PREVIEW | WOKING V WREXHAM

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Fri 16 Apr 2021

Wrexham will look to follow up their spectacular midweek performance with another match on the road against a side looking to revive their fortunes.

Woking will be concerned by the way their form has levelled off, and after a bright start they find themselves 19th in the table. 

They've managed just one win in their last 10 games, 1-0 win at Wealdstone, but The Cards have shown some signs of promise of late.

Three games ago they led Notts County with half an hour to play, but eventually lost 4-2, and they followed that up with an impressive 0-0 draw at Eastleigh despite being down to ten men for the last 37 minutes.

In midweek they looked on course for a win over Bromley when they took a 3-2 lead in the 81st minute, but the visitors struck back swiftly and secured the win when Jack Cook scored an 88th minute own goal.

With the news that Jamar Loza, Josh Casey and Ben Dempsey will be out injured for the rest of the season, Cards manager Alan Dowson is preparing himself for a testing end to the season

“I’ll have to wear my tin hat and take a few slaps…you could look at it and say, ‘life’s tough at the minute’ but we’ve just got to get through the six weeks. It will be a lot better place at the end of the season.”

A high number of home draws has undoubtedly been a problem for them: only Borehamwood have drawn more home games, and as a consequence, only the bottom two have won fewer home matches. With 5 scored and 8 conceded in their last 2 home games, there's been no lack of excitement at Kingfield lately though.

HEAD TO HEAD
We’re on a great run of home results against Woking, having won our last 4 clashes at The Racecourse, but at Kingfield it’s a different story.

In 8 away games, we’ve beaten Woking just once, back in October 2015 when Connor Jennings scored the only goal after 28 minutes. It was by far our most emphatic away performance against Woking, and Jennings was frustrated not to have scored more than one.

Apart from that game we’ve drawn four and lost three at Woking. The tide has been turning in our favour in the last few seasons, and consecutive away draws have contributed to an unbeaten run of 4 games against The Cards, the longest we’ve enjoyed.

Those two draws could each have been wins too. Last season James Jennings put us ahead shortly after the break with a well-worked goal, but Woking fought back and a Jake Lawlor own goal earned them a point.

Before that, our previous game at Woking, in March 2018, was a deflating affair. It was the first game after Dean Keates’ departure, and we stood in fourth place in the table and on a 13 game unbeaten run after a resounding win over Chester. Woking,, on the other hand, were engaged in a  battle against the drop.

The first half was dominated by the peculiar fortunes of Woking’s Josh Staunton, who opened the scoring and then equalised with an own goal.We took the lead after an hour when Marcus Kelly’s wide free kick went straight in, a goal which he claimed, rather dubiously, was intentional!

However, Woking earned a point with an 80th minute equaliser, beginning a deterioration of our form which saw us miss out on the play-offs, winning just one of our last 9 games.

Our last loss at Kingfield was a 2-0 defeat in September 2016, and we were also defeated there in 2013, when Johnny Hunt’s goal couldn’t prevent a 2-1 loss, and the season before, when we lost 2-0.

Our first match at Woking, in March 2009, saw Wes Baynes score early on, but we had to be satisfied with a draw in a match which marked the beginning of the peculiar, short Wrexham career of England international Matt Jansen.

Oddly, we do have another win at the Kingfield to our credit, but it had nothing to do with Woking! In the 2011-12 season Hayes and Yeading played their home matches there, and Nat Knight-Percival and Mathias Pogba scored in a 2-0 win.

Our top scorers in this fixture, each with 2 goals each, are Andy Bishop, Dean Keates, James Jennings and Luke Summerfield.

As well as being our joint top scorer against Woking, this match marks Keates’ 125th league game in charge of Wrexham. He has a 100% record against The Cards to maintain, although oddly all 4 games he has taken charge of against them were at The Racecourse.

His most recent win, of course, was earlier this season when Dior Angus scored his first Wrexham goal at the end of the first half, and Luke Young’s second half penalty secured a 2-0 win.

MILESTONES

Dean Keates' 125th league game as Wrexham manager.

Shaun Pearson plays in his 400th career league game.

Keanu Marsh-Brown’s 275th career game.

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