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PREVIEW| Wrexham v Stockport County

An epic summit meeting between the National League's pace-setters.

1 April 2022

If you can't get excited about this game, it's probably time to find a new sport!

In the away corner Stockport County: long-time runaway leaders of the National League, on a remarkable run of 20 wins in 21 games. A Rolls Royce of a team. Sheer class.

In the home corner Wrexham: the only side that look capable of catching The Hatters, with 9 wins from their last 10 games, 20 wins from the last 26 (and in 3 of the games where points were dropped, a Wrexham player was sent off in the first half). Last Saturday they pulled off one of the most remarkable victories of all time.

Serial winners against a side that refuses to lose. The irresistable force against the immovable object. And the prize is to be favourites in a Wembley cup final. 


It gets better. With Chesterfield's Kabongo Tshimanga out of action, the National League's active joint top scorers will be facing off. Paddy Madden has struck 17 times in 34 league appearances; Paul Mullin boasts 17 in 28.

County are riding the wave of 10 consecutive wins. The only points they've dropped in 2022 came in a 2-2 draw with Chesterfield. Unbeaten since mid-December, when they lost to Torquay United, they've kept clean sheets in their last 4 games.

Pretty formidable stuff. But they're about to come up against a side which blew the best two defences in the division apart recently.

Boreham Wood have only conceded more than two goals in a game 3 times this season: two of those occasions came at The Racecourse in recent weeks as they were blown away 3-0 in the FA Trophy and then 4-2 in the league.

Halifax were on a run of 5 wins and hadn't conceded 3 in a league game all season when they came to Wrexham a week and a half ago. They were genuinely flattered by the 3-1 loss they suffered.

Last Saturday Wrexham were losing 5-2 with less than 25 minutes left. They still won.

This could be fun.




We have a hundred per cent record in FA Trophy semi-finals to maintain against Stockport, although playing a game at this stage of the competition over one leg will be a new experience.

The two previous semi-finals we’ve appeared in were both player over two legs, and much like last Saturday’s game it was the one which looked to be virtually over which turned out to be balanced on a knife edge by the end.

In 2013, we faced Gainsborough Trinity at The Racecourse hoping to secure a good lead for the second leg, and delivered. Trinity were from the division below, but we in good form and certainly performed on the day.

However, this was the formidable Andy Morrell side which nearly won the title the previous season, their 98-point tally the highest a team in the English pyramid has ever achieved without getting promoted.

Despite Gainsborough’s hearty efforts, we took the lead through a Danny Wright strike, but Trinity equalised just beyond the midway point of the second period and went in level at the break.

The key moment came just after the hour, when Adrian Cieslewicz replaced Rob Ogleby. Within 4 minute of his introduction he’d put us ahead, and his bursts down the right flank were a constant threat. He’d make a similar impact off the bench in the final too.

In added time the tie took a decisive turn as Neil Ashton gave us a little extra breathing space by securing a 3- lead to go into the second leg.

It was a good job he did too, although the early signs were highly promising when the sides reconvened a week later.

We’d tuned up with a midweek win at Gateshead, Brett Ormerod scoring the only goal, and a superb travelling support of over 800 Wrexham fans thought we were in the comfort zone when Wright struck with a superb curling strike from the corner of the box


However, within 5 minutes the home side had pulled one back, and in the closing fifteen minutes we had to withstand a terrific battering as Trinity sought to the turn the tide.

With five minutes remaining they went 2-1 up on the day, needing one more goal to take the game to extra time, but they couldn’t make that final breakthrough. A Big reason for their frustration was Chris Maxwell, who made a remarkable save from a close range shot to secure our first visit to Wembley.

Two seasons later we were in the semi-finals again, as Kevin Wilkin’s side faced Torquay United.

Once again the first leg was at The Racecourse, but this time the outcome was less clear-cut. Joe Clarke scored a fine opener and we were in a dominant position when Louis Moult made it 2-0. However, The Gulls pulled a goal back with 15 minutes left to set the second leg up beautifully.

There was still all to play for at Plainmoor 20 minutes into the second half, but that was when Moult got his second goal of the tie.

His strike was a signal for Torquay to cave in, and 11 minutes later we were 3-0 up! It was on-loan striker Kieran Morris who made the difference, scoring two goals in two minutes to send us to the final again.


Jordan Davies' 75th career appearance.

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