With just 24 hours to go until the 2022/23 season gets under way, it's time for the fifth and final part of our A-Z series, which takes a closer look at our upcoming opponents for the campaign.
This part includes two of our early opponents, Woking and Yeovil Town, as well as Wealdstone and new boys York City.
Wealdstone continued their trend of ongoing improvement in the 2021/22 campaign, as they finished 16th on 53 points, bettering a 37-point tally in the previous season.
A shock result in November saw the Stones snatch away a point at the Racecourse, as a heroic goalkeeping display by George Wickens kept the Red Dragons from scoring.
The reverse fixture at the Grosvenor Vale provided Wrexham fans with one of many blockbuster games last season. The Royals went ahead, courtesy of a Browne penalty with 18 minutes left on the clock. However, up stepped the ‘Coedy Assassin’ to provide one of the iconic clips from last season, as Jordan Davies slammed his free-kick against the crossbar, before seeing the ball land right back at his feet to curl in an equaliser before the end. Reece Hall-Johnson would go on to win the match in stoppage time, sending the Wrexham fans wild.
Wealdstone will be keen to carry on their upward trajectory and that would insinuate a mid-table finish, but the Stones will have one eye on challenging for the Play-Offs, with those six places up for grabs.
One to Watch: Lewis Kinsella
The former Aston Villa academy graduate joined the Stones on July 8, after amounting almost 140 appearances for Aldershot Town over five years. Having experience in League Two as well, Kinsella is the perfect candidate to help stack up clean sheets and inevitably keep the goal difference positive. Last season also saw him chip in with four goals, showing how he’s made himself a danger in the opposition’s box at set-pieces.
November 20, 2021 – Wrexham 0-0 Wealdstone
February 19, 2022 – Wealdstone 1-2 Wrexham
Woking would finish level on points with Wealdstone, but one place above with superior goal difference. A drastic improvement to the campaign prior, where they finished 20th on 33 points.
Only the top 11 would have better goal differences than Woking, as the Cards scored 59 goals, conceding 61. Impressive figures for a side finishing 15th. However, it was the 23 losses that amounted to the low finish in the National League, as only Stockport drew fewer games than the Cardinals.
Woking were one of the teams to put the final nail in the coffin as far as automatic promotion was concerned for Wrexham. The Red Dragons took the lead in the evening kick-off in April, via a fortuitous own goal on the stroke of half-time, the same day Stockport County lost to Yeovil Town. However, a second-half handball gave Woking an equaliser from the penalty spot, before Loza would win the game for the home side at the death.
One to Watch: James Daly
With all three top scorers in Tahvon Campbell, Inih Effiong and Max Kretzshmar leaving, scoring 13 goals each, goals for Woking needed to be replaced. James Daly joined the Cards from Stevenage on July 1, after being publicly announced a month prior. The 22-year-old has experience in League One with Bristol Rovers, where he scored four goals in limited appearances. The youngster firing in the National League from the off will be vital for Woking going forward.
September 11, 2021 – Wrexham 1-0 Woking
April 23, 2022 – Woking 2-1 Wrexham
A faltering end to the season placed Yeovil Town in 12th position on 59 points; 15 points behind the Play-Off positions.
Zero losses and only one draw for the whole of November until Christmas landed the Glovers in good stead to cement their place in the Play-Offs. However, failing to win nine games in a row in the second half of the season is no form worthy of the Play-Offs and this is where they ultimately fell short.
Although having an impressive defence record last year, Yeovil found goals hard to come by as no striker made it to double figures in the league and their top scorer Tom Knowles was signed by Walsall FC on August 4.
Yeovil’s win at Wrexham was beyond a frustrating night, as Liam McAlinden’s controversial red card made Yeovil’s mountain significantly less steep to climb.
Wrexham would seek revenge in January, via a Paul Mullin equaliser and Morgan Williams own goal.
Nine years ago, Yeovil were trying their hand at the Championship and ever since 2019 they have been stuck in the National League.
One to Watch: Samuel Pearson
Yeovil’s acquisition of Sam Pearson on loan from Bristol City is a huge plus in their efforts to secure goals for the 2022/23 season. Pearson spent last season on loan at Inverness, as the Welshman chose to stay close to home this time around at Yeovil. The eye-catching talent is a mainstay in the Welsh youth sides, so the Glovers will be hoping for similar appearances in the National League, in their bid to strengthen up top.
November 30, 2021 – Wrexham 0-2 Yeovil Town
January 22, 2022 – Yeovil Town 1-2 Wrexham
York City are the last of the A-Z series and are one of the most interesting teams for the upcoming season.
York finished fifth in the National League North last season, but obtained promotion via the Play-Offs. They overcame Chorley 2-1, before beating runners-up Brackley Town in the Semi-Finals. They would then go on to beat seventh placed Boston United 2-0 in the Final at their home ground, the LNER Community Stadium.
York City’s recruitment drive is what caught eyes around the National League, as they signed defensive duo Alex Whittle and Fraser Kerr from Chesterfield, Gus Mafuta from Boreham Wood, goalkeeper Ethan Ross from League Two Stockport County and Athony Greaves from Doncaster Rovers, all at the start of July.
Since then, they have acquired Ryan Fallowfield from Harrogate Town and Alex Hurst from Port Vale, including a whole host of other signings, with three coming from Grimsby Town.
The proven National League players & League Two and One standard players have all amounted to higher expectations for York City, as some tip them to push for the Play-Off positions.
One to Watch: Scott Boden
Out of all the transfers, many will look at former Red Dragon Scott Boden. 327 League appearances and over 100 goals labels Boden as talented striker. Spending his last seven seasons in the National League with five clubs, he has become one of the most reliable strikers in the league. At 32 years of age, Boden played all 44 league matches for Boreham Wood scoring 11 goals, proving he will be an asset to the York City squad.
August 29, 2016 – Wrexham 2-1 York City
April 17, 2017 – York City 1-3 Wrexham
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