I have supported Wrexham since the 1960's when my father used to take me to The Racecourse Ground, in the days of Albert Kinsey, Dave Gaskell, Dave Powell and many others. We sat in the old wooden Mold Road stand.
It really saddens me to think of their current plight in the Blue Square Premier League. 
I have pleasure here in featuring one of the most memorable season's in the club's history - 1977/78 - Third Division Champions, having come so very close under John Neal the previous season.

If you have any Wrexham memories you'd like to share, please contact me on mail@penmon.org

 


WREXHAM
ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL CLUB
1977 / 78



WREXHAM .F.C.,
THE RACECOURSE GROUND, WREXHAM, LL1 2AN
Telephone: 2414
(European Cup Winners' Cup, Quarter Finalists 1975-76)

President; W.B.N. Kington, T.D.

Chairman: F.J. Tomlinson

Vice-Chairman: Geoffrey Morris

Directors;
Messers. T.H. Dodd, R.E.A.Clark
A.W. Gaade, A. Morris,
H.G. Phillips, W.P. Griffiths


Mr F.J. Tomlinson

Manager; Arfon Griffiths, MBE.     Secretary: Norman Wilson
Player Coach: Mel Sutton         Commercial Manager: Reg Slater
Club Doctor: Dr. Doug. Jones
Vice-Presidents: Frank Wellum, Harold Evans, Dr. Wesley Hill  

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
WELSH CUP WINNERS
F.A. CUP QUARTER FINALISTS
FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP QUARTER FINALISTS
YOUTH TEAM ; WELSH YOUTH CUP WINNERS 

WREXHAM SQUAD 1977 / 78

Signed

Player

Left Club

15.11.1958
20.08.1966
24.02.1968
03.10.1970
01.05.1971
29.08.1971
01.01.1972
12.08.1972
23.01.1974
04.01.1975
22.03.1975
26.04.1975
29.11.1975
21.08.1976
21.08.1976
18.12.1976
13.08.1977
22.08.1977
24.09.1977
24.09.1977
21.03.1978
03.05.1978
03.05.1978
13.05.1978

Arfon Griffiths
Mickey Evans
Gareth Davis
Billy Ashcroft
Graham Whittle
Brian Lloyd
Mickey Thomas
Mel Sutton
Alan Dwyer
Alan Hill
John Lyons
Mike Williams
Stuart Lee
John Roberts
Bobby Shinton
Wayne Cegielski
Les Cartwright
Eddie Niedzwiecki
Dai Davies
Dixie McNeil
Peter Williams
Steve Buxton
Steve Kenworthy
Phil Larkin

18.12.1978
26.12.1978
30.10.1982
27.08.1977
15.11.1980
20.08.1977
14.11.1992
06.03.1981
04.05.1981
17.05.1983
17.05.1979
30.04.1977
17.01.1978
03.05.1980
17.05.1979
15.05.1982
07.11.1981
17.05.1983
24.02.1987
10.12.1985
31.03.1981
03.02.1990
18.03.1980
18.05.1978

GOALKEEPERS

Brian Lloyd

Eddie Niedzwiecki

Dai Davies

Rhyl
Stockport County
Southend
Wrexham
Chester
Port Vale
Stockport County
Bangor City
Colwyn Bay
Brymbo

Wrexham
Chelsea







Ammanford Town
Swansea Town
Everton
Wrexham
Swansea City
Tranmere Rovers
Bangor City
Wrexham

DEFENDERS 

Alan Dwyer 

Mickey Evans

Alan Hill

 Halewood YC
Wrexham
Chesterfield
Leicester City
Stockport County
Bangor City
Oswestry Town
Runcorn
Chirk AAA
Lex XI

 Caersws
Wolves
Wrexham
Caersws (Manager)





Wrexham
Oswestry Town
 







 

 

 

Gareth Davis

John Roberts

Wayne Cegielski

Llandudno Town
Colwyn Bay
Wrexham
Lex XI







Abercynon Athletic
Swansea Town
Northampton Town
Arsenal
Birmingham City
Wrexham
Hull City
Oswestry Town


Tottenham Hotspur
Northampton Town
VfB Stuttgart
Tacoma Tides
Wrexham
Port Vale
Blackpool
Hereford United
Umes
Worcester City
Northwich Victoria

MIDFIELD 

Mel Sutton

Mickey Thomas

Aston Villa
Cardiff
Wrexham
Crewe Alex















Wrexham
Manchester Utd
Everton
Brighton
Stoke City
Chelsea
West Brom
Derby County
Witchita Wings
Shrewsbury Town
Leeds United
Stoke City
Wrexham
Brymbo
Inter Cardiff
Porthmadog
Buckley Town
Mochdre
Amlwch Town

 

 

Arfon Griffiths

Les Cartwright

Wrexham
Arsenal
Wrexham
Seattle Sounders
Gresford Athletic



Coventry City
Wrexham
Bangor City
Cambridge United
Southend
Worcester City
Coventry Sporting
Nuneaton Borough

FORWARDS 

 Bobby Shinton

Graham Whittle 

Dixie McNeil

 Lye Town
Walsall
Cambridge United
Wrexham
Manchester City
Millwall
Newcastle United
Millwall
Worcester City
Weymouth
Malvern Town

Wrexham
Bangor City
Oswestry Town
Caersws






 

 Holwell Works
Leicester City
Exeter City
Corby Town
Northampton Town
Lincoln City
Hereford United
Wrexham
Hereford United


 

 

 

Stuart Lee

Billy Ashcroft

John Lyons 

 Bolton Wanderers
Stockport County
Wrexham
Manchester City
Portland Timbers
Los Angeles Lazers
St' Louis Steamboats
Tampa Bay Rowdies

Wrexham
Middlesbrough
Twente Enschede
Tranmere Rovers
Cheshire Lions


 

Wrexham
Bangor City
Millwall
Cambridge United
Colchester United

A tribute to
John Lyons
appears at the bottom of this page

Steve Kenworthy, Peter Williams and Steve Buxton (sub)
played in the last league game
 

But first, an introduction to
the closing stages of the
1976/77 season

No Wrexham fan, or any other football supporter, can really appreciate what promotion in the 1977/78 season meant to the club, had they not endured the pain and bitter disappointment of having failed the previous season.
For just a few minutes, against Crystal Palace at home, with the score at 2v2, Wrexham looked like securing the point they needed to clinch promotion.
Then the ball went out of the ground,  with only a couple of minutes remaining.
We were there, virtually promoted to the second division, with a final home game against Mansfield remaining to celebrate further ............ or were we? 
Lets go back to the 2nd April 1977, with 2 points for a win in those days, and play out the rest of the 1976/77 season.
Wrexham had just lost 2v0 at Gillingham.

Top of Div 3
as at 2.4.77
Pl Pts

Brighton & H.A.

36

48

Rotherham Utd

35

48

Mansfield Town

36

47

Wrexham

35

45

Preston

36

44


8th April. The Easter holiday started in fine style for Wrexham as they beat Chester 2v1 with goals from Lee and Whittle at Sealand Road, and climbed to third place, with 47 points from 36 games,  as none of the top three, before kick off had a game to play.

9th April. A fine home victory against Preston by 2v0 kept the pressure on the top clubs with Whittle scoring both goals. Brighton remained top with with a 1v0 victory at Gillingham, Mansfield climbed to second with a fine 4v1 win at Port Vale. Wrexham still third, but on goal difference.

12th April. Wrexham secured a further point in a goal-less draw at York, remaining in third place with 50 points from 38 games.

16th April. Billy Ashcroft returned from injury to help Wrexham to a shaky 3v2 victory against bottom club Grimsby Town, by netting the home side's first goal. The Robins went on to win by 3v2 with Whittle adding a brace of goals. Mansfield lost at Reading and Brighton suffered  a defeat at Walsall. 

18th April. Wrexham became joint league leaders, but second on goal difference on the 18th April, when they beat Rotherham 2v1 - the visitors themselves were not far off the promotin spots. Whittle and Ashcroft scored the goals. Brighton top, 54 points from 40, Wrexham were the same, and Mansfield were a point behind on the same number of games.

