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Cards face toughest test yet

Brian Caffarey
8:46am, Thu 28th Aug 2014
Wrexham v Woking
3pm on Saturday 30 August 2014

The Cards have yet to experience any joy in their visits to the Racecourse Ground but hopes must be high, after their exhilarating 6-1 defeat of Dover Athletic on Monday, that Saturday’s visit will put that right. However, the Dragons have made a promising start to the season and can be expected to provide the stiffest test yet for Garry Hill’s unbeaten side.


After frustrating performances against Dartford, Macclesfield and Welling, when dominance, especially early in games, wasn’t reflected in the scoreline, it all came right against Dover. An early goal was just what was needed – and the floodgates soon opened. The changes Garry Hill made to the formation all seemed to work as intended, although there were a few anxious moments in defence – which will have to be improved upon at Wrexham. There is no doubt, though, that this side has the ability to break their duck at the Racecourse Ground.

Aaron Howe will presumably start in goal again following the unfortunate injury Jake Cole suffered on his debut.


The Dragons finished in a lowly 17th place last season – a hugely disappointing outcome for a club of Wrexham’s stature.

Wrexham sit a couple of places, and one point, above Woking in the table by virtue of their three wins, one draw and one defeat to date:

Dartford 1 Wrexham 2
Wrexham 0 Gateshead 3
Wrexham 1 Nuneaton Town 0
Alfreton Town 2 Wrexham 3
Wrexham 2 Macclesfield Town 2

Like Woking, the Dragons have probably had a relatively easy start to the season. Indeed, three out of five opponents have been the same: Dartford, Alfreton and Macclesfield. The obvious exception is Wrexham’s home game versus play-off finalists Gateshead in which they suffered a decisive defeat. Make of that what you will!

Kevin Wilkin, the former Nuneaton manager, who joined Wrexham in January this year, returned to his former club in the summer to prise from them star striker Louis Moult and pacy left-winger Wes York. His other big signing up front was Connor Jennings, who shone on loan at Macclesfield last season, scoring 18 goals before injury forced his return to Scunthorpe. A loan spell at Grimsby Town followed but when he was released by Scunthorpe in the summer it was Wrexham who managed to secure his signature. Moult and Jennings join Andy Bishop in vying for striking places.

Two significant signings in defence were those of Blaine Hudson, who enjoyed a successful season-long loan at Welling United last season from parent club Cambridge United, and Manny Smith, with bags of League experience with Notts County and Walsall. Hudson, at 6’4�, is a particular threat at set pieces.

Elliott Durrell, Wilkin’s first signing, from Hednesford Town, sounds like someone else to watch, having impressed in midfield.


Racecourse Ground
Mold Road
LL11 2AH

Official website:

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 9.00am. The cost is £24 for Trust members and £29 for non-members. Ring the Club Shop (01483 772470) or email to book your place.

By car

Take the M54 from the M6 (Junction 10A Northbound). Follow the M54 to the end of the motorway and join the A5 towards Shrewsbury. Continue on the A5 past Shrewsbury and Oswestry and then join the A483 towards Wrexham. Stay on the A483 as you reach Wrexham (this is the Wrexham by-pass). Exit at the 'Mold' junction and then follow the signs for 'Town Centre'. The Racecourse will come quickly into view. There is parking at Glyndwr University, for a small fee, next to the ground or at Maesgwyn Hall opposite the University.

By train

The 11.10 train from Euston would get you to Chester at 13.13, from where you can pick up the 13.30, arriving at Wrexham at 13.46. If you wanted to leave it later, the 12.10 would get you to Wrexham at 14.34. Wrexham General station is next to the ground. There are trains back at 17.03 and 18.03, both involving changes at Chester and Crewe, with the former getting you to Euston at 20.05 and the latter at 21.20. There is also a train at 17.44, with changes at Wolverhampton and Stafford, which would get you to Euston at 21.16.


