Wrexham make the journey south to Hertfordshire to face last season’s beaten play-off finalists Boreham Wood in the National League.
Promoted to the National League for the first time in 2014/15, Boreham Wood will be hosting Wrexham for the fourth time – with this the eighth match between the two teams.
Wrexham have won six of the previous seven games against Boreham Wood, including a televised 3-0 win at the Racecourse back in August.
The lone defeat will be fresh in the mind of many fans however – a 1-0 loss on Easter Monday, Wrexham’s first of 2018, which ultimately started the Dragons’ tumble down the table at the end of last season.
We’ve revisited that defeat but also delved into the recent archives for a happier memory of meeting The Wood for our latest “Best of times, Worst of times…”
Best of times: Wrexham 2-1 Boreham Wood (28/01/2017)
In terms of performance, the 3-0 home win earlier this season would probably rank higher than this one if you to rank Wrexham’s wins against Boreham Wood.
But in terms of drama, a tale of three penalties – one in the third minute of stoppage time – this win under Dean Keates packed it all in.
The Dragons were unbeaten in three matches as they welcomed the Wood to the Racecourse, with Keates making one change from the 1-1 draw with Chester the week before – John Rooney dropping to the bench to make way for Ollie Shenton.
Boreham Wood arrived with a reputation for defensive solidity and Wrexham took time to find a way through, before Russell Penn fired just wide with a long-range strike midway through the half.
Anthony Barry was gifted the chance to fire the hosts in front, however, when Izale McLeod was fouled in the area on 27 minutes, and made no mistake from the spot.
Wrexham pushed for a second – McLeod, Jordan White and Barry all going close before half-time.
Penn’s withdrawal through injury two minutes after the break changed the dynamic of the Wrexham midfield, however.
Shenton and White still missed opportunities to double the lead, but Boreham Wood began to grow back into the game.
They got their reward with 15 minutes to play too, when Mark Carrington tripped Anthony Jeffrey in the box, and Morgan Ferrier’s Panenka penalty levelled the scores.
Keates response was to send on Rooney – the match-winner at Boreham Wood earlier in the season – and he was rewarded in the third minute of stoppage time.
Joe Devera handled Mark Carrington’s cross and Rooney made no mistake from the penalty spot – hammering in hid fourth goal in five games to seal victory.
What they said: “[Wrexham] just about deserved the victory on the balance of the 90 minutes.” (Daily Post)
Wrexham: Dunn; Carrington, Riley, Tilt, Jennings; Rutherford, Penn (Evans 47), Barry (Rooney 78), Shenton; White, McLeod (Nassanka 65).
Unused subs: Jalal, Harry
Boreham Wood: Smith; Nunn, Devera, Paine, Ilesanmi; Balanta, Ricketts, Davis (Shakes 54), Jeffrey; Ferrier, Hitchcock (Andrade 54).
Unused subs: Goodliffe, Uchechi, Sach
Worst of times: Wrexham 0-1 Boreham Wood (02/04/2018)
Unbeaten in 16 matches, third in the table, Wrexham – despite manager Dean Keates’ departure a few weeks earlier – were well-placed going into this match against fourth-placed Boreham Wood.
But the match would prove decisive in Wrexham’s demise – defeat starting the run of just two points from the final six games which saw the Dragons ultimately finish tenth.
The game swung on a debated penalty just ten minutes in – Manny Smith adjudged to have fouled Bruno Andrade in the area, who picked himself up and converted the penalty.
Wrexham could not get a foothold in the game in reply, and Tom Champion and Ricky Shakes both missed the target with good chances to double the lead.
Things then went from bad to worse four minutes after the break when Kevin Roberts clashed with Andrade and received a straight red card for his troubles.
Still struggling to create chances, the Andy Davies’ Dragons were further incensed by referee Paul Marsden when Jack Mackreth’s penalty appeals fell on deaf ears.
Unable to find a reply, Wrexham suffered their first defeat of 2018 and dropped below the Wood in the table.
The would take just two more points and score two more goals in the remainder of the season – the play-off charge fizzling out in a manner as flat as this game.
What they said: “It was a lethargic display by Wrexham who only created a couple of scoring opportunities in the 90 minutes and did not have a shot on target.” (The Leader)
Wrexham: Dunn, Roberts, Pearson, Smith, Jennings, Franks (Ainge 54), Wedgbury, Kelly, Holroyd, Boden (Raven 48), Quigley (Mackreth 74)
Unused subs: Rutherford, Wright
Boreham Wood: Smith, Smith, Turley, Champion, Stephens, Woodards, Shakes, Ricketts, Murtagh, Andrade (Folivi 84), Ferrier (Quigley 90).
Unused subs: Hartfield, Doe, Davey