We take a look at Saturday’s huge clash at Leyton Orient, why we are due a win and why Pearson and Co won’t be worried about a familiar face.
Wrexham are, somehow, in this season’s title race.
This, despite an auspicious start to 2019 which resulted in us yieiding the sort of points return mustered by the UK entrant of every Eurovision Song Contest since Cheryl Baker and her mate had their skirts whipped off for good ol' Blighty back in 1981.
This, despite losing our once indespensible and immune rock in the form of Emmanuel Smith for long spells through injury.
This, despite yet another Conference cash splasher hoping to give their Class of 92 backers a quick return on their stakes.
This, despite us going through three managers and counting since the campaign began.
Ah yes. Wrexham’s very own in-house managerial merry go-round. Who cried ‘stop the ride!! I wanna get off’ despite the ride looking so appealing?
For SR see ‘Selfish Reptile’. For GB see ‘Good Bloke’. For BH see ‘Believe (it’s) Happening’. Hell, for BF see ‘Blimey! Finally!’
Bryan with a Why? is answering all the early questions asked of him whilst the wise wizened figurehead of Brian with an Eye is helping oversee the tentative steps of his young apprentice.
Against all the odds the hurdling kings of the National League are firmly in the hunt for the prize that has proved more elusive than a 20 goal a season striker. Or even a 10 goal striker for that matter.
The goodwill of other football clubs wishing Wrexham well in our seemingly endless quest to return to the Football League has now extended to two of our closest rivals.
Salop may have swiped Brad Walker on a permanent deal from Crewe but at least they had the sense to allow him to continue his highly productive loan spell with us until the season ends.
And Tranmere did us a favour for us to do them a favour by loaning us Ben Tollitt. Now clear of injury and a manager who didn’t pick him, the gazelle-like winger has enjoyed his time in North Wales so much that he is crestfallen to be missing the run-in when his month by month loan ends on March 16. Another Rovers loanee, Cole Stockton remains with us for the duration.
Tollitt will commence the passing of the rapid loan winger baton on to Jermaine Dave McGlashan in East London tomorrow.
The 30-year-old, captured by Reds boss Hughes on Thursday will probably be on the bench but his fresh and fast legs with 20 minutes left could help swing the result in our favour in what could be a cagey affair.
JMD ain’t no WMD
We will come up against another loan ranger at Brisbane Road in Saturday’s do or die title blockbuster.
At Wrexham Jordan Maguire-Drew started fast and faded faster. There is no point wasting negative energy booing JMD tomorrow. His three Reds goals came in three separate victories and we thank him for his efforts.
He has hit three in his last four Orient games, turned provider for two other goals and bagged three man of the match awards. Should we be worried? No. Two of his strikes were against sides entrenched in the bottom four whilst his latest was against a Barrow side that almost salvaged an unlikely draw in their 2-3 win on Tuesday.
History only tells a story
Wrexham will be looking to overcome the odds yet again in deepest Leyton.
The Os have gobbled up two wins already against us this season without reply. Although none of us will be too fussed to be out of the FA Trophy.
We only took a point off them in the two league games last season and it was the same story when our paths last crossed in Football League combat, Darren Ferguson’s goal earning us a point in a 1-1 spoil-sharer in September 2005.
Our last win at Brisbane Road came on April 29, 2003 when Andy Morrell netted the only goal of the game via the penalty spot.
History suggests Saturday is going to be another tight game — the only times Wrexham have defeated Orient by at least two clear goals were 4-2 triumphs in 1994 (H) and 1986 (A), plus a trio of 3-1 wins in 1986 (A), 1980 (H) and 1978 (H).
Orient managed to do the same to us with a 4-0 home hammering in 1980 and a 3-0 FA Cup win in 1972, also on home soil.
We certainly deserved more from the 0–2 league and 0–1 FA Trophy defeats, so it’s surely a case of third time lucky? Orient have the greater potency in attack whilst Wrexham’s Red Ramparts repels most things thrown at it.
There will be close to a capacity crowd whilst it will probably attract a decent viewing audience on the box.
It’s the stiffest test of our manager’s fledgling career but, with Flynnie alongside him I think we will nab a 1-2 win to finally get one over O’s boss Justin Edinburgh.