23rd of April and the Robins kept the pressure on the top with a fine 2v0 away victory at Peterborough, with goals from Whittle and Shinton. Brighton also enjoyed a victory at home to Port Vale 1v0 and stay leaders. Mansfield kept in touch with the top, despite a 2v2 draw at home to Gillingham.

Rumours abound that Wrexham manager John Neal is tipped for the Middlesborough top job, replacing Jack Charlton. Bob Stokoe is also in the frame.



Manager John Neal summarised everyone's thoughts
in his programme notes for the Brighton and Hove Albion match
on the 30th April 1977

Magic is a new word which has crept into the soccer vocabulary but it cetainly sums up our six games in 15 days which produced 11 out of 12 points to put us really and truly into the Division Three championship race.

Everyone is talking about Wrexham F.C. and the ticket bookings for our remaining home games against Crystal Palace and Mansfield have been incredible. All the stand tickets for today's game were snapped up within two hours of the office opening on Monday.

Wrexham has been promised Second Division football for a long time and now it is within our grasp. We have put a good run together at the right time and it is now in our own hands. The town is buzzing with excitement and I, along with the lads, feel proud that the club's form this season has brought about this great revival.

We beat Brighton 2v0 on their ground earlier in the season. No doubt Manager Alan Mullery and his boys will be looking for revenge in today's encounter, which should be played in front of our biggest league game for a long time.

The Promotion Chase
Wrexham had five games to go,
three of them at home,
where the Robins remained unbeaten in the league.
In the frame were:
 

Top of Div 3
23.4.77
Pl Pts

 Max

Brighton & H.A.

42

57

 65

Wrexham

41

56

 66

Mansfield Town

42

56

 64

Crystal Palace

41

51

 61

Rotherham Utd

41

51

 61

Top three to get promoted, with two points for a win.
Wrexham were looking a safe bet to go up.
Their fate lay in their own hands,
with most games against their promotion rivals;
Brighton (home), Crystal Palace (away), Oxford Utd (away), 
Crystal Palace (home) and finally Mansfield (home)
  

Wrexham  (0) 0 v 0 (0) Brighton
Pressure at the top
tells on Wrexham

Tense Wrexham could not stop Brighton, managed by Alan Mullery, from taking a vital point from one of their promotion rivals. Neither side wanted to lose this game.
Wrexham struggled on their bumby Racecourse Ground as Brighton went for both points. The visitors were sound in defence and left little opportunity for Wrexham's freescoring strikers to find the net.
Both keepers made valuable saves to keep their sides in the game. Wrexham's Lloyd in particular was dependable, got on with the job after finger tipping a Steve Piper shot onto the crossbar. Lloyd did most to keep the scoreline blank.

Results;
Port Vale 4 v 1 Crystal Palace
-------------
Chesterfield 0 v 2 Crystal Palace
Swindon 0 v 1 Mansfield
Walsall 0 v 1 Rotherham
Wrexham 0 v 0 Brighton
 

Top of Div 3
30.4.77

Pl Pts

 Max

Brighton & H.A. 43 58

 64

Mansfield Town 43 58

 64

Wrexham 42 57

 65

Crystal Palace 43 53

 59

Rotherham Utd 42 53

 61

Wrexham need 5 points from 4 games to secure promotion

Crystal Palace  (2) 2 v 1 (1)  Wrexham
Wrexham slip up 

Outsiders Crystal Palace kept their hopes alive with a fine victory at Selhurst Park, but they must also win their final game of the season at The Racecourse.
Wrexham made a dream start when Stuart Lee centred for Mel Sutton to put the Robins ahead. However two strikes by Palace midway through the first half, turned the tables on the Welshmen. Hinchelwood scored from the spot and Swindlehurst got the second, when his 20 yard shot took a deflection into the net.
Ashcroft had a goal disallowed
Manager John Neal said "The referee left a lot to be desired, but it was a good game. I'm disappointed to lose but I still fancy our chances. It's up to us now."

Results;
Mansfield 2 v 0 Portsmouth
-------------
Brighton 3 v 2 Sheffield Wednesday
Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Wrexham
Rotherham 1 v 2 Reading

Top of Div 3
3.5.77

Pl Pts

 Max

Brighton & H.A. 44 60

 64

Mansfield Town 44 60

 64

Wrexham 43 57

 63

Crystal Palace 44 55

 59

Rotherham Utd 43 53

 59

Wrexham need 3 points from 3 games to secure promotion

Oxford Utd  (2) 2 v 2 (2)  Wrexham
One point is all
that's needed

Wrexham moved a point nearer promotion with this draw at Oxford. Midfield maestro Arfon Griffiths was again unable to play through injury.
Oxford took the lead when a Mickey Thomas clearance cannoned off defender John Roberts in the 3rd minute. The ball landed at the feet of Peter Foley who lobbed the ball into the net.
Shinton levelled the scores with fine control and slotted the ball past keeper Burton. Burton saved a Whittle effort before Jeffrey crossed into Wrexham's defensive area, only for full back Alan Dwyer to head into his own goal, giving the home side a 2v1 lead.
Ashcroft levelled the scores on 31 minutes with a powerful header from Thomas' cross.
Wrexham seemed to take on more of a defensive role in the second half and the scores finished level.
Manager John Neal; "We didn't play in the second half. We were between the devil and the deep blue sea. If we can't get that one point from our two home games this week, then we don't deserve to go up."

Results;
Crystal Palace 4 v 1 Lincoln
Mansfield 3 v 0 Northampton
Oxford Utd 2 v 2 Wrexham
Rotherham 1 v 0 Gillingham

Top of Div 3
7.5.77
Pl Pts

 Max

Mansfield Town 45 62

 64

Brighton & H.A. 44 60

 64

Wrexham 44 58

 62

Crystal Palace 45 57

 59

Rotherham Utd 44 55

 59

Wrexham need 1 points from 2 games to secure promotion

Wrexham  (0) 2 v 4 (1) Crystal Place
Quick one-two sends
Wrexham hopes crashing

A devastating two goals in the last 2 minutes were a mighty blow to Wrexham's promotion chances as Palace had to win their last game of the season and hope Wrexham would fail against Mansfield, inthier final match.
Palace took the lead on 27 minutes when Swindlehurst couldn't fail to score from close range.
Then just a couple of minutes into the second half, the unbelievable happened - Palace went 2v0 up as Barry Silkman crossed for Steve Perrin to score from close range.
All out attack was then the order of the day for the Reds. On 65 minutes, Whittle gave the home crowd some hope with his 28th league goal of the season. John Lyons appeared to have saved the day some 9 minutes later as he lobbed a header into the Palace net, 2v2. Wrexham had got the point they needed - they just had to hold on.
With two minutes left, the ball was cleared away and went out of the ground.
Kenny Sansom took a long throw in, which reached Rachid Harkouk who netted with a spectacular overhead kick from 6 yards out.
But it didn't end there - a minute later, Palace went 4v2 up as Bourne flipped the ball over keeper Lloyd, to give the visitors the 2 points they needed and nudge themselves into the final promotion place, at Wrexham's cost. One game left, and a must win for Wrexham!

Results;
Reading 0 v 3 Rotherham
Wrexham 2 v 4 Crystal Palace

Top of Div 3
11.5.77
Pl Pts

 Max

Mansfield Town 45 62

 64

Brighton & H.A. 45 60

 62

Crystal Palace 46 59

 59

Wrexham 45 58

 60

Rotherham Utd 45 57

 59

Wrexham need 2 points from 1 game to secure promotion

Wrexham  (0) 0 v 1 (0) Mansfield
So much effort,
but the door stays closed

It was to have been the greatest day in Wrexham's history - two points would see Wrexham in the Second Division - but it was not to be!
The Robins created enough chances to have won the game by half-time despite the absence of Arfon Griffiths in midfield.
Visitors keeper Arnold saved magnificently from an Ashcroft header on 34 minutes,  and just before half time, Ashcroft shot well wide with the goal at his mercy.
Wrexham went for it in the second half; Lyons  blazed a 25 yarder just wide; Ashcroft went close again;  a penalty appeal for handball for the Reds was turned down; a Whittle overhead shot was saved; he hooked another just over in the 76th minute; Sutton squared a freekick to Whittle, whose 25 yarder came back off the post.
Wrexham ran to the last, but time was running out and their commitment to all out attack caught them short as Ernie Moss managed to knock in a goal to beat the home side and send Mansfield - and many Crystal Palace fans, who had turned up to support the visitors - into a frenzy.
   

