This article has been published with the permission of Stephen Prosser, a Wrexham FC fan who lives in South Africa.
An impressive 2-0 win on Saturday against struggling Lincoln City, yielding impressive statistics such as 69% possession, maintained the Dragons hold on pole position in the Conference table in what is becoming an increasingly tight battle with Fleetwood Town.
The secret of Wrexham’s success this season is the defence, which has been so miserly as to warrant comparisons with Ebenezer Scrooge. In ten home league games this season, Wrexham have shut out the opposition on seven occasions, with only Cambridge, York and Mansfield, all of whom are featuring in the promotion chase, being able to find the back of the net. In addition to their frugality at home, Wrexham have also been impressive on their travels with only Barrow managing to net more than one against them this season. The latest clean sheet was the sixth in the league in succession, but despite this incredible achievement, the Dragons will have still been relieved to find the net themselves through the impressive Pogba after two consecutive goalless draws.
With such fine statistics, Dragons fans might be forgiven for expecting their team to have established a healthy lead at the top of the table by now. However, the recent form of Fleetwood Town has ensured that Wrexham’s lead is limited to goal difference only. Since the heavy home defeat to Newport County, Town have comfortably dispatched opposition such as Bath and Alfreton from the lower echelons of the league and have further emphasised their promotion credentials with a significant win away at Luton Town and a splendid FA Cup victory over League 1 Wycombe.
With the promotion contest so finely poised, and given the importance of finishing top of the league to avoid the lottery of the play offs, the next few weeks are extremely important. Wrexham have a home cup replay against Cambridge at the Racecourse tomorrow evening whilst Fleetwood have an evening off, before both sides head for difficult away ties at the weekend. The Dragons head to Braintree to face a side who will be determined to regain respect after a humiliating 5-1 thrashing by Forest Green at the weekend, whilst Fleetwood have an even trickier tie at Gateshead. Whilst the extra game that Wrexham have to play in midweek may perhaps seem to give Fleetwood the edge, the recent defensive woes that have seen Braintree ship 30 goals in their last 9 outings should give Wrexham plenty of confidence that they will score goals. That, when coupled with their defensive strength, should ensure that the Dragons come away with three points. This then puts the pressure on Fleetwood to do the same at Gateshead.
A further consideration that Wrexham have over the coming weeks is their Welsh Cup tie with Airbus Broughton. Whilst their has been much fanfare amongst Welsh supporters concerning Wrexham’s return, and much potential gain for the Dragons given the possibility of a European place, it may just be one competition to many for them. The need for cash will cause the club to strive for a place in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup and a possible tie against one of the Premier teams and the league is obviously of paramount importance. It is therefore likely that Morrell will opt to put out a weakened team in the Welsh Cup in order to maintain fitness and freshness in his squad ahead of the challenges to come.
Whatever happens this week though, it is an exciting time to be a Dragons fan.