Wrexham manager Sam Ricketts talks to the media.

Dragons Aim To Show Their Class In National Test

Wrexham remain unbeaten at home going into their Vanarama National League clash with Havant and Waterlooville at the Racecourse (3pm).

The Dragons have made a solid start to the 2018-19 season, have kept nine League clean sheets and are two points behind leaders Salford City in fourth place.

“We’ve been class at home this season and want to make it a fortress here,” says defender Akil Wright. “Another three points against Barnet in our last fixture and we are still undefeated at the Racecourse.”

Stuart Beavon’s third goal of the season just before half-time earned Wrexham a 1-0 win against Barnet and Wright said: “We could have had more goals in the first half when we created a lot of chances.

https://twitter.com/Wrexham_AFC/status/1048273159831609344

“The 1-0s are the best wins. Grinding it out, everybody working hard and battling.

“Barnet are a good side and we were under pressure the last 20 minutes, but we dug in.

“We earned the clean sheet, scored and took three points. That’s all that matters.”

Wright started the opening nine fixtures of the season, but was rested against Braintree last month despite being voted National League player of the month award for August.

That was all part of manager Sam Ricketts’ policy of making changes to ensure his players stay fresh and hungry for action.

Wrexham’s clash with Havant is the first ever match between the two clubs and the visitors from Hampshire are struggling in the lower reaches, lying fourth from bottom and in the final relegation spot.

Havant have failed to win in their last five matches, but will take heart from their reasonable away form.

They came away from Ebbsfleet United and Barnet with draws, while they pushed then league-leaders Harrogate Town close in 3-2 defeat. 

Former Portsmouth Nicke Kabamba, aged 25, is a key striker and has scored five goals in 14 matches, while Havant also include former Wales international Brian Stock.

The 36-year-old returns after suspension, while Paul Robinson is available again after injury. 

“We will be aiming to frustrate Wrexham and cause them problems,” said manager Lee Bradbury. “They will have a big crowd getting behind them. 

“All the pressure will be on home players and we can go and play with a sense of freedom. The longer we keep a clean sheet, the more their crowd will get on their backs.”

Wrexham defender Manny Smith is again ruled out of Wrexham’s team because of injury, while James Jennings and Rekeil Pyke have late fitness tests.

Central defender Manny Smith is making progress from his knee injury and Ricketts says: “Manny should be mid-November time, six weeks now roughly.

“He is doing really well, no problems at all. He doesn’t have support on his knee, is walking fine, goes to the gym and is building that strength up.

“He is focused on letting the knee recover and trying to keep his fitness levels up at the same time.”

Smith was injured during Wrexham’s1-0 defeat at Solihull Moors on August 27 and Ricketts signed Jake Lawlor from Salford City after discovering the extent of Smith’s injury.

Wrexham AFC: (4-3-3), from: Lainton, Roberts, Pearson, Lawlor, Carrington, Wright, Summerfield, Walker, Young, Beavon, Holroyd, Fondop, Maguire-Drew, Rutherford, Dibble, Deverdics, Jennings, Pike.

Hawks, from: Dudzinski, Strugnell, Harris, Robinson P, Woodford, Tarbuck, Stock, Lewis, Sekajja, Robinson A, Kabamba, Rose, Pavey, Huggins, Cosgrave, Simpson, Young.

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A young Wrexham under-18s team crashed out of the FA Youth Cup, losing 3-2 at Chester City.

Sam Pilkington cancelled out Danny Edwards’ opener early in the second-half, but two Tom Ruffer headers sealed victory for the hosts despite Matt Sargent pulling one back late in the game.

Wrexham fielded a young side with only three second-year scholars available. Wrexham AFC: (4-2-3-1): Tinkley, Butler, Beaumont, Cleworth, Perry (Huxley 83), Thorn, Jones, Pilkington, Sargent, Robinson-Murray (Parry 83), Bickerstaff (Allshorn 77). Subs not used: Williams, Heald

Chester: (4-4-1-1): Gale, Butterworth, Ruffer (Dean 90), Macready (Lynch 87), Molyneux, Edwards, Noble, Crilly, Hayes, Cottrell (Kendrick 59), Marsh-Hughes. Subs not used: Rubin, Jones

Vanarama National League top 10

POS TEAM PL PTS
1 Salford City 14 30
2 Leyton Orient 14 29
3 Harrogate Town 14 29
4 Wrexham 14 28
5 Solihull Moors 14 28
6 Sutton United 14 26
7 AFC Fylde 14 25
8 Hartlepool United 14 24
9 Gateshead 14 23
10 FC Halifax Town 14 20

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