.Wrexham travel to Notts County tonight looking to banish memories of a disappointing loss at the turn of the year.
Our trip to Meadow Lane last January was a frustrating one. After a superb start, marked by Reece Hall-Johnson's spectaculr strike, the sending off of Harry Lennon for handball on the line changed the game. The resulting penalty was converted, and although the 10-men battled admirably, County's quality on the flanks was the determining factor in a 3-1 win. Paul Mullin will be keen to get going in tonight's match, having seen his second half penalty brilliantly saved.
A quarter final is always a massive occasion: a quarter final between two old rivals chasing promotion from the same division promises to be a real treat. Another impressive away support will descend on Meadow Lane, and those of you who can't get there will be able to purchase the stream or listen to the Wrexham Player commentary.
HEAD TO HEAD
Our history against Notts County stretches back to a 3-2 home win in 1958, but we’ve previously only drawn them in cup ties three times.
In 1985 we faced the in the second round of the FA Cup, and emerged from Meadow Lane with a replay after a dramatic conclusion to the match. After a goalless first half Mick Waitt gave The Magpies the lead, but within three minutes David Gregory had equalised.
Waitt struck again with two minutes left, but once again we were able to respond swiftly, as Barry Horne’s last minute goal took the tie back to The Racecourse.
Unfortunately, the replay was something of a non-event. Wrexham were stricken by injuries, with key players like Charles, Jim Steel, Mike Williams and Steve Emery all out, and Nick Hencher suspended. Faced with a shortage of options, manager Dixie McNeil was forced to come out of retirement with his 39th birthday approaching and name himself on the bench. When John Muldoon picked up an injury in the 65th minute, McNeil was forced to come on, becoming the 3rd oldest player in the club’s history at the time. However, he could do nothing to prevent his depleted side losing 3-0.
We travelled east again in January 1993, in the first round of the LDV Trophy, and lost 4-1 with Steve Watkin scoring our consolation, but in terms of cup ties it was third time lucky when we went to Meadow Lane at the same stage of the competition 11 years later. A rare Shaun Pejic goal gave us an early lead, but we were 2-1 down in the 79th minute when Chris Llewellyn equalised, and Hector Sam popped up to strike the winner with 3 minutes left.
WREXHAM IN FA TROPHY QUARTER FINALS
Our first FA Trophy campaign ended at the quarter final stage. We were handed a home draw against Ebbsfleet United, a side we’d beaten at The Racecourse earlier in the season. However, this match would round off a disappointing week for Dean Saunders’ side.
We’d built up momentum for a crunch match at league leaders Burton Albion with 3 consecutive wins, and led at the break through a Jeff Louis goal. However, The Brewers hit back to win 2-1 and end our hopes of a late tilt at the title.
We played our subsequent FA Trophy side looking like a side which had put everything into the midweek match and been frustrated. To make things worse, debutant centre back Aurelien Collin picked up a second yellow card and we had to play the last 24 minutes with ten men.
We held on to draw 0-0, but it was just a stay of execution. Three days later we put up a better fight in the replay, and Louis scored to put us ahead after the break. However, our hope was soon extinguished as we ended up on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline.
Our next game in the last eight, in 2013, was an altogether happier affair. We were drawn away to Southport and eased through comfortably. Joe Clarke scored the opener just before the half hour and Chris Westwood grabbed a second in the dying moments of the half. Jay Harris struck to make it 3-0 with half an hour left, and ex-Red Dragon Shaun Whalley’s penalty was a mere consolation.
We went on to win the trophy that year and the third quarter final we reached also led to Wembley. We were drawn away to Halifax Town, and battled our way through on a muddy pitch, with Neil Ashton scoring the only goal.
Dan Jarvis' 50th career appearance.