So Wrexham AFC fucked it up again yesterday, and failed to make the end-of-season National League play-offs. They had every opportunity and a victory would have sealed it, but I have supported the club for long enough to have known they would screw it up. A dreadful performance and a 1-1 draw was not enough, and surely now the new owners will dispose of the services of our negative supremo Dean Keates. If they are serious about transforming the club in to a global-superpower, then this is essential.
Over the past few months, I have watched with interest as Hollywood superstars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have taken control of the club from the hapless Wrexham Supporters Trust. I am hopeful that things will improve under the new ownership and I am excited that I may soon be welcomed back to the Racecourse to enjoy a game of football alongside my fellow fans. Indeed, the new era that is slowly unfolding at the Cae Ras has given me the impetus needed to continue writing my Memory Match articles that I hope to put together to create my third book.
It would be great if I could synchronise the release of my book with the reincarnation of the club I love. There is much hard work ahead of myself and the new owners, but there is a new sense of hope and expectation in the air, so maybe now it is time to believe in a brighter tomorrow.
Wrexham v York City
League Division Three (Northern Section)
Wrexham: Waters, Parker, McGowan, Griffiths, Wynn, Tapscott, Jones, Hewitt, Evans, Rowley, Richards
Goalscorer: Evans (2), Jones, Richards
York City: Forgan, Phillips, Howe, Brown, Stewart, Spence, Linaker, Bottom, Wilkinson, Storey, Fenton
Goalscorer: Fenton (2), Wilkinson (3)
Despite finding ourselves in second place in September following four wins in the opening five games, Cliff Lloyd’s men flattered to deceive and finished a frustrating season languishing in mid-table.
An opening-day visit to Bootham Crescent saw us romp to victory by three goals to one, but going in to this game our inconsistency was evident with three defeats and two victories in the last five matches. Which Wrexham team would turn up at the Racecourse this afternoon?
After just ten minutes, it seemed that the home crowd would be in for a treat when Grenville Jones finished a move that started with long pass down the wing by Johnnie Tapscott, this was centred by Gordon Richards for Jones to open the scoring.
Just two minutes later, the roles were reversed when Jones swung the ball in to the goalmouth, and Richards headed it home. The Robins were on top, but according to Ron Challoner “York started to hit back with entertaining and methodical work, that called out for better finishing.”
Indeed, York did not have to wait long for their chance. After 15 minutes Billy Fenton, who was to be a thorn in our side all afternoon, nipped down the wing and centred the ball for Norman Wilkinson to net past the helpless Billy Walters.
Wrexham made it 3-1 on 20 minutes, when Bernard Evans (pictured below) smashed home a twenty-yard drive. This was the last goal of the half, although Evans saw his header rebound and York had other chances as Wrexham hammered away until the interval.
In the second half, Evans beat York defender Alan Stewart to an aerial ball and planted it past Tommy Forgan, for his second and Wrexham’s fourth. There was an incident that led to a Ron Hewitt booking by referee Windle from Chesterfield, and suddenly Wrexham collapsed like a pack of cards.
We had not beaten York at home since January 1951, and to let such a convincing lead slip seemed incomprehensible, but was not helped by an erratic performance from custodian Walters and some terrific left-wing play by Fenton.
On 66 minutes, Fenton made it 4-2 and just four minutes later he notched his second after connecting with a Wilkinson cross.
Disaster struck nine minutes later, when York drew level through Wilkinson as Wrexham’s resistance evaporated. Our Yorkshire visitors could smell blood, and completed the remarkable turnaround when a Fenton shot was parried by Walters, only for Wilkinson to pounce and completer the comeback.
It is true that Wrexham had a few opportunities to pull level, as Forgan made a splendid save from Richards while a goal-line clearance from Ernie Phillips prevented a bullet-header from Evans, but as Challoner says in his match report, it would have been “ more than they deserved “.
Our FA Cup adventures never got started, as our giant-killing dreams were snuffed out by Accrington Stanley in November at the first-round stage. Our trip to Peel Park ended in a 3-1 defeat.
Our solitary Cup victory this season, came in the Welsh Cup 5th round when we scraped past Pwllheli and District 1-2. We were drawn away in the sixth round as well, but faced a much sterner test at Cardiff City and ended up losing 5-3.