Results;
Chesterfield 1 v 1 Brighton
Port Vale 1 v 4 Rotherham Utd
Wrexham 0 v 1 Mansfield

Top of Div 3
14.5.77
Pl Pts

 

Mansfield Town 46 64

 Champions

Brighton & H.A. 46 61

 Promoted

Crystal Palace 46 59

 Promoted

Rotherham Utd 46 59

 

Wrexham 46 58

 Gutted !

John Neal left Wrexham to manage Middlesborough.
His assistant Arfon Griffiths took over the reins at
The Racecourse Ground,
and another challenge for promotion.


WREXHAM A.F.C. 1977/78

Back row; John Lyons, Dixie McNeil, Mel Sutton, Tony Larkin
Middle row; Bobby Shinton, Wayne Cegielski, John Roberts, Alan Hill, Dai Davies,
Eddie Neidzwiecki, Steve Kenworthy, Les Cartwright, George Showell
Front row; Alan Dwyer, Stuart Lee, Mike Thomas, Arfon Griffiths,
Gareth Davis, Graham Whittle, Mike Williams, Mickey Evans

   1977 / 78  WREXHAM
LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
FIXTURES
(in the order of games played)

 

Opponents
Home Away


 

Opponents
Home Away

Aug 20
Aug 22
Aug 27
Sep 3
Sep 10
Sep 12
Sep 17
Sep 24
Sep 28

Oct 1
Oct 3
Oct 8
Oct 15
Oct 22
Oct 29

Nov 5
Nov 12
Nov 19
Dec 3
Dec 10
Dec 26
Dec 27
Dec 31

..................

Shrewsbury
Oxford
Port Vale

Peterborough
Portsmouth
Tranmere
Chesterfield

Swindon
Chester
Lincoln
Cambridge

Exeter
Sheffied W

Walsall
Bury
Plymouth

Preston
Colchester
Rotherham
Hereford
Bradford City

Carlisle
Plymouth

........................


 ........

Jan2
Jan14
Feb4
Feb11
Feb21
Mar1
Mar4
Mar6
Mar14
Mar18
Mar24
Mar25
Mar27
Apr1
Apr3
Apr8
Apr11
Apr15
Apr22
Apr25
Apr29
May1
May3
.............
Gillingham
Shrewsbury

Portsmouth
Chesterfield
Lincoln
Oxford
Exeter
Tranmere

Swindon
Walsall
Bury
Bradford C
Carlisle
Gillingham

Chester
Preston

Port Vale
Colchester

Rotherham
Cambridge
Hereford

Peterborough
Sheffield W
..................


Copyright Historical Football Kits
are reproduced by kind permission

FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP
1st Round 1st Leg
13th August 1977

WREXHAM  
 (1)  1v0  (0)
STOCKPORT COUNTY

 

Pre-match;
Transfer listed at his own request, Billy Ashcroft, valued at £120,000 will play. Former manager John Neal is keen to sign him at Middlesbough. Out are Griffiths and Evans who is suspended. Fitness doubt on Dwyer.
 

UNHAPPY ARFON THANKS LLOYD


Ashcroft hammers home the winner.

Match Report;
Keeper Brian Lloyd kept Wrexham ahead with two fine saves at the end. Wrexham had most of the play, missed many chances and hit the woodwork twice. Two penalty appeals for fouls on Mickey Thomas were also turned down.
Ashcroft scored the only goal of the match, having been put through by Shinton in the 40th minute. A disappointing performance overall against the 4th division side, who improved as the game progressed.

  FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP
1st Round 2nd Leg
18th August 1977

 

STOCKPORT COUNTY  
(0)  1v1  (0)
WREXHAM
Wrexham win 2v1 on aggregate

 
Pre-match;
 Griffiths likely to be on the subs bench, Evans still suspended.

WREXHAM THROUGH DESPITE LATE SHOCK

Match Report;
The home side put Wrexham through their paces in the first half with a spirited performance. Shinton and Ashcroft came close to scoring. Wrexham's goal came from Whittle, who headed in a rebound off the bar following a smart turn and shot from Ashcroft. Griffiths, coming on as substitute, deflected a County shot past Lloyd into his own net in the last minute. Wrexham through to the next round, where they will meet Charlton Athletic at The Valley.

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
20th August 1977.

 

SHREWSBURY TOWN  
(1) 2 v 1 (1)
WREXHAM

 

 

Pre-match;
Whittle with a broken ankle and new £40,000 signing Cartwright injured miss the opening game. Griffiths names a squad of 13 as Wrexham kick off the 1977/78 season following last season's bitter disappointment..

OWN-GOAL SHATTERS WREXHAM


Billy pokes it home!

Wrexham keeper Brian Lloyd's own goal gave Shrewsbury the points on the opening day with 7 minutes remaining, as he punched a clearance into his own net.
A bizarre goal by Ashcoft gave the Robins the lead on 30 minutes. He fell in a heap with a Shrewsbury defender and their keeper on the penalty spot, stuck out his leg to effectively roll the ball into an empty net.
Lloyd failed to control a Graham Turner header just before half time, and the home side were level. 
Despite losing, Wrexham were in good form with Shinton, Ashcroft and Lee up front and outstanding Thomas and Roberts behind them
.

League form; L                           Position; N/.A        .

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
22nd August 1977

WREXHAM  
(1) 2 v 2 (1)
   OXFORD UNITED

 

Pre-match;
Ashcroft doubtful after injury, but plays.  Whittle and Cartwright still on injury list. Mickey Evans back as sub after his suspension. Niedzwiecki in line for debut in place of Lloyd in goal. Ashcroft likely to leave the club.

POOR REWARD FOR LEE AND WREXHAM

Twice behind, the Robins fight back for a draw. Spirited performance sees the home side hit the woodwork four times. Lee came close to scoring many times.
Ex Robin David Fogg put the visitors ahead with a 25 yard  screamer. Shinton heade Wrexham level on 36 mins following good work by Thomas and Dwyer.
However Oxford regained the lead on 64 mins when Foley headed in from Seacole's cross. Roberts squared matters on 75 mins  when he blasted the ball home from a corner.
Wrexham maintained the pressure but could not snatch the winner. A point lost at home. Another rousing performance, but how did they concede two goals when they dominated so much?
 

League form; LD                           Position; N/.A

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
27August 1977

         WREXHAM  
           (1) 1 v 1 (1)  
        PORT VALE

 

Pre-match;
Ashcroft set to play his last game for Wrexham before a big money move to first division outfit, Middlesborough. Replacement target's club unwilling to sell. Young Niedzwiecki keeps his place in goal. Cartwright set for debut. 

TRY-AGAIN WREXHAM OUT OF LUCK

Match Report;
Weak finishing and bad passing cost Wrexham victory. The team is way behind the form they showed last season. Shinton went close before Ken Beamish put Vale ahead, leaving Niedzwiecki helpless. Ashcroft then hit the bar from a Thomas cross. Right back Connaughton was booked for diving to palm away a Shinton header, and Griffiths netted from the spot to level the scores. 
Les Carwright had a useful debut having signed from Coventry. Neither side could add to their goal tallies - another point dropped by WrexhaM.

League form; LDD                           Position; 16th    .

  FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP
2nd Round
30th August 1977

CHARLTON ATHLETIC  
(0)  1v2  (0)
WREXHAM

 
 
Pre-match;
Stuart Lee replaces transferred Ashcroft. Manager Griffiths states their problem is not scoring goals. Wrexham hope to knock out another First Division club, as they did with Leicester and Spurs last season.

