he has plenty of experience: in his third professional appearance he kept a clean sheet against Wrexham in an impressive 2-0 win by Aldershot Town in November 2017.

I think Dan Kemp is a better ten than Lee and I really like Lee. He is play at an extremely high level with his goals, assists, and work rate.

-Michael Flynn

Manager Michael Flynn told the Swindon Advertiser that Mahoney's injury definitely ruled him out of participating on Boxing Day: “Without having it assessed and scanned, I don’t know for sure but I think it is going to be a long one. Fingers crossed it is not as bad as I think it is but I can’t see that good news coming.

“Brewitt and Clayton are extremely close, obviously Jake Cain was back to give us some numbers and Godwin-Malife should be ok.

“Tariq Uwakwe is still out, Fraser Blake-Tracy, Benn Ward is still out, and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy is still out.

“It is not clear all the way but at least we should have a few more back for the game against Wrexham.

“Brewitt is nothing to do with concussion, it is to do with his patella tendonitis, it has been very uncomfortable for him and we have had to keep him off his feet to allow the swelling and the inflammation to go down.

“We have had to build him back up gradually and thankfully he is back on the grass consistently.

“Rushian has got a bad knee, his scan came back clear but he is still in discomfort, so if the player is saying that he is struggling then it is a tough one because none of us know how to pinpoint it but it is obviously giving him some discomfort.

“They are sometimes more frustrating than breaking your leg because at least you know what that is.”

The loss at Tranmere was a third in a row, and Flynn was frustrated afterwards, having seen his side lose a half time lead.

"The two goals that we gave away were avoidable.

"We stuck together, we tried, and we put a lot of effort in, but ultimately we have given away soft goals.

I think a lot of it comes down to mentality. You can take a horse to water. The players are trying, but they have that lapse in concentration and it has happened too many times. We have not been in the position to change too much, but when we have a fit squad we can be a match for anybody. It is really frustrating as we are not far away, but we need to improve.

-Michael Flynn

"We are on the bare bones and we have tried to put out the most senior team available and in a lot of the game they had done extremely well.

"This is a tough place to come and we know that but if we cut out those mistakes then we would have won the game.

"The crowd were gone [before the equaliser], for us the game was dead as the crowd had turned and gone quiet.

"They were flat and passing a lot of balls out of play and we were quite comfortable up until that."

"Today we did create a lot more and we had a lot more purpose with Dan [Kemp] getting in the holes and us getting some crosses in.

"But it is the goals we are conceding that are biting us."



Swindon has never been a particularly welcoming venue for the Dragons.  Our last win at the County Ground came back on the opening day of the 1985-6 season, when Steve Charles scored the only goal.  Admittedly, we've only visited the County Ground 6 times since then, but we lost our last 4 games there!

Our most recent game at Swindon was also Brian Carey’s first as manager. Unexpectedly thrust into the hot seat after the surprise dismissal of Denis Smith in January 2007, Carey saw his team get off to the perfect start when Marc Williams headed the ball home in the 8th minute.

However, a minute later Swindon equalised, and they got the winner from the penalty spot with 19 minutes left as they continued with what would turn out to be a successful promotion push.

Our previous trip to Swindon was in March 2005 when we were battling against relegation from League One.  Goals from Juan Ugarte and Hector Sam gave us a 2-0 lead with just over half an hour played, but then striker Sam Parkin turned matters decisively in the Robins' favour.  Parkin hit a hat-trick to earn a 4-2 win, but his last two goals, in the closing ten minutes, were a free kick and a penalty, both controversially awarded by the referee.

The previous two visits were both defeats, featuring differing fortunes for the Wrexham keepers.  A spectacular late goal earned Town a 1-0 win in September 2003 despite the heroics of Andy Dibble, but a 3-1 loss on a sopping night in November 2001 owed much to a nervous display from Kristian Rogers.

That match did, however, feature one iconic Wrexham moment: the quixotic Emad Bouanane, a left back who was much happier going forwards than defending, weaved his way gloriously through the home team on a joyful run which started deep in his half, rounded the keeper….and then launched his shot high over the open goal!

Wrexham’s best win at The County Ground came in the League Cup in September 1981 when we triumphed 2-0 thanks to goals by Mick Vinter and Ian Edwards. 

Wrexham's joint top scorers against Swindon are John Lyons and Karl Connolly, while  Billy Ashcroft, Stuart Lee and Graham Whittle are all one goal behnd. 

Connolly got three of his in scoring the only hat-trick by a Wrexham player against Swindon, in a memorable 4-3 victory in September 1995, although the other one he scored also capped an impressive performance: in the return match that season Town were expected to exact revenge, but Connolly gave Wrexham the lead and they earned a deserved 1-1 against a side which won the Second Division at a canter and only lost once at home all season.


