L 4-2 vs Wrexham (A) - League Two, Tue 15th August, 7:45pm

Previewing Walsall’s midweek trip to Wrexham…

The Opposition

We all know the Wrexham story. The media obsession has quickly worn thin but for the hardcore of their fanbase who’ve suffered administrations, point-deductions and 15 years in non-league, fair play. In a division featuring The Franchise and Salford, the Hollywood hype at least feels a lesser evil.

Money is a factor of course, and that’s represented in the likes of James McClean, Paul Mullin and Olly Lee, all of whom have higher league quality and wage demands beyond most teams in League Two. Indeed, Wrexham’s former-Saddlers Anthony Forde and Eoghan O’Connell would likely be unobtainable for us at this level, even having spent last term in the league below.

Wrexham haven’t made the best start at this level however, a 5-3 opening day defeat to the Dongs followed by a 1-1 draw away at AFC Wimbledon. That said, they knocked third tier Wigan out of the League Cup on pelanties having drawn 0-0 in normal time.

The Proposition

Another tough one, particularly with Wrexham seeking a first win of the season in front of a full house.

Although we can expect limited possession (25% v Blackburn, 33% v Stockport) we have shown a clinical streak and signs of the defensive stubborness that carried us for much of last season. Worth noting Wrexham had 67% of the play in their home loss against MK despite conceding 5.

Though it took us a while to get going, none of the starting 11 against Stockport deserve to be dropped unless MS makes a formation change. Unconfirmed news of an injury to Brandon Comley may limit options in midfield, whilst Johnson and Stirk seemed to pick up knocks on Saturday.

We need to stop conceeding late goals.

The First Time

27th December 1921. A 2-2 draw at Fellows Park in Division Three North with home goals from Groves and Beck. Despite losing the return game 4-0 Walsall would finish 8th in a 20 team division featuring Ashington, Durham City, Nelson and Wigan Borough.

The Worst Time

24th February 2001. First-half goals from Tom Bennett saw Walsall head into the final half hour of this Division Two tie with what seemed a comfortable lead. Enter Lee Trundle

The former Rhyl striker scored his first professional goal with an exceptional over-head kick on 60 minutes, inspiring an astonishing Wrexham comeback. Kevin Russell equalised 10 minutes later with a long-range effort before Trundle set up Craig Falconbridge’s injury time winner for the visitors.

The final game in what was a difficult month for Sir Ray’s promotion chasers, the Saddlers rallied and won eight of their remaining 15 matches, including the Play-Off Final against Reading.

The Last Time

28th April 2007. The mercurial Ishmael Demontagnac scored the only goal at Bescot as Walsall held their position at the top of League 2 going into the final weekend of the season. Deano’s left foot howitzer would seal the title at Swindon the following Saturday.

Played For Both

An academy graduate, Manny Smith played just shy of 150 games for the Saddlers between 2006 and 2012. A tall and mobile centre half who was reliable and decent on the ball, Smith broke into the first team in the second half of the 2007/08 season following the departure of Scott Dann.

He would become a regular feature over the coming seasons under Chris Hutchings and in the formative years of Dean Smith’s reign, before leaving for Notts County in 2012. His final season at Bescot was an eventful one, remembered at best for his injury time winner against Sheffield Wednesday and at worst for a homophobic Tweet aimed at a supporter that saw him fined by the FA.

After an injury-plagued stint with Notts he would go on the spend five seasons at Wrexham over two spells, becoming a firm favourite. Winning Player of the Season in his first season, the 2018/19 would see Smith named in the National League Team of the Year as Wrexham conceded just 39 league goals, a club record.

Smith’s career was ended by a serious knee injury in 2020. He has since spoken openly about his struggles with mental health since retirement, and started his own academy.

Also: Barry Horne, Dean Keates, Hector Sam, Keiron Morris, Eoghan O’Connell, Anthony Forde…

Lump On

Wrexham haven’t won a home game in the League since April 2008…

Lump Off

Walsall haven’t won an away game in the League since Boxing Day 2022.

