Once again, we welcome to The Racecourse a side which is in superb form. Solihull Moors have sustained their push for at least a direct place in the play-off semi-finals with a superb run of results in 2022.
Nobody needs to be reminded of the remarkable sequence of home games Wrexham have been through the past 4 weeks, an incredible, relentless mixture of quality and drama which leaves us still keeping the pressure on league leaders Stockport County. The tests keep coming though, as Solihull Moors are on similarly magnificent form and arrive with their sights on improving on their current 4th place in the table.
Indeed, victory at The Racecourse would put The Moors on level points with their hosts, albeit with two games more played. The top scorers in the division after the top two, they also share with Stockport, Wrexham and Chesterfield the distinction of having lost the fewest games in the National League this season.
To find Solihull's most recent league defeat you have to go all the way back to January 8th, when they were beaten by Bromley. They also lost to The Whites in the FA Trophy last month, but bounced back from that result by getting straight back on track in the league: since then the only points they've dropped in 6 games were in an admirable 0-0 draw at 3rd-placed Halifax.
Spear-headed by their own eye-catching Summer signing from Cambridge, Andrew Dallas, and supported by the likes of Joe Sbarra, who is also in double figures for the season, manager Neal Ardley knows he has the weapons required for a push for promotion. He used a recent interview in "The Mirror" to suggest that, like his playing days at Wimbledon, his side could achieve as battling underdogs:
In budget terms, we're probably a mid-table team. But we had good players and we've added to that and we play some good football.
In our league this season what I feel you've got is 10 to 12 super, super-ambitious clubs. These are clubs that are ridiculously ambitious. And probably more so than most of the teams in League Two, in terms of putting money into it.
Having got Wimbledon promoted, I've then made a play-off final with Notts County and since coming to Solihull we're obviously in and around it so I hope I'm on the upward curve of learning and becoming better.
It would be great to take Solihull all the way (into the league). We're probably one of the teams up there that go under the radar a little bit. We hope to keep it that way.
If they can maintain their current form their promotion ambitions will come closer to being realised: then, the last thing Solihull Moors will be is under the radar!
LAST TIME WE MET
An epic opening day encounter saw Joe Sbarra open the scoring with a screamer. Wrexhm turned the game around with two goals from debutants: Paul Mullin won and then scored a penalty before Dave Jones slammed in an unbelievable volley from distance. However, Moors piled on the pressure and earned a last-gasp point when Sbarra struck again in the fourth minute of added time.
HEAD TO HEAD
With the promotion scrap coming to its conclusion, we could do with maintaining our 100% home record against Solihull Moors.
We’ve rarely come away from their place with much either: the draw we secured at Damson Park on the opening day of the season ended a run of 4 consecutive defeats there. Consequently, it’s no surprise to learn that the two clubs have just one league double between them in the fixture, achieved 5 years ago when Wrexham won both games 1-0 in the first season we appeared in the same league.
Solihull Moors have visited The Racecourse 6 times, and although the games have all been hard-fought, they’ve yet to emerge with anything to show for their efforts.
Solihull Moors' first game in North Wales was an FA Trophy tie in December 2012, which was the closest we came to defeat before our victory over Grimsby in the final.
Solihull Moors were the only side to take the lead against us on the road to Wembley, and they did it twice. Brett Ormerod and Adrian Cieslewicz both equalised, Dean Keates scored the penalty which secured a 3-2 win.
The next time Wrexham came back from behind twice to win a game, by the way, was last Saturday!
In August 2016 Mark Carrington scored the only goal in added time, sliding in at the far post to avert what appeared to be an inevitable goalless draw.
The following season both sides were going well, but the match was decided in Wrexham's favour by a brilliant Paul Rutherford lob.
In December 2018 Paul Rutherford scored the only goal in this fixture for the second season in a row, before a crowd of 6,220. That currently stands as our biggest crowd against Solihull Moors, but will clearly be eclipsed this weekend!
The widest winning margin we’ve experienced against The Moors is a mere 2 goals, achieved in December 2019 when goals from Omari Patrick and James Jennings earned a 2-0 win.
Last season it took two Luke Young penalties to secure a 2-1 win.