All you need to know ahead of tonight's televised clash
WHERE? Wrexham. The Town’s solitary journey across the Welsh border of the campaign. Although, having said that it’s believed that Chester FC’s Deva Stadium is half in England and half in Wales. By anyway, to be more precise, the Racecourse (or Racecourse Ground depending on individual preference). The stadium lies on the glamorously named Mold Road.
HOW TO GET THERE. Believe it or not, it’s relatively straightforward despite the amount of time you spend off the motorway once you leave it. M1 and M6 north, leaving the latter at junction 10A for the M54 towards Shrewsbury. Sneaking under Shrewsbury, take the A5 north and then A483. Look out for signs for the A541 junction and exit. The ground is well sign-posted. If in doubt, type LL11 2AH into your sat-nav – preferably before you set-off. All told the round trip is 322 miles.
BOBBING ALONG. As if you needed us to tell you, the Bobbers will be doing what they do best: running a coach to a Town away game. They leave the main Maple Road car park for North Wales at 2pm sharp and the fare is £23 for adults and £20 for concessions. Give them a call on 01234 856542 to book your place. They’ll look after you.
DON’T BE FOOLED. Okay, so Mold Road doesn’t sound the most enticing of venues to watch a football match (or consume food inside), but if you haven’t made a trip to the Racecourse before you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Apart from one, and now unused, end of terracing behind one of the goals, the stadium is in decent nick, as you’d expect from a former Football League venue. Town fans will be housed in a corner of the main stand which affords a decent view of the playing action as well as good acoustics for those fans who want to drum up a bit of vocal encouragement.
TEMPLE OF DOOM. In comparison to the Town’s last away game at Kidderminster, a trip to the Racecourse has, on the whole, been a pretty miserable experience for Town fans down the years. In fact the Hatters have only ever won on four occasions in this corner of North Wales in 22 matches. But that’s not to say the Town haven’t enjoyed their brief stays there in the past. A 2-1 win on St George’s Day in 2005 sealed the Hatters the League One title, whilst an excellent 3-0 (3-0 at half-time) win in the Play-Offs two years back won’t be forgotten easily. The Town even had cause for celebration when losing 2-1 in the Play-Offs a year ago, as an aggregate victory took them to Wembley for the final in 2012. We then lost to York, but that’s another story.
IT’LL BE ALRIGHT ON THE NIGHT. Hatters fans will have plenty of reason behind any sense of déjà vu tonight. Since both clubs have been in the Conference the Town have made the pilgrimage to the Racecourse six times – with only one of those games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday…and that was last season. This evening’s match, screened by BT Sport, will also be the fifth game in seven at the Racecourse between the two clubs that has been broadcast live on television.
FORM FACTOR. Last weekend Wrexham lost for the third game running, going down 2-0 at high-flying Nuneaton Town. Andy Morrell’s side – one of the favourites for promotion having reached the Play-Off final last term – haven’t won in six games – since an opening day 2-1 victory over Welling. The Red Dragons haven’t scored in their last three matches either, and lost their last home fixture to near neighbours Chester FC 2-0 two weeks ago.
FAMILIAR FACE. Shaun Whalley is the sole dressing room connection between the two clubs. The winger, who joined the Town in the summer from Southport, spent one season with Wrexham in 2008/09, scoring four goals in 16 league appearances.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. The Town could call upon Alexs Lacey and Lawless for the trip to Racecourse as both make progress in recovering from injury. Defender Lacey was withdrawn at half-time in the goalless draw with Grimsby last weekend with an ankle injury and will be assessed, while midfielder Lawless came through 45 minutes of a development game unscathed. Jon Shaw is making good progress following a hernia operation but Anthony Charles has suffered a slight set-back in his recovery from a shoulder injury. Danny Fitzsimons also remains sidelined.
VIEWPOINT 1. Wrexham manager Andy Morrell: “There’s probably no bigger game than Luton at home, with the exception of Chester. We’ve had some good battles over the years and I’m sure tomorrow night will be no different.
“They have got five clean sheets out of seven and that’s a great basis to build from. We are a bit the opposite way, scoring a few goals early on but needing to in order to get anything out of the games.
“We need to get back to keeping clean sheets and being hard to beat. If we do that we can then work on the other end of the pitch about scoring goals.
“We’ll be going out to win the game but I want to stop the rot and maybe a point would not be a bad return.
“Three would be better but we need to make a statement about being hard to beat. We want gritty and solid because that would put us back on the front foot.
“At Nuneaton in the first half we were solid enough but in the second we were not so good. Whether that was down to inexperience I don’t know, but if we can be solid for 90 minutes then we’ve got every chance because we’ve got some good players.”
VIEWPOINT 2. Town boss John Still: “Wrexham are one of the clubs that people think would be a threat. Whether they are not, remains to be seen over the course of the season.
“They are great games when former Football League clubs up against each other, and it’s a fixture we look forward to.
“We’ve had some tough ones: Forest Green away, Kidderminster away, now Wrexham away. But it’s fantastic for the players and for supporters. Whoever we play, I love the games, but especially against former Football League clubs.
“It’s possible, absolutely possible that they’re suffering from a Play-Off hangover but, not being there, I don’t know. But if they’ve got a good enough squad of players they’ll gradually overcome that, it’s still early.”
And finally...it's Friday 13th. The Town's record on this day is played 19, won six, drawn seven and lost. six. The Hatters have won their last two games on 13th September: a 2-0 win at AFC Telford in 2011 and a 3-1 home victory over Aldershot in League 2 in 2008.
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