DRAMA AS WREXHAM MARCH ON

Match Report;
Two goals in the last ten minutes saw Wrexham through to the next round at the Valley. They played neat, superbly organised football with Davis and Roberts  at the back thwarting normally free scoring Charlton. Shinton, Lee and Cartwright came close in the first half and Lee should have netted early in the second. Flannagan put the home side ahead on 65th minute with a penalty when Roberts sent Abraham flying in the box. Wrexham came level with a magnificent piece of play by Shinton, who lobbed the ball over a line of five Charlton defenders, catching keeper Wood off his line.
Shortly after that, Roberts put a through ball to Cegielski, but Smith intercepted and slid the ball into his own net, to give Wrexham a deserved lead.
Charlton manager Andy Nelson said that Wrexham had his side on the rack from start to finish. He was only glad that Wrexham are not in their division. You have to really hold your hands up to them the way they dominated the game. 
Wrexham are drawn at home to another First Division side, Bristol City in the 3rd round
  .


  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
3rd September 1977

 

PETERBOROUGH UNITED  
(0) 2v2 (1)
WREXHAM

 
Pre-match; Alan Hill replaces Micky Evans at full back, the latter having failed a fitness test, Whittle also missing through injury.

SUPER SHOW - THEN ARFON'S BOYS SLIP

Match Report;
Another league match without a win, which actually looked on the cards on the 68th minute, when Bobby Shinton scored his second goal, giving the Robins a 2v0 lead.
His first was a 20 yard cracker into the corner of the net on 14 minutes. Wrexham were impressive in the first half with Arfon Griffiths playing a major role. The defence was sound. Wrexham continued on top in the second half with Lee and Sutton coming close to scoring.
Shinton added his second when he slipped a left footed shot past the keeper.
Peterborough fought back within a minute when veteran Tommy Robson headed home, and Turner pulled them level following good work from Turner. Only sound tackling by Davies and Roberts saved the day for Wrexham.
At times, the visitors showed signs of being able to chase promotion again this season
.

League form; LDDD                           Position; 16th
1 Colchester Utd  Pl 5  8pts
2 Exeter City        Pl 4  7pts
3 Bury Town        Pl 4  7pts
4 Swindon Town  Pl 5  7pts

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
10th September 1977

WREXHAM  
(2) 2v0 (0)
   PORTSMOUTH

 
Pre-match; Evans still doubtful as the Robins hope for a first win of the season.

SHINTON MAKES ARFON'S PLAN TICK


Shinton's disallowed goal

Match Report; Two goals in an eight minute spell in the first half sealed this confidence boosting victory for Wrexham. Man of the match Shinton gave Wrexham the lead on 30 miniutes, from an Alan Dwyer free kick which was headed back from John Roberts to Stuart Lee who nodded it to Shinton to net his fifth of the season.
Another free kick saw Cartwright back heel the ball to Gareth Davis who netted well.
Niedzwiecki in goal had an exceptional game in difficult weather conditions and the back four  was solid throughout.

League form; LDDDW                           Position; 10th

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
12th September 1977

TRANMERE ROVERS  
(1) 3v1 (0)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Thomas doubtful, but Evans and Sutton (who took a kick on a calf muscle) are likely to be fit.                                                                            .

RAMPANT ROVERS WRECK WREXHAM


Davis and Evans look on as Moore beats Niedzwicki

Match Report; Tranmere climb to second place with four wins out of five matches after this victory. Tynan put the home side ahead on 13 minutes with a clever move involving Philpotts, Peplow and Ronnie Moore.
Evans put Tranmere further ahead four minutes into the scond half following a one-two between him neat and Moore. Six minutes from time, Peplow added a third, cleverly rounding two defenders before slotting the ball home.
Shinton scored a consilation goal for the visitors in the final minute with a fine 20 yard drive.
Despite this defeat, Wrexham again produced good work during the match, without getting any reward
.

League form; LDDDWL                           Position; 11th

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
17th September 1977

CHESTERFIELD   
(1) 1v0 (0)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Player manager Arfon Griffiths drops himself and Stuart Lee from the line up following their last defeat. Graham Whittle returns for his first game of the season. Hill plays full back in place of Evans who turns out at midfield. Teenager Niedzwiecki keeps his place. Wrexham won the corresponding fixture 6v0 last season.
Hereford United have agreed to sell their leading scorer Dixie McNeil to Wrexham for £60,000.

WREXHAM TRIERS MISS THE POINT

Match Report;
A penalty conceded on 18 minutes by Alan Hill put paid to Wrexham's hopes of a second league win. They should at least have taken away a point. The Robins had looked impressive with chances from Shinton and Sutton.
Ogrizovic in  Chesterfield's goal was on form, particularly during a second half spell. Whittle on his return, added fire to the Wrexham attack, but Griffith's must be praying that his bid for McNeil of Hereford goes through today, as Wrexham hover just above the relegation positions.

League form; LDDDWLL                           Position; 18th   Pl 7  5 pts
1 Chesterfield  Pl 7  10 pts
2 Colchester    Pl 7   9pts
3 Bury Town   Pl 6   9pts
4 Tranmere     Pl 6   9pts
 

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
24th September 1977

WREXHAM  
(1) 2v1 (0)
   SWINDON TOWN

 

Pre-match; Arfon Griffiths parades two new signings for today's home game. Dixie McNeil of Hereford is joined by former Evertonian and current Welsh International keeper, Dai Davies. Griffiths is optimistic that his team will again be in the promotion reckoning soon. Thomas returns to midfield having played for Wales against Kuwait in mid week.

ARFON AFFORDS A £70,000 WINNING SMILE


Dixie's debut delight! 1v0 against Swindon!

Match Report;
Debutants McNeil and Davies make a big confidence boosting difference in a fine win over 6th placed Swindon Town. 8,002 supporters saw McNeil open the scoring on 17 minutes following a fine move involving Sutton and Thomas. He then laid on Wrexham's second for Whittle after 57 minutes. Davies produced a world class save. Moss scored a consolation goal for the visitors and Sutton could could have given the home a side a third. Wrexham fought for every ball in a nerve tingling and absorbing match.

League form; LDDDWLLW                           Position; 15th Pl 8  7 pts
1 Colchester Utd  Pl 8  10pts
2 Oxford United   Pl 8  10pts
3 Tranmere Rvrs  Pl 7  10 pts
4 Shrewsbury T   Pl 8  10 pts

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
28th September 1977

CHESTER CITY  
(1) 1v1 (1)
WREXHAM

 
Pre-match; Keeper Brian Lloyd has attracted interest from Chester, Gillingham and Northampton Town, since the arrival of Dai Davies. John Lyons and Mike Williams sign for Bangor City on loan.


Chester City programme cover courtesy of Alan Davies

STALEMATE! DRAB RIVALS FAIL TO INSPIRE IN 'DERBY'.


Davies thwarts a Chester attack
Match Report;
Plenty of mistakes and bad passing summed up this poor derby - the worst at Sealand Road for years. Whittle put the Robins ahead on 18 minutes following a  lob from Cartwright, but allowed the home side back into the game nine minutes later, when Bob Delgado nodded in a simple goal. Chester had two chances in the second half to go in front, but failed. Shinton headed over from a Thomas corner and Whittle hit the bar with a header.
A forgetable match. Lloyd signs for Chester for £6,000 after just one game this season
League form; LDDDWLLWD                           Position; 15th

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
1st October 1977

WREXHAM  
(0) 1v0 (0)
LINCOLN CITY

 
Pre-match; Wrexham hope to field their most expensive team this season, following the signings of Dixie McNeil and Dai Davies this week. Manager Arfon Griffiths names himself as substitute.

GRIFFITHS' MAGIC
SWINGS IT WREXHAM'S WAY

Match Report;
Despite facing a fierce wind, Wrexham produced most of the attacking play, in what was a poor first half. Griffiths made all the difference when he came on early in the second half, releasing Mickey Thomas to the left wing.
Two corners and a free kick in quick succession paid off, despite Lincoln's frantic defensive efforts, as a Shinton jab, resulted in the ball going in off the post to give the Robins the lead on 63 minutes.
A second goal was disallowed six minutes from time when Lincoln's keeper was adjudged to have been fouled seconds before McNeil netted the ball.
 
  League form; LDDDWLLWDW                          Position; 11th      .

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
3rd October 1977

WREXHAM  
(1) 4v1 (1)
     CAMBRIDGE UNITED

 
Pre-match; Wrexham are likely to name Mickey Thomas as substitute for tonight's game against Cambridge, who are just a point behind them, with a game in hand.