Adults: £19
Over 62 and under 21: £14
Over 80 and under 16: £7
Under 11s: £1

There is a saving of £2 on Adult, Over 62 and U21 tickets if they are bought in advance online or by phoning the ticket office. Look up the Wrexham website and click on ‘ticket prices’ for more details.


Wrexham 2 Woking 0
19 October 2013

The Cards went into this game on the back of a win and three draws in their previous three league games but this defeat left them still rooted in the bottom four. Against a Wrexham side itself lacking confidence, the Cards under-performed in the first half, looking flat, and conceded the lead in the 21st minute when Dean Keates fired through a crowded penalty area past the unsighted Beasant.

Having been given some stern ‘advice’ by Garry Hill at half-time, the Cards were much brighter in the second half, with Cestor unlucky to see his header cannon off the bar. But they couldn’t force an equaliser and, in the last minute of full time, Joe Clarke made the game safe for the Dragons as he slotted home past Beasant following an enterprising run down the right.

Woking 2 Wrexham 1
29 March 2014

It was a much more confident Woking side which took on the Dragons in the return fixture, Garry Hill’s side having beaten Luton Town away in a tremendous televised performance twelve days previously, their third successive league win. Scott Rendell gave the Cards a deserved lead in the 20th minute, in front of a crowd of over 2,000, after Jack Marriott’s lobbed effort, on a counter-attack, fell kindly for him at the far post. But Wrexham equalised two minutes later, Johnny Hunt seizing on the rebound after Aaron Howe had palmed away a shot.

The impressive Joey Jones, in for the suspended Josh Payne in midfield, scored the winner in the 57th minute, swivelling cleverly and firing home after Kevin Betsy’s effort had been blocked. Gez Sole, making his 250th appearance, saw his free-kick hit the bar as Woking continued to have the better of the encounter.


The Cards are at home next Saturday (6 September) to Lincoln City, who have made a strong start to the season. Please come along if you possibly can to support the side. The game will also mark the opening of the new Geoff Chapple Lounge.

Come on, you Cards!

Rendell and Morgan strikes earn away victory for Cards

Malcolm Wyatt
9:50am, Sun 31st Aug 2014
Wrexham 1 Woking 2

Vanarama Conference

30th August 2014

An assured display from away-day experts Woking saw Garry Hill's unbeaten side climb to fourth in the table at the expense of fellow high-fliers Wrexham.

At one stage it looked like the Surrey visitors had fallen to a second equaliser, but sub Andy Bishop's strike was ruled out and Kevin Wilkin's frustrated home side got no closer from there.

The Cards went ahead against the run of play in the first half, but on the strength of their second-half display they fully deserved this fine victory.

In the end, league top-scorer Scott Rendell's early volley and an assured second-half winner from Dean Morgan after Louis Moult's leveller proved enough, but Hill's Cards had to battle.

Re-instated keeper Aaron Howe pulled off two early saves to keep Woking in touch before Rendell put the visitors ahead, all the early Dragons' pressure put to waste.

Moult was the first to go close, but the final ball was more often than not poor for both sides.

A swift move engineered by Keiran Murtagh and involving Giuseppe Sole and Adam Newton was wasted, before the first of two great tip-overs by Howe, from Connor Jennings' dipping volley.

Joe McNerney, in typically robust form, headed away the resultant Elliott Durrell corner, Newton doing the same with Jennings' next danger-ball before Howe punched away a third in-swinger.

The home fans' chanting increased as the pressure continued, James Clarke rising well to head behind again, while another Durrell corner came to nothing.

McNerney left two players grounded as one raid was halted, then headed away to stop the next foray, while home debutant Ross White executed a powerful header from captain Neil Ashton's cross, but Howe again tipped over.

It came as quite a surprise, therefore, when a spell of Woking pressure led to an away goal, instigated by Murtagh and Chris Arthur and finished with a clever 20-yard volley in the 24th minute, Rendell picking his spot perfectly.

Woking were still losing possession too easily, but Ashton's next centre was no problem for Howe, as was the case for home keeper Dan Bachmann from Morgan.

