It’s now more than 10 years since we last played the north Welsh side; a wait that, as we all well know, might be coming to an end in 2020-1. But we’re not exactly in a rush to take on Wrexham once more. Our record against them, as we’re about to find out, ain’t all that great. Time might be a healer, though – and a lot of water has now gone under the bridge. Not that bridge – the metaphorical one. It’s the wrong part of Wales for a start, see…
Who are Wrexham?
The Red Dragons are the third oldest professional football team in the world – or so they say. Not that we doubt that. Any club formed as recently as 1976 has no place raising an eyebrow at how old a club is. You’ll find few others formed as long ago as 1864, just two years behind Notts County. For the Welsh lads, it’s been a long and proud history too; a few pots here and there and the odd magic moment against the big boys too.
In recent times, the Red Dragons haven’t had the same success as Cardiff, Swansea or even Newport. But, in fairness, they don’t really measure themselves against south Welsh sides. The club’s main beef, it seems, is with nearby Chester. Over the years, though, they’ve won the Football League Trophy and FA Trophy – as well as a record 23 Welsh Cups. You might scoff at that tournament, but it gave them a way into Europe; playing in the European Cup Winners’ Cup on eight occasions and reaching the quarters against Anderlecht in 1975-6.
Why do we know Wrexham?
Now, you’ll know that Wrexham plunged into the Conference in 2008 after finishing rock bottom of the Football League. But that ain’t the reason why we first came to know them. And it ain’t the first time they’d propped up the League either. In 1965-6, the Red Dragons had to rely on re-election to stay in Division Four after a dire campaign. They were spared the Conference again in 1991 when league restructuring meant no-one went down.
What a blinding idea that is. No relegation to the Conference, eh? Should bring that back.
Our first experience of the Red Dragons didn’t wait until they eventually did drop out of the League. In fact, it came two years before; Stimmo‘s Boro’ side sent to the Racecourse for a FA Cup First Round tie. Hopes for a cupset were high. But the Welsh side know a thing or two about that sort of thing and did what they had to in order to book a place in the next round.
What is our record against Wrexham?
So, down came the Red Dragons and they were already one win up on us. Our chance to put that right came around quickly; our 2008-9 season opener taking us across the border with GW back at the helm. For all the doubts about his return as gaffer, this match did not help. Boro’ were humiliated and Steve Morison saw red as the hosts racked up five without reply.
The return fixture was just as frustrating. A late deflected goal from Marc Williams meant the Red Dragons completed a league double over us; winning 2-1 at the Lamex and going back to north Wales much the happier of the two sides.
Going into the 2009-10 season and we finally got on the board against ’em. Mind you, our first point came courtesy of a poor goalless draw at the Lamex in late October. By the time the return came around in February, we now had eyes on a title tilt. So, our trip to the Racecourse became an important one. And we got the win we wanted; Mark Roberts with that all-important goal in what became the first of eight straight league wins.
Wrexham: Boro’s Record
Our head-to-head: P 5 — W 1 — D 1 — L 3 — F 2 — A 8 — Pts 3 — WR 20%
Our last tango: Wrexham 0-1 Stevenage Borough, 24 February 2010
What happened to Wrexham?
After we went up, the Red Dragons pushed hard for promotion and made the playoffs for three seasons on the bounce. One of those three seasons – the 2011-2 campaign – even saw them come second on a mammoth 98 points. Their first two playoff bids were halted at the semi-final stage by Luton Town, while the third was scuppered by Newport County in the final. There was an FA Trophy win in that mix too, but it’s not the same is it?
And, after that, their form became a bit erratic.
Wrexham returned to the Conference playoffs in 2018-9 – but they didn’t make it past the quarter-final stage; Eastleigh edging them out at a stage of the playoffs that’s been put in place since we’ve been away. The premature end to the 2019-20 campaign, meanwhile, may have come as a blessing in disguise. At the time things came to a halt, the club were dangling close to the drop. But PPG ensures that they stay up to fight another day in the Conference.
Whenever that day might be…
• WANT TO KNOW MORE? – Wrexham club profile