Wrexham v Solihull Moors
Competition: Vanarama National League
Wrexham host Solihull Moors this coming Tuesday in the second of a Cae Ras doubleheader and Dean Keates' side will be looking at taking another three points. It's a long-anticipated game for our visitors in a way, where the geography of the sides in the division this season means that this will be their shortest away trip of the season.
Wrexham come into the game on the back of just one defeat in our last 15 Vanarama National League outings and recorded back-to-back wins with victory over Ebbsfleet United. Our last loss came four games ago with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of AFC Fylde in what everyone will agree was a below-par performance. We followed it up with a 2-2 draw at home to Leyton Orient, a game which we led twice through Chris Holroyd but were pegged back with two disappointing goals to concede. With points dropped the Dragons looked to put things right in front of the BT Sport cameras in the highly anticipated Cross-Border Derby at the Deva against Chester FC. Shaun Pearson's header on the stroke of half-time gave us our first win away from home in the derby since Chester reformed, the perfect way to finish before a 10-day break. On Saturday Ebbsfleet travelled to the Cae Ras where yet another Holroyd brace sealed maximum points in a tricky game for the reds.
As for our opponents Solihull, they are in the middle of a relegation dogfight early on in the campaign, and already find themselves seven points adrift of safety. Second bottom and a point above basement side Torquay United the Moors know how vital it is at this point in this season to pick up the pace ahead of the busy festive period that looms. They come into the game on the back of an impressive 1-1 draw away to Maidstone United. Joe Pigott opened the scoring after less than a minute for the Stones but Kwame Thomas' strike just after the hour mark sent Solihull back to the Midlands with a point and lift them from the foot of the division. It was a great way to bounce back from back-to-back losses to Sutton United and AFC Fylde in the league as well as being knocked out by Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup.
Wrexham striker Chris Holroyd has certainly come under the spotlight with a rich vein of form in front of goal which has seen him net four goals in his last three games, including four in his last two home matches. Having been injured on the opening day of the season which saw him miss over a month of action, he's readied himself and now stands as the Dragons' top scorer with six for the campaign. His excellent performances haven't gone unnoticed among supporters and has become a firm favourite and rightfully one of the first names on the teamsheet. Speaking to the club media on Saturday he epitomised the squad at the moment after his brace saying that "I'm a team player. As long as we get the win it doesn't matter to me who scores", an attitude that runs through the squad.
For Solihull, they've recently raised a few eyebrows signing former Leicester City and Preston North End defender Sean St Ledger who's last spell was with MLS side Colorado Rapids where he departed in December 2016. The former Republic of Ireland international is now 32 and was born in Solihull and signed a deal a couple of weeks ago until January. St Ledger made his debut in a 0-2 FA Cup loss to Wycombe Wanderers.
We've met on three occasions before this coming match, the first of which was on the route to Wembley for the Dragons. The first game came in December 2012 where Wrexham progressed through to the third round of the FA Trophy in a 3-2 win. The Moors' Junior English opened the scoring with a long range effort before Brett Ormerod pulled Wrexham level. English went on to put the visitors back in front before Adrian Cieslewicz equalised. With time running out and a replay a distinct possibility the reds were relieved as Cieslewicz was brought down in the box and current Wrexham boss and then skipper Dean Keates stepped up from the spot to put us through.
Our first league meeting came in August 2016, the game at the Racecourse had goalless written all over it before Mark Carrington put his body on the line at the back post to seal the win in the 93rd minute. In the return game at Damson Park we wouldn't wait nearly as long for a goal as a handball in the box gave Wrexham a penalty five minutes into the game, where Anthony Barry stepped up and put the ball past the goalkeeper and grab a win for the reds.
Wrexham defender James Jennings who was forced off with injury against Chester FC missed out on the weekend win over Ebbsfleet United and could be out of Tuesday's game, whilst James Hurst is also still nursing a knock.
Can't make it to My Racecourse? You can follow the game with FREE live commentary on Calon FM, 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'.