Then came Wrexham's 38th-minute equaliser, Durrell advancing into the area with ease and Moult finishing with aplomb, giving Howe no chance.

The hosts had their tails up, and Jennings ran in on goal, but then Rendell set up Morgan on the break, his powerful shot nearly taking Bachmann into his own net.

McNerney – irking the home fans as the ref remained unmoved by calls for the Woking player to be cautioned - stood firm to check Durrell's next raid while, as Woking broke again, Arthur caused problems with a swift raid and cross and Bachmann denied Rendell from an Arthur free-kick.

Half-time: Wrexham 1 Woking 1

Amid heavy drizzle, Woking came out in determined fashion for the second half, Rendell's headed touch going over after good work by Josh Payne and Sole, the latter then pouncing on a poor pass but unable to reach Morgan.

Howe collected from Moult after a Jennings through-ball, while Morgan caused home jitters with a jinking run, then Jennings came close with a near-post header from a corner as the action swung to the other end.

Morgan fired over after good work by sub Theo Lewis, with Clarke also going close, while after an Ashton home corner was only half-cleared by Howe, Wrexham fluffed the follow-up.

In the 66th minute Woking were ahead again, Payne punishing a slack pass in midfield and sending Morgan away, the recent signing's left-wing raid ending with a drilled finish from close quarters that made its way through a sea of legs.

The Racecourse Ground fell silent save for the celebrating travelling band at the other end, the home frustration showing and referee Ian Hussin finally resorting to using his book.

Morgan's next deflected shot won a corner, from which McNerney was not far off from netting, while Bachmann punched behind from Payne.

Morgan grew stronger and Rendell remained a threat, and in the next foray Clarke struck the under-side of the bar, with hard-working Lewis also going close.

Wrexham looked shell-shocked, but the Cards still couldn't apply a killer touch, a flurry of cards and substitutions not helping the flow, and Durrell kicking out as he reached the dug-out.

Then came that near-equaliser on 80 minutes, the flag raised as sub Andy Bishop netted from close range after Moult headed back Ashton's free-kick, the electronic scoreboard claiming 'goal'.

Soon after, fellow replacement Theo Bailey-Jones' whipped-in cross was missed by everyone, and from there Woking were on top again.

Morgan and Lewis remained a threat as the clock ran down, while Arthur, Rendell and McNerney made vital clearances as the Cards comfortably saw out an added five minutes to ultimately rise to fourth in the table, just three points off the summit.

Wrexham: Dan Bachmann, Neil Ashton (c), Manny Smith, Blaine Hudson, Joe Clarke, Elliott Durrell (Andy Bishop 76), Louis Moult, Rob Evans, Wes York (Theo Bailey-Jones 76), Ross White (Mark Carrington 83), Connor Jennings.

Subs not used: Andy Coughlin, Anthony Stephens.

Goal: Moult 38

Bookings: Moult 75, Ashton 81, Clarke 85.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton (Theo Lewis 35), Mark Ricketts (c), Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh (Joey Jones 78), Scott Rendell, Giuseppe Sole (John Goddard 84), Dean Morgan, Chris Arthur.

Subs not used: Mike Cestor, Andy Little.

Goals: Rendell 24, Morgan 66

Booking: McNerney 78.

Referee: Ian Hussin

Attendance: 3,154 (68 from Woking).

My MOTM: Dean Morgan – not yet fully fit maybe, but more of a telling factor as the game wore on, helping frustrate the opposition and scoring the goal that took Woking on to victory
Wrexham LINEUP
1Aaron Howe
2Adam Newton ('36)
32Chris Arthur
5Joe McNerney
6James Clarke
4Mark Ricketts
7Josh Payne
8Keiran Murtagh ('79)
24Dean Morgan
10Giuseppe Sole ('84)
9Scott Rendell
31Andy Little
3Mike Cestor
21Joey Jones ('79)
14Theo Lewis ('36)
22John Goddard ('84)

Wrexham 1 - 2 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

Wrexham 1 - 2 Woking (Aaron Howe Interview)

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