BEST OF TIMES, WORST OF TIMES | Wrexham AFC at Gateshead

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Fri 22 Feb 2019

Wrexham travel to Gateshead on Saturday for the 20th National League meeting between the two sides.

The Dragons have won nine of the previous matches, as well as beating the Heed on penalties in an FA Trophy third-round replay on the way to the final in 2015.

Wrexham also won this year’s reverse fixture 3-1, courtesy of own goal and Brad Walker and Rekeil Pyke’s strikes.

In the North East, there have been four Wrexham wins, two draws and three home victories, with the most recent meeting a stalemate back in January 2018.

We’ve already looked at two previous National League fixtures at the Racecourse against Gateshead – one to remember and one to forget – so now it’s time to look a little closer at those away games…

Best of times: Gateshead 0-3 Wrexham (17/09/2013)

After the Wembley woe that concluded the previous season, Wrexham started the 2013-14 campaign in indifferent form with away results a particular concern.

The Tuesday night trip to Gateshead International Stadium was the fifth away game of the season, with Wrexham taking just one point – at Tamworth – from the previous four.

Andy Morrell’s Dragons had at least ended a run of six games without a win the previous Friday, however – beating Luton Town 2-0 at the Racecourse to record the first victory since beating Welling on the opening day.

Morrell made just one change from that game, with Junior N’Tame replacing the injured Stephen Wright at the back to face Gary Mills’ Heed.

In an end-to-end first 45, both sides had chances. Dave Artell blocked well from Carl Magnay after Phil Turnbull’s inventive cross on eight minutes. At the other end, Jonny Hunt, completely unmarked, failed to get as touch to Jay Harris’ superb cross in the 36th minute.

But Wrexham were resurgent after the break, with Brett Ormerod leading the way up front for the Dragons.

After a good spell of possession, Neil Ashton crossed from the left and Ormerod headed home Wrexham’s first goal on 55 minutes.

The veteran striker was in the thick of it again 11 minutes later, this time beating Luke O’Brien and pulling back for Steve Tomassen to score his first senior goal.

Far from being shell-shocked, Gateshead continued to pepper Jos Mayebi’s goal but the keeper produced a brilliant fingertip save to turn James Brown’s curling effort on 71 minutes.

But Wrexham sealed victory just moments later – substitute Adrian Cieslewicz linking up with Ormerod on the right, before the latter crossed for Andy Bishop to score his second goal in as many games.

The win in the North East proved to be a rare highlight, however – though Bishop’s hat-trick did also ensure victory in the return fixture too.

Morrell left as manager in February 2014 and, under Kevin Wilkin, the Dragons went on to finish the season 17th – the club’s lowest ever league position.

What they said: “Ormerod’s inspired performance ensured [Wrexham]’s run of defeats is firmly behind them.” (Wales Online)

Line-ups:

Gateshead: Bartlett, Magnay, Curtis, Clark, O’Brien, Turnbull, Chandler, Walker (Cummins 25, Maddison 62), Larkin, Boyes (Hatch 62), Brown.

Subs not used: Nixon, Marwood.

Wrexham: Mayebi, Tomassen, Artell, N’Tame (Clowes 88), Ashton, Harris, Clarke, Hunt, Ormerod, Bishop (Ogleby 82), Bailey-Jones (Cieslewicz 65).

Subs not used: Coughlin, Carrington.

Worst of times: Gateshead 1-0 Wrexham (23/03/2010)

Any illusion Wrexham’s stay in the non-league might be short and sweet had already been shattered when the Dragons faced Gateshead for the first time at this level.

Tenth the previous season – Wrexham’s first at that level – and 15 points off the play-offs, the Dragons headed to relegation-threatened Gateshead having gone seven games without a win over the course of the previous month.

Already a miserable night weather wise, the action on the pitch failed to warm the modest crowd inside the International Stadium either – neither side really threatening until Chris Maxwell saved from Andy Ferrell at point-blank range midway through the half.

Ashley Westwood hit the post from Luke Holden’s free-kick moments later as Wrexham hit back, while Lamine Sakho blazed wildly over from another Holden set piece shortly afterwards.

Daryl Clare’s free-kick drew another smart save from Maxwell, while Heed keeper Paul Farman produced an athletic stop to deny Silvio Spann from Neil Taylor’s cross.

Goalless at the break, it was the Heed who eventually made the breakthrough on 50 minutes, when – a hesitant Maxwell failing to claim Andy Ferrell’s cross, as Graeme Armstrong beat him to the ball and headed in.

Wrexham struggled to find any rhythm and the game was perhaps epitomised when Sakho was taken off after an anonymous performance – marching straight down the tunnel on 77 minutes. He was released by the club just days later.

On the pitch, Westwood and Taylor pushed for an equaliser but there was no way through for Wrexham – making it eight games without a win for Dean Saunders’ side.

What they said: "We made a mistake and we shot ourselves in the foot again. We made chances in the second half, but to be honest I'm fed up of saying the same thing." (Dean Saunders, Wrexham manager)

Line-ups:

Gateshead: Farman, Baxter, Curtis, Cave, Swailes, Turnbull, Ferrell, Pakinson (Phillips 75), Winn, Armstrong (Wake 76), Clare (Hurren 86).

Wrexham: Maxwell, Mike Williams, Obeng, Westwood, Taylor, Spann (Baynes 46), Fleming, Taboubi, Holden (Fairhurst 62), Sakho (Cieslewicz 77), Mangan.

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