The Dragons welcome a familiar National League opponent to the Racecourse on Tuesday night as Barrow make the trip down from Cumbria.
One of few teams in the National League to have also been there in 2008/09 – Wrexham’s first season at this level – the two teams have met almost every season since, with the exception of two years Barrow spent in the sixth tier.
It has reignited a fixture that was a regular in the old Division Three (North) from the 1920s through to the 1960s until Barrow dropped out of the league.
In that time, Wrexham won 29 of the 73 fixtures and Barrow 19, with 25 draws. Since 2008 there have been 17 matches, of which nine - including the meeting at Barrow in November - have been drawn. Wrexham have five wins to Barrow’s three in the other eight.
One of those eight draws will stick in mind of Wrexham fans after last year’s feisty clash at the Racecourse ended in stoppage-time frustration.
But before we re-open the wounds of that high-scoring draw, let’s dig a little deeper into the archives to happier times against Tuesday’s opponents.
Best of times: Wrexham 3-0 Barrow (25/09/2012)
Let’s be blunt: Wrexham should not have started the 2012/13 season still playing in the National League. No team who earns 98 points should miss out on promotion.
But that was where we were at the start of the campaign, with Barrow arriving at the Racecourse six weeks in as results were starting to pick up.
A run of four wins had lifted the Dragons into the top three, before back-to-back draws consolidated that position.
They key now was to back that up against the Cumbrian visitors – particularly after the disappointing of conceding a last-minute equaliser at home to Dartford three days earlier.
Where some teams would be flattened by a late blow like that, however, the Dragons issued the perfect response – a 35-yard Jay Harris screamer igniting the evening game against Barrow.
After heavy rain throughout the previous 24 hours, the match only went ahead after a pitch inspection and a frustrating game looked to be playing out.
But Harris broke the deadlock in some style – firing in off the post from distance on 18 minutes – and settled the nerves as Wrexham seized control of the game.
Barrow looked for a foothold in the game in reply but were repeatedly thwarted by a Wrexham defence martialled superbly by Martin Riley.
Another goal was needed to calm the nerves further and on-loan Andy Bishop – who had opened his Wrexham account in the previous game – scored his second in as many games.
Dean Keates’ 71st-minute free-kick hit the wall but Bishop made no mistake from the rebound to fire in from 12 yards out.
He went close to another moments later, while Sean McConville had a couple of sighters at Jos Mayebi’s goal at the other end.
But Rob Ogleby sealed victory on 83 minutes, capping a flowing move in which fellow substitute Brett Ormerod freed Danny Wright, who in turn touched on for Ogleby to cap a good night’s work.
What they said: “[Jay Harris’ wonder strike] gave Wrexham the lift they needed as they grew into the half and they looked a different side.”
Wrexham: Mayebi, Walker, Riley, Ashton, Hunt, Harris, Keates, Clarke (Colbeck 86), Cieslewicz (Ogleby 72), Wright, Bishop (Ormerod 79).
Unused subs: Morrell, Devine
Barrow: Hurst, Flynn, Pearson, Aldred, Skelton, Rutherford, Baker, Owen, Hunter (Jackson 72), Boyes, McConville (Rowe 79).
Unused subs: Woodhead, Anderson, Moore
Worst of times: Wrexham 3-3 Barrow (01/01/2018)
With eight draws in 16 games between the two sides there is no shortage of stalemates to choose from when it comes to National League clashes between the two teams.
But none stick in the throat quite as much as last year’s clash at the Racecourse, when Wrexham came from 2-1 down to lead 3-2, only to blow it in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The Dragons went into the game having slipped off the pace at the top of the National League – a heavy defeat to Macclesfield followed by draws to Dover and Barrow making for a frustrating Christmas.
This New Year’s clash – after the teams had drawn 1-1 on Boxing Day – was a chance to bounce back and kick off the new year in style.
And it started well, as Chris Holroyd headed in at the near post from Marcus Kelly’s corner on 18 minutes to give Wrexham the lead.
The hosts dominated the opening half hour but a sloppy goal got Barrow back into the game, against the run of play, when Chris Dunn fumbled a high ball and Jordan White tapped in the equaliser.
It visibly hurt Wrexham and six minutes later it was 2-1 to Barrow – Dan Jones cutting in from the right wing and curling into the top corner.
James Jennings ensured the sides went in level at half-time, however, blasting a free-kick through the Barrow wall and in from the edge of the area in first-half stoppage time.
After the flurry of first-half goals, the second period – affected by the weather – was scrappier until Wrexham re-took the lead with 16 minutes remaining.
George Miller’s header cannoned off the crossbar but the rebound fell to Scott Boden to slot in from close range.
And that looked to be that as the game ticked into stoppage time with Dunn relatively untroubled.
As the clock ticked down, however, there was to be one final twist – with the game igniting once more when Dean Keates and opposite number Ady Pennock were sent to the stands after a scuffle in the dug-outs.
Barrow won a corner, which was delayed as the referee ordered both managers to leave the tunnel where both managers were still stood.
That delay was enough to cause a lapse in concentration at the back and the corner, though punched clear by Dunn, was half-volleyed back through the crowd to cost Wrexham two points at the death.
What they said: “Wrexham suffered last gasp heartache as they threw away two points in the dying embers at home against Barrow on New Years Day.”
Wrexham: Dunn, Roberts, Pearson, Smith, Jennings, Rutherford (Mackreth 62), Wedgbury, Kelly (Wright 87), Holroyd, Boden, Miller.
Unused subs: Massanka, Carrington, Dibble
Barrow: Dixon, Jones, Barthram, Makoma (Gomis 74), Diarra, Dunne, MacDonald, Hall, Panayioutou (Holt 84), Yussuf, White (Harrison 84).
Unused subs: Bignot, Diagne