Wrexham v FC Halifax Town: Opposition focus

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Wrexham could be vulnerable to crosses into the box for the visit of FC Halifax Town on Tuesday night, according to Rob Griffiths, sports writer from the North Wales Daily Post.

Halifax go into the game top of the National League after winning all three of their games so far against Ebbsfleet, Hartlepool and Dagenham and Redbridge.

They face a Wrexham side who have won once, drawn once and lost once so far this campaign.

Griffiths says their start to the season is perhaps best described as “frustrating”.

“After a battling, but in the end fully deserved, win on the opening day of the season over Barrow, Wrexham were caught out by a 93rd minute equaliser at Boreham Wood and a 91st minute winner for Dover on Saturday,” he said.

“They should have been out of sight at Boreham Wood, leading 2-0 with 10 minutes remaining and having spurned a glorious chance to add a third, while a first half red card to Bobby Grant while 1-0 up at Dover changed the game completely, and saw them having to defend for the entire second half - just unable to hold out in the end.”

Wrexham have conceded in all three of their games so far, with all five goals coming from crosses into the box.

“It is uncharacteristic for Wrexham to concede in this manner,” Griffiths said, “certainly given their defensive stability of the last two seasons, but it is alarming how the Dragons have shipped goals so far.”

Wrexham boss Bryan Hughes made eight new signings over the summer - one of which a season long loan.

“It might sound a lot, but in compared to recent seasons it has actually been a quiet summer,” said Griffiths.

“Hughes already had nine players on contract, while Grant exercised a clause in his deal to trigger an extra year, with the manager offering deals to seven of last season’s squad - only defender Kieran Kennedy turning it down and instead joining Port Vale.

“So while he has been busy to recruit, Hughes has also managed to keep the core of last season’s squad, which finished in fourth place, together.

“Mark Harris has been an impressive performer so far. The 20-year-old joined Wrexham on a season long loan from Cardiff City and has scored two goals in the opening three games.

“He has a great turn of speed and is a tricky player out wide on the left, and also has an eye for goal.”

When asked what can Halifax expect to come up against on Tuesday, Griffiths said: “Wrexham like to play football, they like to get the ball down and move it quickly, especially at home where the excellent pitch at the Racecourse lends it to that.

“However, they do also have the ability to play long with striker JJ Hooper a nightmare for defenders with his power and pace, while the Dragons also employ quite a high line and have plenty of players ready to add support.”

Hughes revealed after Saturday’s game at Dover that he was considering appealing Bobby Grant’s red card, feeling his coming together with Lee Worgan didn’t warrant violent conduct despite describing the players’ actions as “petulant” and having “lost his rag”.

“In terms of injuries Wrexham travelled to Kent with only 17 fit players, and have just allowed two highly rated youngsters to head out on loan,” Griffiths said.

“So far Hughes had employed a 4-2-3-1 formation, something he tried once in pre-season and liked.

“If the club do win their appeal against Grant’s red card then the chances are he could keep with the system and indeed even the exact personnel that started in Saturday’s loss.

“If they lose an appeal, if indeed they do go ahead with one, then Jazzi Barnum-Bobb will come in for his debut (he is he 17th man who has missed out from the squad in the last three games) and it could even mean a switch to a 3-4-3 line-up that was also looked at in the summer.”

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