ARFON'S BIG BUYS TURN ON THE STYLE

Match Report;
New boys McNeil and Cartwright were the stars in their biggest win of the season so far. Wrexham took the lead on 15 minutes thanks to an own goal, following a Whittle back head from a Davis centre, which was bungled over the line. This was just rewards following a lot of early Wrexham pressure. However Biley levelled the scores ten minutes before half time.
McNeil hit two goals in a devastating start to the second half, in which Cartwight was outstanding. Evans netted one in between McNeil's brace of goals.
Cambridge manager, Ron Atkinson summed up his feelings, saying "If Wrexham go on like that, they'll win the Third Division by a mile." 
         .
League form; LDDDWLLWDWW                          Position; 7th      
 

   LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
8th October 1977

EXETER CITY  
(0) 0 v 1 (0)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Arfon sticks with the players who defeated Cambridge and extended their unbeaten run to four games. Alan Hill added to squad - still no place for Mickey Thomas. Possible ground developments could mean a new stand at The Racecourse. 

WREXHAM GRAB LATE WINNER

Match Report; 
Former Exeter player, Dixie McNeil's header from Shinton's cross, found the net a minute from time to secure 2 points for the Robins, after 20 minutes of sustained pressure on the home side's goal.
Exeter had failed to capitalise on a good first half performance by finding the net and Roberts cleared off the line early in the second half.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWW                          Position; 5th 
1 Gillingham   Pl 11 Pts 15
2 Shrewsbury Pl 12 Pts 15
3 Colchester   Pl 12 Pts 14
4 Tranmere     Pl 11 Pts 14
5 Wrexham    Pl 12  Pts 14
    


  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
15th October 1977

WREXHAM  
(1) 1 v 1 (1)
   SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

 
Pre-match; Mickey Thomas returns as Wrexham pile on the pressure near the top of the league. Wednesday currently prop the league up at 24th place, with Jackie Charlton their new manager.

THRILL A MINUTE BUT WREXHAM PAY THE PENALTY


Shinton's soaring equaliser!

Match Report; 
Referee John Hough was booed off the field after an incident packed match.
Tom Tynan had given the visitors the lead after eight minutes, but Shinton equalised 30 seconds later from an Alan Dwyer cross. Saves and the woodwork prevent Shinton scoring more with Thomas and Davis almost finding the net.
A Mickey Thomas goal was disallowed and a penalty awarded instead when the Welsh midfielder was brought down in the box. Griffiths took the spot kick which was saved as keeper Turner moved off his line early. A Wednesday player had also encroached in the box. McNeil and Dwyer were booked for remonstrating with the referee and Dwyer was later sent off. A point dropped in front of 9,145 spectators.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWD                         Position; 4th
1 Tranmere    Pl 12 Pts 16
2 Gillingham   Pl 13 Pts 16
3 Colchester  Pl 13 Pts 15
4 Wrexham    Pl 13 Pts 15
5 Shrewsbury Pl 13 Pts 15

 

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
22nd October 1977

WALSALL  
(0) 0 v 1 (1)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Arfon Griffiths and Alan Dwyer miss out on today's game - injury and suspension respectively. Late fitness test for Mickey Thomas and Les Carwright. Mike Williams and John Lyons called back from their loan spell at Bangor. Stuart Lee may play up front following a hat-trick for the reserves.

MASTERLY BOBBY GIVES WALSALL FANS THE BLUES

Match Report; 
Former Walsall star Shinton, masterminded this Wrexham victory with his speed and control. He laid on a 24th minute goal for a Dixie McNeil header.
Wrexham were in full control against mid-table Walsall, who had a goal disallowed, although the Robins were not quite so impressive in the second half. Former Liverpool striker Alun Evans could have levelled the score but his header was weak.
Wrexham extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDW                         Position; 4th
1 Tranmere    Pl 13 Pts 17
2 Shrewsbury Pl 14 Pts 17
3 Gillingham   Pl 14 Pts 17
4 Wrexham    Pl 14 Pts 17
5 Oxford Utd Pl 14 Pts 16

 

  FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP
3rd Round
26th October 1977

 

WREXHAM  
(0)  1v 0  (0)
BRISTOL CITY

 

Pre-match;
Ineligibility rules out striker Dixie McNeil from tonight's game. He will be replaced by John Lyons. Dwyer is set to return after suspension but Hill had an excellent game in his place. Griffiths declared that his players were full of confidence having beaten so many First Division teams in the past. City are struggling in the league and were beaten by Everton at the weekend.

SHINTON SHATTERS CITY

Match Report;
Wrexham inspired by Bobby Shinton turned giant-killers again. His control and marksmanship made him Man of the Match. He headed home in the 51st minute, but Wrexham should have won by many more goals. City looked nothing like a First Division outfit and only managed one shot on goal in the second half.
Cartwright played Whittle in and it was his cross which resulted in Shinton's goal. Once this goal went in, only a miracle could help City.

Whittle hit the crossbar and Lyons the post.
Wrexham had a scare in the first half when City claimed a goal as the ball went through keeper Davies's legs, but the referee said play on.
Manager Griffiths claimed that City were lucky to only lose 1v0.
Another home tie awaits the Robins in the 4th Round, against Swindon Town

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
29th October 1977

WREXHAM 
(2) 3 v 1 (1)
BURY

 

Pre-match; Wrexham aim to continue their succesful league run after their cup victory against Bristol City.

WREXHAM SURGE TO THE TOP
WITH BRILLIANT DISPLAY

Match Report;
 Bury's manager Bobby Smith summed up the match. "We couldn't live with Wrexham today. They showed us how football should be played. I have told my players to remember this day and use it as a lesson in how to win.
Mickey Thomas gave Wrexham the lead on 13 minutes when he headed a goal from Dwyers shot into the area following a Cartwright corner. Another Cartwright corner resulted in John Roberts powering a second.  Hamstead pulled one back for the visitors just before half time.
Thomas put the game beyond doubt in the second half with a powerful long shot.
Bury manager also stated that Wrexham were far too good and classy for Division III.
Other results went Wrexham's way with Tranmere losing at home and Shrewsbury drawing at Gillingham.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWW                         Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 15 Pts 19
2 Shrewsbury Pl 15 Pts 18
3 Gillingham   Pl 15 Pts 18
4 Preston       Pl 15 Pts 18
5 Colchester  Pl 15 Pts 17

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
5th November 1977

WREXHAM  
(2) 2 v 0 (0)
  PLYMOUTH ARGYLE

 

Pre-match; Wrexham will field the team that took them to the top of the division, after a run of eight undefeated games. Plymouth, lying 15th have only lost 2 of their 7 away matches

THIRTY SECONDS OF MAGIC
SINK PLYMOUTH


Hidden 'Robin' Roberts heads home!

Match Report;
The 44th minute of this game set the scene for another fine win. John Roberts headed in Shinton's corner to take the lead. Then, seconds later a long Whittle ball dropped perfectly for Shinton. Argyke keeper raced out to staop the Wrexham star, who waited his moment before chipping the ball perfectly into the visitors net.
This was not the piece of magic performed by Shinton, who in the second half , killed a through ball with his thigh, turned and hooked the ball just inches over the bar, in one flowing movement.
If Wrexham carry on in this vein, the question will be who will end up as runners up this season?

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWW                         Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 16 Pts 21
2 Shrewsbury Pl 16 Pts 20
3 Tranmere      Pl 16 Pts 19
4 Preston       Pl 16 Pts 19
5 Gillingham   Pl 16 Pts 18


  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
12th November 1977

PRESTON NORTH END  
(0) 1 v 3 (1)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Mickey Thomas returns having missed the victory over Plymouth to face a side unbeaten at home all season. A draw may be enough to keep Wrexham in top spot.

ARFON'S ACES CALMLY BRUSH
PRESTON ASIDE


Sutton scores a scorcher!

