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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham vs Scunthorpe United

Reborn Scunthorpe will offer a different challenge from our earlier clashes this season.

20 February 2023

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham vs Scunthorpe United

Reborn Scunthorpe will offer a different challenge from our earlier clashes this season.

20 February 2023

After another dramatic away win it's back home for the first installment of a Racecourse triple bill.

Dorking Wanderers and Chesterfield lie in wait, but first up are Scunthorpe United. Having won at Glanford Park and eliminated The Iron from the FA Trophy, The Red Dragons are seeking a third won of the season against them. The constant churn of defensive injuries will have to be overcome first.

The good news of Jordan Tunnicliffe's early return on Saturday was offset by the injury suffered by Eoghan O'Connell, and Jacob Mendy could only manage 63 minutes too. That familiar spirit saw Wrexham through though, bouncing back from an 89th minute equaliser with a 96th minute winner, as Sam Dalby reinforced the range of potential match-winners at Phil Parkinson's disposal.

Scunthorpe enjoyed a massive victory on Saturday themselves, in a match which also featured two injury time goals. Liam Feeney put The Iron 3-1 up against Dagenham and Redbridge in added time, and they survived an even later scare to clinch a vital 3-2 win.

It was a first victory for new manager Jimmy Dean, who was taking charge of his second match since joining from Peterborough Sports. Dean developed a terrific reputation during his 8 years in Cambridgeshire, earning 4 promotions and winning 11 trophies as he guided his team to the National League North.

Dean has overseen a remarkable reshuffle of his squad, bringing 10 new signings in during the first 3 weeks of his tenure, 5 of whom are on loan. Seven of those players were in the 16 he named last Saturday.

A familiar face who made an instant impact after Dean drafted him in is Gerry McDonagh, who spent a loan spell with Wrexham in 2016. The big Irish striker arrived from Scottish Championship side Cove Rangers, and scored on his debut at Barnet.

“It was really good, especially when I scored and the fans started bouncing, it was just a harsh result to take."

“It was really good (playing in Scotland) and I really enjoyed it, but it got a bit distant regarding the family. I’m only an hour down the road now so this is perfect", he told Scunthorpe's club website.

“The lads are really good, I’m settling in well, there’s good facilities here and it’s all really good.

“I want more goals. I haven't come here for one goal; I want more goals. Friday wasn’t my best, nowhere near it, and there’s still more to come for me."

“It’s football, you just get through the 90 minutes, I got through it well and I feel fine. Now it’s back to the training ground this week and getting the basics right again. Having the extra week of preparation (until the next game at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday, February 18th) is perfect to get all the ideas right and put them into practice."

“I’m really delighted that I've come in and started. Hopefully I did myself justice and will get picked again."

Ironically, he didn't make it into the side for the Dagenham game, as United swooped to bring in Danny Elliott from Boreham Wood. Elliott impressed recently against Wrexham during a prolific loan spell at Gateshead, where he scored 6 goals in 7 games.

We are still looking to improve and we want to get the right profile. We want to have a good go at this now....

I am fully prepared, and I know what’s out there. I am looking forward to it and I feel like we are in a much better place than we were.

- Jimmy Dean, Scunthorpe manager.

Dean explained to the club website that the fortnight between fixtures which McDonagh referred to was extremely useful as he sought to shape his squad.

"It' been really good. The players are coming out of their shells now we have had a bit more time to input our ideas and sit them down. The players that were already here have had a lot of change and you have to think about that. I think we are in a much better position than we were. 

"The ones that come in now, rather than give the squad depth, they have to improve the team. In the centre-half position it is a little bit different, as we only had two. Boycey [Andrew Boyce] pulled up and didn’t train on Thursday, while Tafty [George Taft] split his lip open on Tuesday and it was very apparent that we only had two senior centre halves at the club.

"We have got Ben Richards-Everton in and he has had a great career, he got promoted from League Two. He is coming towards the end of his contract at Yeovil and wants to make an impact which is important.

"Aaron Chapman has also come in, another big voice and he has been excellent in training. He wants to make a difference and I am really enthused by that one.
Danny Elliot, we only had one centre forward and we had to change that. They were hard signings to make, but he has got them down and it gives us a better chance. Danny looks sharp and in the dressing room, it feels a lot better. There is much more banter and there is a lot more going on." 

The way I see it is I am not going to please everyone, people are going to be upset no matter what I do. You win games and you still get people upset and I have to now do what I see fit which is help this football club win games.



Wrexham and Scunthorpe renewed acquaintances this season after a 16-year hiatus, with the Red Dragons enjoying two 3-1 wins so far.

When we met in the league at Glanford Park, Wrexham put in a fine performance. Ollie Palmer and Aaron Hayden scored in the first half, and although The Iron pulled one backagainst the run of play just before the break, Paul Mullin put the game out of their reach.

When we clashed again in the FA Trophy, Phil Parkinson fielded a heavily-rotated side which suffered an early shock when the visitors took the lead. However, Jake Bickerstaff put in a fine performance, and equalised before the break. Reece Hall-Johnson marked his first start of the season with a 70th minute strike, and Elliot Lee capped a superb cameo performance off the bench with an injury time goal.

Before the gap in the fixture, our last game against The Iron was a memorable FA Cup upset as Mark Jones and Alex Smith scored to earn victory in the second round. We met two years earlier at the same stage of the competition, in circumstances which were rather traumatic.  It was in the second round of the FA Cup, the day that we entered into administration, and we crashed to a 2-0 loss in front of Sky's cameras. 


imageu5d3n.pngBen Tozer’s 75th Wrexham league appearance.


Liam McAlinden’s 250th league game.

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