Sam’s London Birthday Treat – Daggers V Dragons

Wrexham's number one. Goalkeeper Rob Lainton. Pic: Getty Images.

Sam’s London Birthday Treat – Daggers V Dragons

Former Wales international Sam Ricketts is hoping for a belated birthday present from his Wrexham players in East London.

The Dragons’ manager celebrated his 37th birthday this week and takes his team on a long trip to take on Dagenham and Redbridge at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

That is the first of three successive away fixtures for Wrexham, who go to Harrogate in the Emirates FA Cup next Saturday and then Chesterfield in the league a week later.

Captain Shaun Pearson and his team are without a Vanarama National match at the Racecourse until Hartlepool visit North Wales at the end of October.

Wrexham have only scored twice in their last three matches, but they earned seven points from a possible nine thanks to wins against Barnet and Havant (both 1-0) plus a goalless draw at Harrogate.

Goalkeeper Rob Lainton has now kept 10 clean sheets and captain Shaun Pearson, who plays at the heart of defence, says: “I’m delighted personally and for the team by that tally, but three points from any game is always the critical factor.

“Our match against Havant last time out turned out to be a dogged 1-0, but we had six, seven or eight good chances.”

Dagenham assistant manager Terry Harris has warned Wrexham to expect a difficult match at Victoria Road, saying: “We know how to get at them.

“It will be tough, really tough. Wrexham are doing well and Sam Ricketts has a good team. But we know their strengths and weaknesses.”

Dagenham will look to 6ft 5ins centre-forward Shamir Mullins, signed on loan from Maidstone United, top cause problems for Wrexham captain Pearson and his fellow defenders.

Former Forest Green, Macclesfield and Havant striker Mullins has scored one goal in two appearances for the Daggers and Harris says: “When passes goes up to him the ball will stick. Shamir is a good addition to our squad.”

Rekeil Pyke, who started on the wing and then moved to centre-forward, scored Wrexham’s winner against Havant and Waterlooville, returning from injury to make his mark.

“It was great to be back,” the 21-year-old Huddersfield loanee told Wrexham AFC media. “I cut in on my right foot, tried to make space and hit it on target. I struck it sweetly and as I put my head up I know it was going in.”

Wrexham’s Luke Young, signed from Torquay United, says their back-to-back home wins will ensure they will travel to Dagenham with belief.

“Six points at home gives us confidence going into the next few fixtures,” said Young. “We go to Dagenham intending to be resilient, strong, stay in game and allow our quality to come through.”

Wrexham defender Manny Smith is again ruled out by injury, while James Jennings is being assessed.

Winger Jordan Maguire-Drew, who is certain to be in the Dragons’ match day squad, had a loan spell with the Essex hosts from Brighton in 2016-17 and scored 14 goals. 

The 21-year-old has three times in 11 starts for Wrexham.

The next six fixtures for Wrexham: 


Saturday 13 Dagenham and Redbridge v Wrexham

Saturday 20 Harrogate v Wrexham (FA Cup)

Saturday 27 Chesterfield v Wrexham

Tuesday 30 Wrexham v Hartlepool


Saturday 3 Wrexham v Gateshead

Saturday 17 Maidstone v Wrexham

Vanarama National League fixtures this Saturday, October 13, 3pm: AFC Fylde v Maidstone United, Boreham Wood v Maidenhead United, Bromley v Barrow, Dagenham & Redbridge v Wrexham, Eastleigh v Aldershot Town, Harrogate Town v Dover Athletic, Havant & Waterlooville v Gateshead, Leyton Orient v Hartlepool United, Salford City v Braintree Town, Solihull Moors v Ebbsfleet United, Sutton United v Barnet (postponed).

5.15pm: FC Halifax Town v Chesterfield.

Vanarama National League – top 10

1 Salford City 15 33
2 Leyton Orient 15 32
3 Harrogate Town 15 32
4 Wrexham 15 31
5 Solihull Moors 15 28
6 Hartlepool United 15 27
7 AFC Fylde 15 26
8 Gateshead 15 26
9 Sutton United 15 26
10 Eastleigh 15 23

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