Match Report; Another classy win for the Welshmen. Nobby Stiles, Preston's manager admitted that the best team won on the day.
Whittle and Shinton soon tore the home defence apart and on a similar run in the 30th minute, Shinton set up McNeil for the keeper's save to rebound to Thomas who laid the ball on for Mel Sutton to secure a first half lead.
Preston rallied a bit in the second half, but Cartwright set up Shinton in the 61st minute for the visitors' second goal. Two minutes later, Sutton became provider, lobbing the ball to McNeil to give Tunks in goal no chance. 3v0.
Top scorer Alec Bruce got one back for Preston. John Lyons replaced a limping Shinton towards the end. 

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWW                         Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 17 Pts 23
2 Tranmere     Pl 17 Pts 21
3 Shrewsbury  Pl 17 Pts 20
4 Cambridge   Pl 17 Pts 20
5 Gillingham    Pl 17 Pts 20

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
19th November 1977

WREXHAM  
(2) 2 v 1 (1)
   COLCHESTER UNITED

 

Pre-match; Top scorer Shinton passes fitness test to play. Dai Davies and Mickey Thomas also reported after playing for Wales in mid-week in Czechoslovakia. Colchester are 7th with 2 away victories in their 9 matches.
Before the match, Arfon Griffiths will be presented with a gallon bottle of whisky, his prize for being named the Third Division Manager of the Month for October.


Programme cover kindly supplied by Trevor Beal, Braintree Town

CAMERA SHY, BUT WREXHAM
PULL CLEAR AT THE TOP.

Match Report; Already Wrexham fans are chanting 'We're going to win the league' despite their off day, performance wise, in front of the Match of the Day BBC TV cameras.
Two goals in two minutes virtually sealed the game for the Robins. On 7 minutes, Gareth Davis played the ball to Cartwright  and Shinton darted in on his volley to head past keeper Walker. Seconds later a chip by Shinton found Whittle who was able to slot the ball in the net.
Steve Wignall scored for Colchester on 30 minutes.
Wrexham held out in the end with both John Roberts and Gareth Davis in complete command at the back
.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWW                         Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 18 Pts 25
2 Tranmere     Pl 18 Pts 22
3 Peterboro'    Pl 18 Pts 22
4 Gillingham    Pl 18 Pts 21
5 Shrewsbury  Pl 18 Pts 20


F. A. CUP
1st Round 
26th November 1977

WREXHAM  
 (1)  2v0  (0)
BURTON ALBION

 

Pre-match;
Burton lie second in the Southern League's Division One (North) and are not a good footballing side according to Oswestry Town's manager Idris Price whose team lost 2v1 to them last week.
But Griffiths stressed they must not be complacent against them - the cup is a great leveller and Burton have nothing to lose.

WELSH DRAGONS TOO FIERY
FOR BURTON BATTLERS


McNeil nets.

Match Report;
Burton left The Racecourse with £2,000, their share of the 6,193 gate money. Despite starting boldly, they only had two attempts on goal during the cup-tie. Their goalkeeper Barry Alcock, however became the star of the game.
Unfortunately his mistake gave Wrexham a penalty when he sent Whittle headlong from a Sutton move.
 Shinton scored from the spot on 33 minutes. A second penalty appeal for an alleged foul on McNeil was turned down.
Sutton split the Burton defence with a high cross which found McNeil free to head the ball simply into the net, just  five minutes into the second half.
Lyons replaced McNeil and had a goal disallowed for offside. Wrexham safely through to the second round. 

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
3rd December 1977

ROTHERHAM UNITED  
(1) 2 v 2 (1)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match;
Wrexham played a friendly against Bangor City which they drew 1v1. It was an opportunity for Griffiths to have a run out as Wrexham face stiff competition in the forthcoming games.

WREXHAM ROBBED
- BUT THEY CAN FEEL PLEASED


McNeil watches Whittle's headed opening goal drop in!

Match Report; 
Wrexham were denied a last minute penalty to seal another victory on their travels, as defender John Green clearly handled the ball.
Wrexham took an early 7th minute lead as Whittle headed in a Cartwright corner.
Rotherham equalised in the 35 th minute when Crawford drove home after Davies had punched out a Trevor Womble free kick. The home side extended their lead 3 minutes into the second half when Stancliffe tapped in from six yards, following a free kick.
Whittle restored some Wrexham pride with his second goal - a magnificent solo run and an unstoppable shot from 30 yards.
Mickey Thomas was the midfield dynamo who caused problems for the home side.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWD                     Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 19 Pts 26
2 Peterboro'    Pl 19 Pts 24
3 Gillingham    Pl 19 Pts 23
4 Tranmere    Pl 19 Pts 22
5 Cambridge  Pl 19 Pts 22


FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP
4th Round 
7th December 1977

WREXHAM  
 (0)  2v0  (0)
SWINDON TOWN

 

Pre-match;
Lyons replaces cup-tied McNeil, Roberts faces a late test as the Robins face the 1969 winners of the League Cup, currently 10th in the Third Division. The prize in the quarter finals will by either Liverpool or Coventry City.
 

WREXHAM THROUGH - NOW THEY WANT LIVERPOOL IN THE QUARTER-FINALS

Match Report;
Wrexham are through to the last eight of the competition. Whittle and Shinton both had chances in the first half to break the deadlock, with Sutton masterful in midfield. Swindon nearly forged ahead just before half time, but Davies saved the day.
Gareth Davis started the move which led to Lyons' opener. The defender found Cartwright who crossed from the by-line. Lyons headed down towards Davis whose shot rebounded off the Swindon keeper and Lyons pounced to slot home on the hour.
Nine minutes later Whittle scored a controversial goal following the referee's decision to play a drop ball, rather than award the home side a corner. Shinton to Lyons and Whittle netted with a low shot.
Swindon appeared to have given up now and Wrexham could have gone further ahead with chances by Sutton, Thomas and Whittle.

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
10th December 1977

WREXHAM  
(2) 2 v 1 (0)
     HEREFORD UNITED

 

Pre-match;
Lyons gives way to McNeil as he plays his first game against his former club. It's tough on Lyons who scored against Swindon in the League Cup tie. Striker Stuart Lee has asked for a transfer.
 

CARTWRIGHT STAR OF THIS BONANZA


Whittle's opener.

Match Report;
Wrexham were applauded off the pitch after their unbeaten run was extended to 16 games. Les Cartwright stole the show with a spectacular goal direct from a corner kick  a minute before half time, to give the home side a 2v1 lead. His first goal for the club.
The Robins took the lead on 7 minutes, when Shinton brought a free kick from Gareth Davis under control and passed it on to Whittle who hit an angled shot in from short range. Hereford protested that Shinton handled the ball, but a goal was awarded.

Hereford keeper Mellor was constantly in action as the home side peppered his goal with shots. The Wrexham defence was so sound that Dwyer and Evans were able to push up to help the attack.
However Sheedy found the net with 15 minutes to go, from the visitors' first corner of the game.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDW             Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 20 Pts 28
2 Gillingham    Pl 21 Pts 27
3 Peterboro'    Pl 20 Pts 25
4 Cambridge   Pl 20 Pts 24
5 Colchester   Pl 20 Pts 23


F. A. CUP
2nd Round 
17th December 1977

PRESTON NORTH END  
 (0)  0v2  (0)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match;
Preston, with an impressive home record, despite losing to Wrexham 3v1 earlier in the season, hope to put paid to Wrexham's cup aspirations as the visitors field the same starting line up which beat Burton in the first round. There is a doubt about Mickey Thomas's fitness though.

BREAKTHROUGH LATE IN GAME
DOES TRICK FOR WREXHAM


McNeil's late strike seals it.

Match Report;
Preston, on the verge of the promotion scene, failed to impress their home supporters in the 11,134 Deepdale crowd as the Wrexham bandwagon rolls on.
The game could have gone either way until the 78th minute when Gareth Davis shot past keeper Tunks from a McNeil free kick.
Whittle later crossed for McNeil to continue his goal tally with a follow up header from a shot originally blocked by the home keeper.
Davies was kept busy in thr away goal with saves from Bruce, Elwiss and Smith.
The Robins hope for a money-spinning tie in the next round against Bristol City, already beaten by the Robins in the League Cup.

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
26th December 1977

BRADFORD CITY
(0) 2 v 1 (0)
WREXHAM

 

 

Pre-match;
Mickey Evans jarred his back in training and is a doubt for today's Boxing Day game. AlanHill is likely to deputise as the only likely change from Wrexham's cup win over Preston, to face 19th placed Bradford City.

