Wrexham v Eastleigh
Location: My Racecourse
Competition: Vanarama National League Play-Off Eliminator
Match-Day Guide: Click Here
Wrexham head into our first play-off encounter for six years this week as we play host to Eastleigh at the Cae Ras, with both sides battling it out for a place in the semi-final on Sunday. The Dragons finished 4th in the National League handing us a home tie in the eliminator against a Spitfires side eyeing promotion to the EFL for the first time in their history. The winners will join Salford in a Wembley decider this weekend, with Solihull Moors facing AFC Fylde.
Wrexham come into the game in good form with four wins in our last five matches. We took on fellow play-off side Harrogate Town on the final day of the regular season, with all four sides from 4th to 7th all deciding their route into the play-off stage that afternoon. Mark Beck handed Harrogate the lead on 11 minutes before Wrexham hit back through Jason Oswell - his first goal for the club. Moments later Christian Dibble saved a penalty before Nicky Deverdics hit a late winner.
Eastleigh wrapped up the league in entertaining fashion as they travelled to Boreham Wood on Saturday. The six goal thriller at Meadow Park saw momentum swing both ways with the Spitfires taking the lead three times, but the Wood pegged it back on each occasion. Although they occupied the final play-off spot, Eastleigh have just two wins in their final seven games, but it's a different game altogether come the play-offs.
Dragons striker Oswell hit the back of the net at the perfect time when his header found the top corner on Saturday, with the frustration and tension of getting that first one now melting away. The former Morecambe forward is a proven goal scorer and will be looking to kick on in May to earn promotion to the EFL.
Eastleigh striker Paul McCallum missed out on the National League golden boot by just a goal this season, having grabbed a whopping 26 this term - including one against Wrexham at the Silverlake. McCallum rose through the ranks at West Ham United but the 25-year old moved on from the English capital before landing in Hampshire with the Spitfires. He's kicked on well in the National League and fired his side to that all important 7th spot.
We have of course met twice already this season with Wrexham doing the 'double' over Eastleigh. We first met in August 2018 where an own goal, Manny Smith header and Mike Fondop strike earned us a 3-1 win in Hampshire. At the Racecourse James Jennings' cross found looped over the keeper after less than two minutes before Bobby Grant smashed home a second in a 2-0 victory. In terms of the play-offs it's Wrexham's first since the defeat in the final in 2013 whilst Eastleigh reached them in 2015, losing to a Grimsby Town side that contained a certain Shaun Pearson.
Wrexham remain without defender Manny Smith whilst Bryan Hughes will make a decision on the availability of Brad Walker.
You can listen to free live commentary from Wrexham AFC on Mixlr as well as keep up to date on our social media channels. Highlights will be available with the first word from the manager and players post-match on our YouTube Channel.