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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham v Halifax Town

Wrexham go toe-to-toe with another in-form promotion contender

21 March 2022

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham v Halifax Town

Wrexham go toe-to-toe with another in-form promotion contender

21 March 2022

Third face fourth in another titanic Racecourse match-up, with Wrexham looking to build on the point at Bromley by following it with a home win.

This game kicks off a remarkable sequence of 7 consecutive home games for Wrexham, and Phil Parkinson's side will be aware of the importance of maintaining their strong form and cashing in on this peculiar opportunity.

Halifax will offer a stiff test though. While The Red Dragons are unbeaten in 8, The Shaymen have overcome a wobble at the start of the year and go into this match off the back of 5 consecutive wins. Only Chesterfield have lost fewer away games in the division, and they have the joint best away defence to boot. Indeed, Wrexham helped to establish them as the equal best defence in the National League by putting four goals past Boreham Wood!

Wrexham's draw on Saturday brought to an end a run of 7 consecutive wins. It was our longest run of wins since May 2003, and Halifax's 5 in a row is their best since AUgust 2014.

That match at Bromley was overshadowed by the injury to Rob Lainton, which will mean Christian Dibble will be between the posts, while Aaron Hayden will be monitored after illness forced him to come off at half time. At least there was good news as Jordan Davies returned from injury to put in 35 minutes off the bench.

Halifax have had bad news on the injury front lately too. Lively forward Jamie Allen has often caught the eye against Wrexham, but he will miss the rest of the season after tearing a hamstring against Bromley last week.

Manager Pete WIld is certainly happy with his squad, as he told the Halifax Courier:

"I feel like we're looking professional in our approach, on the training ground and on the pitch.

"We're finding ways to win, whether that's being us, whether that's defending resolutely, whether that's grinding out results when you go behind, we're finding ways to win, and I think that's an excellent trait, especially at this time of the season.

"It's the wins we're putting together that help, especially at home, but I also think it's the 14 clean sheets.

"I said to the players in the dressing room on Tuesday we're doing well because we've kept 14 clean sheets this year, and we're managing football matches a lot better than we did in previous years.

"That's what pleases me more than anything, and we've just got to keep going.

"Nothing's won yet, nothing's in the bank yet, we've just got to keep going and putting points on the board."

EARLIER THIS SEASON

Wrexham will be looking to complete the double over Halifax, having snatched a dramatic 2-1 win at The Shay through late goals by Paul Mullin and James Jones. 

HEAD TO HEAD

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Halifax are ancient and troublesome opponents. We first played them back in 1922, during both clubs' first season in the Football League, and 132 games later the rivalry is as fierce as ever.

Off the back of two memorable victories at The Shay. success for Wrexham would see us enjoy three consecutive wins against Halifax for the first time since 1975. However, that pair of wins came after a period of drought in this fixture: we'd won just one of our previous 8 games against The Shaymen, scoring just 3 goals in the process.

Halifax are currently enjoying their best ever sequence of results at The Racecourse. We've only won 2 of the last 10 home meetings: in 2019 a 78th minute Mark Harris goal earned victory over a Town side which arrived top of the table. The result was all the more impressive because Jake Lawlor had already been sent off early in the second half.

Our other recent win came in 2015 as Dom Vose contributed a bewitching performance. Javan Vidal opened the scoring, Vose chipped in with a second before the break, and soon after the resumption Wes York hit the net in a 3-1 win.

Last season's clash was a grim affair: Halifax were going well and looked impressively well-drilled. Wrexham matched them for effort and the game was petering out into a goalless draw when the home team suddenly seemed to run out of steam. The closing minutes were peppered with near misses in the Wrexham goalmouth, but we survived to earn a point.

September 2018 saw us scrap out another goalless draw, with Mike Fondop hitting the bar and Rob Lainton pulling off a superb late save. 

Seven months earlier a rare Scott Bodin goal wasn't enough to earn a win as Town scored in the closing seconds of the first half to draw 1-1.

The list of our top scorers in this fixture is dominated by some of the great names from the club’s history. Billy Tunnicliffe is our equal top scorer alongside another Wrexham legend, Tommy Bamford. They each got six goals against Halifax, with Albert Kinsey and Sammy McMillan level on five and Karl Connolly, Gordon Gunson, Gordon Richards and George Snow behind them on four.

None of them managed a hat trick though. Only two Wrexham players have put three past Halifax: Dick Yates, who got half of our goals in a 6-3 win in December 1947, a result which remains the most we've scored against Town and also is the highest aggregate score between the two sides.

The other hat trick scorer was rather more recent, of course! Jordan Davies' remarkable triple strike in the first half at Halifax last season ensured we could enjoy a 4-0 away win, with Dior Angus also scoring.

Our worst home result against Halifax came in the Third Division North in March 1936 when a goal from Charlie McCartney was a mere consolation in a 3-1 loss which was watched by a crowd of 946, the smallest to turn up to see the two sides clash at The Racecourse.

POTENTIAL MILESTONES

Ollie Palmer's 475th career appearance.

Luke Young's 150th league game for Wrexham.

Jordan Ponticelli's 100th career appearance.

 


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