 30 SECOND BLIP ENDS 18 MATCH RUN

Match Report;
Wrexham's first defeat in 18 matches in all games, was a lapse largely of their own doing. Their superior all-round teamwork until the last 5 minutes was marred by faulty finishing.
McNeil's 46th minute goal still looked like being a winner until Bradford won sensationally with two goals in 30 seconds through a Gareth Davis own goal, and Hutchins, who netted the winner for Bradford City.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWL             Position; 1st

 

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
27th December 1977

WREXHAM  
(3) 3 v 1 (0)
   CARLISLE UNITED

 

 

Pre-match; Following their Boxing Day defeat, Wrexham aim to consolidate top spot  against Carlilse, who currently stand 15th in the league.

SUPERB WREXHAM SERVE UP A TREAT


Thomas goes close! 

Match Report;
All Wrexham's goals came in the first half on a pitch where the mud was ankle deep in places. A Dai Davies save on 15 minutes resulted in the ball going down the wing for Shinton to cross for McNeil's headed goal. Whittle netted the socond with a fine dribble and ball control in the mud, and fired home from 20 yards.
Sutton, Cartwright and Thomas were constantly feeding the forwards. A Cartwright free kick following a foul on Shinton was headed on be Cegielski and Shinton for Mickey Thomas to head home for the third goal.
Carlisle's goal came on 77 minutes from a penalty after Alan Dwyer had brought down Rafferty. Mike McCartney scored.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLW      Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 22 Pts 30
2 Gillingham    Pl 23 Pts 29
3 Tranmere     Pl 23 Pts 28
4 Cambridge   Pl 22 Pts 27
5 Preston        Pl 22 Pts 27


  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
31st December 1977

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE  
(0) 0 v 1 (1)
WREXHAM

 
Pre-match; Wrexham hope to achieve a double over their hosts, currently 19th in the league and return to the top spot after last night's victory over Portsmouth by Tranmere Rovers.

ACE SHINTON LIFTS WREXHAM

Match Report;
Bobby Shinton netted in the 33th minute to help the Robins regain top spot. Gareth Davis and Dixie McNeil set the goal up from the back with a brilliant move. They spilt the Argyle defence setting up Shinton to pick his spot in the goal.  McNeil and Cartwright came close to increasing the lead, while Dai Davies between Wrexham's posts,  made some fine saves.
Plymouth came close to equalising late on in the game, but it's another fine win away from home for Wrexham.
 .

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLW         Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 23 Pts 32
2 Tranmere     Pl 24 Pts 30
3 Gillingham    Pl 24 Pts 30
4 Peterboro'   Pl 23 Pts 29
5 Cambridge  Pl 23 Pts 28

 

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
2nd January 1978

WREXHAM
(2) 3 v 3 (1)
   GILLINGHAM

 

 

Pre-match; Gillingham, unbeaten in their last seven matches and just two points behind Wrexham in third position, expect to give Wrexham a tough test.

WREXHAM DEFENCE
HAVE TO PAY THE PRICE

Match Report;
Their biggest gate of the season, 16,000, saw Wrexham squander a point having led 3v1 at one time. Gillingham manager Gerry Summers remarked that the game was the best possible advert for the third division and should have been televised!
However The Gills' Ken Price was the hat-trick hero, whose first goal, a low header was scored in the 9th minute. Wrexham bounced back with a John Lyons equaliser 3 minutes later from a Shinton cross.
Shinton was a provider once again as he laid on McNeil's first goal, and he supplied Dixie's second goal on 53 minutes as Wrexham must have felt they had the game in the bag at 3v1.
Price nodded in his second just a minute later, and put things on level terms on 84 minutes with his shot which went in off the post.
Arfon Griffiths almost netted the winner when he came on as substitute with his first touch of the ball. 

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW(23games)       
                     D       Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 24 Pts 33
2 Gillingham    Pl 25 Pts 31
3 Tranmere     Pl 25 Pts 30
4 Cambridge   Pl 24 Pts 30
5 Preston        Pl 24 Pts 29


WELSH CUP
4th January 1978

CHESTER CITY 
 (0)  0v2  (0)
WREXHAM

 
 

Pre-match;
Arfon Griffiths has ruled himself out of this Welsh cup-tie with Whittle back and McNeil also returning. Former Wrexham keeper Brian Lloyd faces his former club and is looking forward to the match. 

MIKE BREAKS THE DEADLOCK.


Thomas chips Lloyd

Match Report;
Mickey Thomas, the new Wales Under 21 Captain, broke the deadlock with a 54th minute goal at Sealand Road. Sutton and Shinton joined forces to set up Thomas, whose well judged chip, caught out keeper Lloyd. Until that point, the game could have gone either way.
Davies was soon in action at the other end, bringing off a miraculous save  on the line from Nigel Edwards.
McNeil was on target in the 64th minute whern he headed home a Cartwright free kick. Southern League side Merthyr Tydfil await them in the Quarter-finals .


F. A. CUP
3rd  Round 
7th January 1978

BRISTOL CITY 
 (2)  4v4  (2)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match;
Manager Arfon Griffiths is set to replace the injured Les Cartwright. John Roberts was passed fit to play. City drew 0v0 with Wolves on Monday and Griffiths feels they are a better a side that the one Wrexham beat in the League Cup.
City manager Alan Dicks said that any team who has lost only 1 game in 21 matches must be respected in any class of football."

WREXHAM LET CITY OFF THE HOOK


Shinton - 4v2 !

Match Report;
Manager Arfon Griffiths saw his team squander a 4v2 lead with only 22 minutes left, but feels the Robins can still get through this tie in the replay, adding that spectators at Bristol must have found it hard to distinguish which was the first division side.
However, Bristol City took the early intiative as Kevin Mabbutt headed home the opener on 6 minutes and Wrexham suffered further blushes as the home side went 2v0 up when Tom Ritchie netted their second.
Wrexham then settled into the swing of things, when Shinton's header from Thomas's corner reduced the deficit on 18 minutes.
Five minutes later, Geoff Merrick, a replacement for Norman Hunter, headed into his own net, again from a Thomas cross, to level the scores. Shinton, McNeil and Whittle continued to cause problems as the first half drew to a close.
McNeil scored the best goal of the game on 54 minutes when he headed in Shinton's brilliant cross, 3v2 to the visitors.
Wrexham's fourth goal  was scored by Shinton, after Gareth Davis's header from a Griffiths corner, hit the bar and rebounded to the striker for him to nod in. Whittle almost made it 5 when his flying header was brilliantly saved by Shaw.
A tactical substitution by the home side changed the game, when 7 minutes from time, former Evertonian Joe Royle shot over the line. Merrick sent the City fans home happier with his second goal, in the correct net this time, with less than a minute to play.
 


F. A. CUP
3rd  Round Replay 
9th January 1978

WREXHAM 
 (3) 3 v 0 (0)
BRISTOL CITY

 

Pre-match;
A host of managers and scouts are expect at tonight's replay as Wrexham try and finish off City, having let them off the hook at the weekend. Can they do a home cup double?

NO STOPPING WREXHAM


Thomas chips the third!

Match Report;
Third Division Wrexham claimed another First Division scalp when they well and truly knocked out Bristol City in this memorable cup tie. They even had the luxury of Bobby Shinton missing two penalties!
At times Wrexham were so good that it was embarrassing to see Bristol struggle to get into the match.
Wrexham went ahead with a great 24th minute goal made and scored by Dixie McNeil with a little help from Shinton.
Another cracking goal came in the 31st minute. Thomas on the left  pushed the ball to Shinton, whose neat back-healer found Whittle, and courtesy of one of his famous swerving shots, Wrexham found themselves deservedly 2v0 up.
City had no answer to Shinton's control and speed, the challenging of Whittle and McNeil and the midfield play of Thomas, Sutton and Griffiths. On the stroke of half-time, Griffiths's free kick was met by Shinton's head, and the ball found Thomas whose chip went over Shaw's head into the goal thanks to a deflection.
This must have been one of Wrexham's best ever first half performances.
The second half saw the home side still in the mood for goals, and on 54 minutes, Shinton was brought down for a penalty. The striker took the spot kick only to see Shaw dive and save it.
A second penalty was awarded on 79 minutes following a foul on John Lyons. Shinton stepped up again. His shot went to the opposite side of the goal to the previous penalty, hit the post and went across the goal.
It was then that one of the most amazing scenes ever witnessed by the Wrexham faithful occurred. A scene I shall never forget.
When Bobby missed his second penalty, the crowd filled the stadium with the chanting of his name, to let him know they were not really worried.
Wrexham now await the winners of the Newcastle v Peterborough cup replay. 



