Gateshead v Wrexham
Location: The International Stadium
Competition: Vanarama National League
In the midst of a gruelling Festive period the Dragons are back on the road where we make the long arduous journey to the North-East to face Gateshead.
Wrexham come into the game on the back of four games without a victory in all competitions and will be hoping to end that run against the Heed. Last time out we made the trip to Holker Street to face Barrow where our afternoon started with disaster. Moussa Diarra struck for the Bluebirds after less than two minutes, but Shaun Pearson hit back on 25 minutes when he headed home a Paul Rutherford corner. Beforehand we'd drawn a blank against Dover Athletic at the Racecourse, and in both of our last two games were unlucky not to secure maximum points.
For Gateshead, they are without a National League win in their last four matches having drawn 2-2 with fellow North-East side Hartlepool United. A Jordan Burrow brace - goals four and five for the season for him - wasn't enough to record a win over the Monkey Hangers on Boxing Day. December has also seen the Heed through in the FA Trophy where they managed to overcome Guiseley, but were battered 5-0 by Luton Town at the start of the month in the FA Cup, Between that they've drawn with Torquay United and had their fixture with Woking postponed.
Wrexham midfielder Akil Wright could return to the side this weekend, which will be a welcome return for Dean Keates. The talented 21-year old on loan from Fleetwood has seriously impressed but been unavailable since November with an ankle injury. With ability beyond his age, Wright has been an asset in the middle and will relish his return.
Gateshead top scorer Danny Johnson will be hoping to do some damage to Wrexham again this season, having bagged a brace in the Heed's 2-0 victory at the Racecourse earlier in 2017. Having scored six goals thus far he will be hoping to kick on in the second half of the campaign and has already proved he has the ability to find the target in the National League.
We last met earlier on this season when Alex Reid - who'd signed just hours previous to kick-off - came off the bench to net the winner at the Racecourse. Both sides have met on a number of occasions since Wrexham fell into the National League, and every game seems to be a cracker. Our first meeting came in March 2010 where Graeme Armstrong’s effort was enough to see off Wrexham in a 1-0 win for Gateshead at the International Stadium. A month later we met at the Racecourse for the first time, the game ending goalless. Perhaps the most entertaining game for a neutral came in the February 2011 as Gateshead ran out 7-2 winners in North Wales. Wrexham’s biggest win was in 2015, a 4-0 home win with Dominic Vose tearing the Heed defence apart.
Wrexham skipper Shaun Pearson is doubtful following a problem with his eye forcing him off against Barrow on Boxing Day, whilst as mentioned, midfielder Akil Wright could return. Olly Marx remains sidelined with an injury picked up whilst out on loan with Rushall Olympic.
Can't make it to the International Stadium? You can follow the game with FREE live commentary on Calon FM, Mixlr, the TuneIn app, 105fm or online. You can also access live text commentary on Twitter @Wrexham_AFC. Following the game, you can catch our highlights on YouTube - 'Wrexham AFC'.