Throughout the 2015/16 football season I will be contributing to the Wrexham AFC matchday programme. I will be penning a feature called Memory Match, a look back at classic Wrexham games from the past that I will share in this blog over the coming months.
Auto Windscreens Shield second round (Northern Section)
Wrexham v Bradford City
Wrexham: Marriott, Brace, Hardy, Hughes, Hunter, Jones (Phillips), Bennett, Owen, Connolly, Watkin, Durkan (Cross)
Goalscorers: Bennett (2, 14, 55), Watkin (17, 42), Owen (52)
Bradford City: Tomlinson, Huxford, Jacobs, Duxbury, Sinnott, Richards (Power), Shutt (Showler), Oliver, Taylor, Jewell, Murray
Goalscorer: Power (73)
Wrexham made an excellent start to the 1994/95 campaign after winning four and drawing two of their openings six matches. This was against all expectations as the team were tipped to struggle with bookmakers setting odds of 33-1 for the Robins to win the Second Division. Such steep prices were exceeded only by AFC Bournemouth ((50-1).
The three League games prior to this Auto Windscreens Shield clash had certainly been eventful and entertaining. A goal feast began with a 4-1 victory over Wycombe Wanderers – including a hat-trick from Gary Bennett – before a disastrous defeat by the same score at Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park that included two own goals. Bryan Hughes and Waynne Phillips were the culprits.
This dire display was followed by a Welsh derby against Swansea City at the Racecourse. The Swans were unbeaten in seven games but were swept aside 4-1 in north Wales thanks to a brace from Steve Watkin, in between efforts from Bryan Hughes and Gareth Owen. This exceptional performance was particularly impressive as manager Brian Flynn was unable to call on his trusted central defensive partnership of Tony Humes (suspension) and Barry Hunter (illness).
It was therefore with great confidence that we went into our midweek Football League Trophy encounter with Bradford City – a match in which Flynn recorded the biggest win of his fledgling managerial career.
The game was only two minutes old when Gary Bennett accepted a pinpoint through ball from Gareth Owen to slot past Paul Tomlinson in the Bradford goal.
The same duo combined for the second goal as Bennett headed home at the near post from Owen’s corner kick.
Steve Watkin then hit home a corner by Kieron Durkan, which had been missed by Tomlinson. This was to be Durkan’s final contribution to the evening as just minutes later he was caught by a late tackle and had to be replaced by Jonathon Cross.
Wrexham continued to outclass Bradford with long periods of attacking play and the fourth goal came when Bennett unselfishly crossed to Watkin who was left with an easy finish.
The second half was only seven minutes old when Owen continued the goal feast with a well placed effort.
Top scorer Bennett brought the season’s tally to 19 and completed his hat-trick after rifling home from a Connolly through ball. This was Psycho’s second treble of the season – his third was to come against Leyton Orient in January.
Bradford were in tatters, their small group of travelling fans giving ironic cheers every time they managed to mount an attack on the Wrexham goal. A double substitution by visiting boss Lennie Lawrence did improve matters slightly and with just 15 minutes left Lee Power managed a consolation.
Wrexham ruled supreme though and were given a deserved standing ovation as they left the field. Indeed, Racecourse regulars were being somewhat spoilt during this heady period as our next game was an FA Cup second round tie against Rotherham United, which we won 5-2 to set-up a third round clash against Premier League Ipswich Town.