Vaguely Interesting Fact

Our 5-0 victory over Wrexham in 1935 was played on Christmas Day.

UTS Match Poll

  • Walsall Win
  • Draw
  • Wrexham Win

0 voters


I can’t wait to get this one over and done with tbh. The sooner we end up not being in the same league as them the better. The whole media obsession with them is too much.

Regarding the game, they haven’t started how many of the ‘experts’ expected them too and looking at their squad it isn’t amazing for our league imo. I think they’re there for the taking and could definitely see us getting a result.


Looking forward to this. Should be a cracking evening.

And in a way it is a bit of a free hit having won three points yesterday.

I’d have settled for a point a game from our first four.

Although very very early days, Wrexham might just be feeling a bit of pressure. Momentum from last season and the media love in can turn very quickly into heightened expectation which in turn can turn into a weighty pressure.

And just in case any Wrexham fans are passing through - no, this isn’t our “cup final” we took more to Morecambe and will take more to Crewe so unless we have a cup final every week, you’re not that special.


Turned into a very odd club, utterly weird. Anyway 2-0 walsall

A few years ago I went to Fratton Park, they were playing York City. It ended 1-1 despite a big attendance all year Portsmouth were near the bottom of league two in Feb.

I asked a bloke next to me why have you struggled so much for a few years at this level. He felt that every away team brought extra effort and it was like a cup final for them, arrogance but there was something in that.

I felt the pressure of a place like fratton park galvanised the opposition. Hopefully the same is true of our players at the Racecourse.

Battered by the franchise, and only a draw with (real) Wimbledon who scored with 1 pen but missed another.

Their stats show they play possession football and have lots of shots - but most of them aren’t very accurate and they have a low conversion rate. We appear to make better use of our possession and are a lot more clinical.

BTW There was a bit of a hoo-ha about McClean signing for them but he hasn’t even been on the bench for their first 3 games - is he injured?

It is a shame that Wrexham have returned as a billy big bollocks club. It was always a good lower league rivalry with them. Similar to what we have/had with say Crewe and Chesterfield with a bit more fire in it.

As I know you would agree with I’d rather play them than the likes of Salford and Forest Green, but I just can’t take them seriously as they are right now. I fancy us to get a result on Tuesday.


He played against Wimbledon.

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Their average attendances over the past 20-odd years in what is now L2 and the NL have been pretty unspectacular - mostly 3-4,000 (and that includes away fans of course). That’s more than doubled since they became a Hollywood plaything for the last couple of seasons.

I wonder how many are disillusioned old fans come back and how many are newby glory hunters who will disappear back to “supporting” an EPL team if the success doesn’t keep coming or the glamour owners get bored and pull out?

So he did! I’d looked at their squads after each of the first 2 games but only at his “appearances” on a stat site this morning (which still showed 0 for this season).

I’d take a point and every saddler that’s made the journey getting home safely.


6-2 to the Soaraway Six Scoring Super Sensational Stupendous Saddlers.

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Another tough game, but as with yesterday, I’d rather be playing these two before they settle into the season.
Think there could be goals in this so a positive 2-2 draw.

Seems like a long time since I went to Wrexham to watch a game.

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Anyone know of any car parks near their ground?

Tough game but I’m going to go for an entertaining 3-3 draw with goals from all the Ds: Draper DJ and Daniels.

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Anything other than a defeat will be an excellent result. I hope we do not have too many injuries.

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I’m still not convinced that these are all that good, I fancy us to Nick a point.


Four points from Wrexham and Crewe and I’ll be happy.


We’ve booked through JustPark at the Sainsburys on Plas Coch Retail Park. 4 quid and a 12 Minute Walk to the ground.


Could be some glorious weather for the trip to Crewe from what I’ve read this morning.Apparently it’s going to heat up from Thursday and could be in the high 20’s low 30’s come Saturday afternoon.Looks like I’ll need plenty of refreshments and drinking with @RedandWhite I’d say that’s nailed on.