Mansfield Town v Grimsby Town

Gillingham v Crawley Town

AFC Wimbledon v Sutton United

Barrow v Stockport County

Bradford City v Morecambe

Harrogate Town v Accrington Stanley

Milton Keynes Dons v Colchester United

Newport County v Forest Green Rovers

Notts County v Doncaster Rovers

Salford City v Tranmere Rovers

Walsall v Crewe Alexandra

Barrow’s magnificent form gets the ultimate test as Stockport County travel north in a mouth-watering clash between the two sides ahead of us.

Elsewhere, Newport County have a chance to bounce back from defeat at the Stok Cae Ras last Saturday when they host Forest Green Rovers. Their visitors will hope they can build on a solid home draw under new boss Troy Deeney in a relegation 6-pointer.



James Jones' 125th Wrexham appearance.

Paul Mullin's 100th Wrexham league match.

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Match Reports

REPORT | Swindon Town 0-1 Wrexham AFC

Spirited ten-man Red Dragons hold on to claim Boxing Day victory

26 December 2023

Wrexham AFC claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Swindon Town on Boxing Day, as James McClean registered his first league goal since joining the Club in the summer.

McClean, who usually is found at full-back, produced an inspired performance in advanced attacking areas and opened the scoring after just 13 minutes. 

The visitors had multiple chances to put Swindon out of sight, but an inspired performance from Lewis Ward kept Wrexham’s threat at bay. 

James Jones was shown a red card for a second yellow in the 74th minute, but Arthur Okonkwo remained resolute and ensured that his side claimed a vital three points on the road. 

Having signed off for Christmas in the best possible way following a 2-0 victory over Welsh rivals Newport County, Paul Mullin made way to the bench on Boxing Day due to illness. 

In came Anthony Forde, while McClean was moved further forward, with both Forde and Jacob Mendy slotting into the wing-back positions.

Swindon got the match underway through Dan Kemp, surrounded by a packed-out County Ground in Wiltshire. 

Having scored his 13th league goal of the season against Newport previously, Elliot Lee came close to adding yet another to his impressive tally after just a minute. 

Lee disposed of his opposite number in the final third with some determined running, drove towards goal and struck an effort from range that drifted wide of Swindon’s net. 

Both sides proceeded to battle out the opening exchanges, with several physical challenges being made early-on. 

While neither team managed to create much in a well-contested first ten minutes, Sam Dalby did well to win a free kick in the 12th minute as he was hacked down on the counter-attack.

Captain Ben Tozer stepped up to take the set-piece and drilled a fantastic delivery into the path of Dalby who headed across goal into the path of McClean. 

Wrexham’s number 23 latched onto the loose ball, glided past Harrison Minturn and fired with composure into the net – carefully placing his 13th minute strike into the bottom corner on his right foot. 

The ex-Republic of Ireland international almost doubled the visitors’ lead after 30 minutes, and he was in inspired form leading the line alongside Sam Dalby. McClean collected the ball from Jones, but his effort fell just wide with Lee nearby.  

Phil Parkinson’s side continued to push for a second goal, with Lee and Andy Cannon both having attempts on goal at the Alan McLoughlin Town End. 

Swindon held on resolutely for the final minutes of the half, but were potentially fortunate to head into the break with just a single goal deficit as Wrexham started to take control of the match. 

The visiting Red Dragons continued to up the pressure in Wiltshire as Parkinson’s side pushed for a second goal to provide some much-needed distance between themselves and the Robins. 

Jones and Cannon drove forward within minutes and saw their efforts bravely blocked as Swindon went right down to the other end, reminding Wrexham of their threats. 

Swindon keeper Lewis Ward, who was making his first league start of the season for Swindon was in incredible form and spectacularly kept Lee from getting Wrexham’s second after 48 minutes. 

Jones was next to go close in the 54th minute, but he sliced wide from McClean’s cross as the search continued for a second-half goal. 

Ward made another incredible save five minutes later, after Forde found his fellow countryman McClean with another precise delivery from the edge of the pitch. 

The 34-year-old managed to beat his man and produced a strong header that was parried away, as Remeao Hutton cleared the loose ball. 

Tozer made a strong block to retain Wrexham’s lead, and he denied Jake Young from close-range after 73 minutes. 

Things took a turn for the worst just a minute later, as James Jones was penalised for a late challenge, having previously been booked earlier in the half. 

He challenged Tyrese Shade to claim a loose ball, but Jones was beaten and his late challenge seemed to make contact, leaving the referee with a decision to make.  

In the end, Tom Reeves pulled out the yellow card again and left Wrexham with ten men for the remainder of the match.  

Swindon scuppered a golden opportunity to draw level after 84 minutes, as Jake Young drove towards the final third and found Saidou Khan in space. 

