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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham v Crawley Town

It's a floodlit thriller: Wrexham are four games from glory, but Crawley are in magnificent form.

8 April 2024

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham v Crawley Town

It's a floodlit thriller: Wrexham are four games from glory, but Crawley are in magnificent form.

8 April 2024

Wrexham's win at Colchester last Saturday brought promotion sharply into focus, but we begin a crucial home double-header against opponents in remarkably fine fettle. Crawley have climbed to 7th place on the back of an incredible run of 6 away wins, and last Saturday pulled off a remarkable 4-1 win at Mansfield. In their last 3 away matches they've scored11 goals: this will be a true test of Wrexham's promotion credentials.


The win at Colchester strengthened our position in the top three and teed us up for a crucial home double-header. It was a terrific demonstration of unified strength, as the excellent away support overwhelmed the atmosphere stoked up amongst a sold-out home crowd by Danny Cowley, driving the team forwards in a spectacular display of high speed attacking play as we overwhelmed our hosts.

The blemish on an excellent afternoon was the injury to Jacob Mendy, who pulled up chasing a Tom O'Connor pass down the left flank. It was a huge shame for Mendy, who ironically was returning from a brief absence, and also necessitated a change for James McClean, who had to switch out to wing back, having started the game in midfield. That's likely to be what Parkinson will ask him to do against Crawley, with Elliot Lee restored to the middle of the park after the briefest of rests.




Saturday’s emphatic win in Mansfield was merely the latest in a sensational series of away results for Crawley. Manager Scott Lindsey has received many plaudits for the way he has built his squad, and they certainly are firing on all cylinders as the season reaches its conclusion.

Lindsay‘s recruitment has been remarkably shrewd, with a number of players plucked from clubs where they were not enjoying good form. Indeed, Crawley were pre-season favourites for the drop, having lost many of their players in the Summer, and recruited extensively from non-league clubs. However, Lynsey seems to have the magic touch when it comes to spotting and then rejuvenating talent: Lawrence Maguire is a prime example of Lindsey's work, as he has gone from being unable to get a regular start in the National League to enjoying an excellent season a division higher.

Their fine form has carried them into the play-off spots, and they will be formidable opponents in the post-season if they are able to maintain this level of performance.

Certainly, reading the reaction to last Saturday’s when in the Mansfield press is an eye-opener. They seemed to be genuinely shellshocked by the way Town took apart a strong side which many considered to be the strongest in the division.

If you want to read more about Lindsey's terrific work building a squad and an infrastructure at Crawley, take a look at these revealing threads from @tomhwilliams23:


Naturally, Lindsey was delighted in his post-match press conference:

“That was a big result for us today. I thought we scored some really good goals and I’m clearly delighted. I can’t ask for too much more with a result like this at Mansfield, who are a really good side.

“That’s the quietest I’ve ever known Mansfield fans. They are usually really noisy, and I could hear our fans over them pretty much from the start of the game, right to the end.

Confidence is really high. If anything I’ve got to cool them off a little bit. We can’t wait to get to Wrexham on Tuesday now.

-Scott Lindsey, Crawley manager

“I know we were 2-0 up but I wasn’t happy with our first half performance. I made that really clear to them. I felt we turned the ball over a lot and we’re not usually like that. We are usually more secure with the ball.

“Second half I thought we were outstanding and managed things much better. The players have been outstanding and they were outstanding again today with the effort they put in.

“The players have been outstanding and they were outstanding again today with the effort they put in.

“But, first half, I think we can play better. That's me driving standards all the time. I want to see us play like that from the off, not just the second half.”

“All we can do is concentrate on ourselves regardless of what the others do around us now.

“We've just got to make sure that we get our own house in order and make sure that we get what we feel is going to be enough to get in the play-offs. We are on course. Whatever the teams around us do, they do. We just need to concentrate on us.


“But we have to make sure we do everything professionally.

“We will recover the boys on Sunday and then start looking at Wrexham and where we think we can win that game and get ourselves ready for another tough game.”



Goals are at a premium in this fixture, with just 12 scored in 7 games. Wrexham have managed just 5 of those goals, with only 2 coming at the StoK Cae Ras. 

They were scored in a 2-0 victory in February 2010 which was secured through second half goals by Mike Williams and Matty Wolfenden. They would prove to be each man’s last goals for Wrexham; Wolfenden’s was his first for us as well, a rare high point in a miserable year in North Wales for him.

Funnily enough, his other memorable moment for Wrexham came in the 1-0 defeat at Crawley earlier that season. Put clear on goal by a Gareth Taylor flick, he was blatantly pulled down by the shirt in the first minute of the match, but the referee balked at the prospect of giving a match-changing red card and penalty so early and astonishingly waved play on! It was a frustrating episode which would sum up Wolfenden’s time with us.

Our first North Walian encounter, in March 2009 was a massively frustrating experience. Crawley’s physical approach to the game and the angry presence on the touch line of  Town boss Steve Evans and his assistant, the ex-Wrexham striker Paul Raynor, won them no friends. Town succeeded in intimidating a youthful Wrexham side into a 2-0 defeat, inflicting on Dean Saunders his first home league defeat in his eleventh league match at The Racecourse.

Crawley won the first three matches the sides played, and Wrexham couldn’t manage a goal in any of them. We also failed to score the last time they came to the SToK Cae Ras, a goalless draw played out in the season Crawley won promotion to the EFL for the first time.

Town were top of the league and had beaten Wrexham 3-2 three days earlier, coming back from 2-0 down to end our slim title hopes.


Barrow v Bradford City
Colchester United v Stockport County
Doncaster Rovers v Walsall
Harrogate Town v Grimsby Town
Mansfield Town v Forest Green Rovers
Morecambe v Crewe Alexandra
Newport County v Accrington Stanley
Another topsy-turvy Saturday has increased the sense that predicting any League Two result is a fool's game. Tonight we embark on another journey into the unknown with over half of the division's teams playing games in hand over their rivals.
Colchester gave us a tough test, and we must now hope that they can do the same to leaders Stockport County as they battle for survival. Likewise, Forest Green Rovers could do us a favour at Mansfield, who are surely still shell-shocked from their thrashing by Crawley.
Barrow's home game against Bradford is a chance for them to get back to winning ways, while Crewe are another side which similarly needs to start finding form: they travel to Morecambe.
Two sides at either end of the table who can only sit and watch tonight are Milton Keynes Dons and Crawley Town.


Col-A-GT-094.jpgSteven Fletcher's 675th club appearance.

Col-A-GT-120.jpgPaul Mullin's 375th league match.

Col-A-GT-095.jpgElliot Lee's 275th league appearance.

Col-A-GT-099.jpgGeorge Evans' 225th career league match.

LJ5_4559.jpgJordan Davies' 125th Wrexham league appearance.

061.jpgSam Dalby's 175th career appearance.

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