Khan was in loads of space at the far-post but wrapped his finish wide of the post, much to Wrexham’s relief. 

The hosts continued in their onslaught on the Red Dragons’ goal, but Arthur Okonkwo stayed resolute and produced a number of fantastic late saves, to ensure the travelling fans went back to North Wales with a crucial win on Boxing Day. 

Wrexham Starting XI: Okonkwo, Cleworth, Tozer (C), Forde (Young 76’), Jones, Cannon, Lee (J.Davies 90’), Mendy, McClean, Dalby (Fletcher 69’). 

Subs not used: Howard, Barnett, Mullin.

Swindon Town: Ward, Hutton, McEachran (Brewitt 32’), Young, Khan, Kemp, Kokolo, Kinsella, Shade (Cain 75’), Minturn, Austin (C)

Subs not used: Evans, Genesini, Dworzak, McGregor, Hart. 

Match Attendance: 12,271 (1,435)

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Ticket News

TICKET NEWS | Swindon Town (A) now on general sale

Tickets for Boxing Day clash now available on general sale

7 December 2023

Tickets for our Sky Bet League Two away fixture on Boxing Day against Swindon Town are now available on general sale.

We have sold out our allocation in the Arkells Stand, meaning that tickets only remain in the Stratton Bank Stand.  

Official supporter travel is also still available for this match, priced at £32 for adults and £30 for Under-16s.

There will be no online queuing system in place for supporters purchasing tickets, so all you will need to do is log on to the e-ticketing website.

How To Purchase Tickets

Tickets can be bought via our eTicketing website, at the below prices, with both all supporters limited to one ticket per account, and a maximum of 6 tickets in one transaction (applicable for both online and in-person purchases).

For instructions on how to ensure you have activated your eTicketing account and have the correct privileges attached, please see this guide.

While we appreciate our fans wish to support the team, we urge supporters without a ticket to not attend the game. 

Anyone who attempts to buy tickets in the home end will be ejected, and no refund will be given.

Ticket Collections

Swindon have very kindly offered a collection facility for our supporters from the County Ground; however, this should only be used as a last resort.

To avoid lengthy queues on the day of the game and ensure that you can make it into the stadium for kick-off, we strongly advise fans to collect from the STōK Cae Ras in advance.

Tickets can be collected from the STōK Cae Ras, where you will have to provide proof of purchase through your booking reference. We cannot accept postcodes or any other information for collections.

Should anyone wish to collect on behalf of another supporter, as outlined above a booking reference will be required.

Tickets cannot be collected from 90 minutes before kick-off on a matchday.

All uncollected tickets will be taken to the County Ground, but reprints must be requested via the Ticket Office by 5pm on Friday, December 22.

There are no provisions for reprints on the day – so supporters need to take care of their ticket once received.

Ticket Delivery 

We have listened to supporter feedback over recent weeks and for this match you will have the option of collecting tickets from the STōK Cae Ras or through tracked and signed delivery.

For future away fixtures there will be the option of collecting your match ticket from the STōK Cae Ras or through tracked delivery.

Should you select the tracked postal delivery it will cost you an additional £8 for the service – regardless of the number of tickets which you purchase as a network for the fixture.

Ticket Pricing

Stratton Bank Stand

Adult: £23

Concessions (65+/Students): £20

Under-21: £13

Under-18: £9

Under-11: £3

All wheelchair/ambulant tickets will be charged at the above pricing dependent on age.

Accessible Tickets

The Club still has a small number of Accessible and Wheelchair tickets available for the fixture at the County Ground.

Accessible tickets can now be purchased online for this game, speeding up the ticketing process for supporters.

All users who are eligible have already had their ticketing accounts updated with the required information and required number of companions.

As such, users will simply need to login to their accounts and it will automatically pick-up whether they are an ambulant disabled customer, or wheelchair user and allow them access to select the area which meets their requirements.

Users will only be able to select the number of companion tickets required in accordance with their eligibility criteria (i.e. a user eligible for one companion ticket will only be able to select one companion ticket).

Companion tickets will be auto-allocated to their own "companion" account which has already been created for each eligible user, will not affect the “one ticket per member” policy, and must be purchased with an accessible ticket (companion tickets cannot be purchased on their own).

Supporters requiring additional support with accessible tickets should contact Wrexham AFC Disability Liaison Officer Kerry Evans, on

Away Travel

Official supporter travel will also be available for this game, via our eTicketing website. Coaches will depart from Mold Road at 09:30am and be priced at £32 for Adults, and £30 for Under-16s.

Please note, the buses will depart at 09:30am, and there will be no provisions for those who arrive late. Supporters must make note of their designated coach on the ticket and only board the coach they’ve been allocated to.

All Under-14s must be accompanied on official supporter travel, and alcohol is strictly prohibited by law.

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