  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
14th January 1978

WREXHAM  
(0) 0 v 0 (0)
   SHREWSBURY TOWN

 

Pre-match;
Four of the five Wrexham players who had been on the injury list are now fit - Roberts, Cartwright, Gareth Davis and Shinton. Mickey Evans is still injured. Fresh from their dramatic cup ties, Wrexham aim to overhaul Shrewsbury, who beat them on the opening day of the season.


Shrewsbury Town programme cover

TOWN PUT BRAKE ON
HIGH FLIERS WREXHAM

Match Report;
Manager Arfon Griffiths admitted he was disappointed with the result, biut gave Shrewsbury credit for gaining the point they obviously came to play for. The visitors had dropped down in the promotion race in recent weeks. The point sees Wrexham maintain top spot on goal difference only, with games in hand.
McNeil came close on a couple of occasions and other efforts by the home side just failed.
Davies saved a McGuire effort at the end to keep the scores level.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DD                                      Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 25 Pts 34
2 Cambridge   Pl 27 Pts 34
3 Gillingham    Pl 27 Pts 34
4 Tranmere     Pl 27 Pts 33
5 Preston        Pl 26 Pts 31


FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP
Quarter-final
17th January 1978

WREXHAM
 (1)  1 v 3  (1)
LIVERPOOL


Wrexham
Davies
Hill, Dwyer
Davis, Roberts, Thomas
Shinton, Sutton (Lee) Lyons, Whittle, Cartwright


Liverpool
Clemence
Neal, Hughes
Thompson, Kennedy, Hansen
Dalglish, Case, Johnson, McDermott, Callaghan
Sub; Fairclough

 

Pre-match;
Optimistic Wrexham hope the pitch will be playable for tonight's classic cup-tie against Liverpool. Over 25,000 tickets have already been sold. Lyons is expected to play despite turning his ankle against Shrewsbury. Lee and Cegielski are in the squad.
Liverpool manager Bob Paisley said "It will take a performance on a par with that at West Brom on Saturday, judging by the way Wrexham shaped up against Bristol City. They are certainly  better than anything I've seen in the third division this season." Liverpool will be without Graham Souness and former Wrexham idol Joey Jones is in their squad.
  


Liverpool programme cover

WREXHAM GO WITH HONOUR


Lyons lands the leveller!

Match Report;
Kenny Dalglish's first hat-trick in English football saw Liverpool through to the semi-finals. However there were times when it looked as though Wrexham would almost be too good for the European and English champions, but their experience and stamina  that has been the hallmark of Liverpool for many a year came to their rescue. At the end though,  Wrexham left the field with their fans enthusiastically chanting the club's name.
Dalglish opened the scoring on 15 minutes. Callaghan put McDermott through only for Davies to save with his legs, McDermott then lifted the ball over the defence for Dalglish to head the ball home. 
The Robins got level on the stroke of half-time as Clemence's palming of Shinton's powerfully angled shot allowed Lyons to swoop in and put the ball over the goal line. 
Liverpool regained the lead on 56 minutes when Kennedy put Neal through, for him to lay the ball on to Dalglish, who nesatly tucked the ball away, depite Davies's brave effort.
Clemence was regularly in action saving from the Robins, but with 3 minutes left the result was beyond doubt. McDermott forced his way into the penalty area, but the defence awaited a shot on goal, he crossed to Dalglish who placed the ball into the net.  


Liverpool F.C.


F. A. CUP
4th  Round 
28th January 1978

NEWCASTLE UNITED 
 (0)  2v2  (0)
WREXHAM

 
 

Pre-match;
Manager Arfon Griffiths is set to reshuffle his team following injuries to Whittle, Sutton, McNeil and Roberts with Griffiths, Evans and Cegielski on stand-by. "Our spirits are high and if we play to our top form, then we can get another result" said Arfon as he prepares for the trip to First Division side, Newcastle United. 


Newcastle United rogramme cover courtesy of Alan Davies

McNEIL PROVIDES THE PROOF,
AND THE GLORY


Dixie drives it home!

Match Report;
Newcastle called upon all their First Division expertise and experience in their bid to dominate the Third Division upstarts - and failed. Wrexham and Dixie McNeil succeeded. "Wrexham never stopped playing football. They were wonderful" stated a soccer statesman Albert Stubbins, formerly of Newcastle and Liverpool.
Bird gave the Magpies  the lead on 56 minutes with a header from a corner. Before the dust had settled, Wrexham were on equal terms as McNeil netted superbly.
A fluke cross-shot from Blackhall found the back of the Wrexham net on 65 minutes. Newcastle 2v1 up, with time running out for the Welsh team. 
Then with 60 seconds left, Gareth Davis took a free kick after Shinton had been floored by Barker. The ball found Thomas who went on a darting run, he found Dwyer on the left, who crossed to McNeil. Dixie caught the ball on the volley with his left foot and the net was almost ripped off the stanchions.
The 2,000 away visitors were in raptures as the Welshmen face another replay at The Racecourse!



  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
4th February 1978

PORTSMOUTH  
(0) 0 v 1 (1)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Arfon Griffiths replaces injured Les Cartwright for today's game. Wrexham will be keen to play this matches after waterlogged pitches and cup-ties have set the Robins back in their league campaign and find themselves in fourth slot. 

Match Report;
Two important points keep the Welshmen on course in the title race against a side next to bottom in the division.
Wrexham's goal came on 22 minutes. Sutton took a corner which was cleared as far as Mickey Thomas. His 30 yard volley was deflected into the net by a stooping Whittle.
Wrexham had control of the game and should have added to their goal tally.
Roberts took charge of his impressive back four, but Davies was called upon to make an unorthodox save, by trapping the ball in his legs as he dived the wrong way. 
                             .

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDW                                      Position; 4th
1 Tranmere     Pl 31 Pts 37
2 Gillingham    Pl 29 Pts 37
3 Cambridge   Pl 30 Pts 37
4 Wrexham     Pl 26 Pts 36
5 Preston        Pl 27 Pts 33


F. A. CUP
4th  Round Replay
6th February 1978

WREXHAM 
 (2) 4 v 1 (1)
NEWCASTLE UNITED

 
 

Pre-match;
Victory for Wrexham would add to their fixture backlog problem... but this is the F.A. Cup! And another Goliath lies in wait. Griffiths has to decide between himself and Cartwrght for a midfield slot.

THERE'S NO STOPPING
MAGNIFICENT WREXHAM


Cartwright seals it - 4v1!

Match Report;
Newcastle became another scalp on Wrexham's belt, as the Welshmen earned a tie against fellow giant killers, non-league side, Blyth Spartans.
The game ended with the home side shouting 'We want five!' Wrexham's team was full of heroes.
McNeil had scored as early as the 2nd minute to whet the fans' taste buds. Roberts put the ball to Shinton on the right. McNeil chested down Shinton's header and shot on the turn to find the top corner of the net.
However Burns scored an equaliser with a deflection on 39 minutes, to spoil the party - but not for long. 
Three minutes later, Wrexham were back on track as Shinton took the ball infield, and when right in front of goal, produced another of his chipped shots over the goalkeeper's head into the net.
Wrexham should have had a penalty when Bird handled the ball from a Whittle shot in the second half. Not to be outdone, Whittle unselfishly, when one-to-one on the keeper, laid the ball on to McNeil for his second and Wrexham's third goal, 7 minutes from time.
Not over yet though! Cartwright gratefully accepted a bad pass from Alan Gowling, and elegantly lifted the ball over Mahoney to seal a magnificent 4v1 victory.



  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
11th February 1978

WREXHAM 
(0) 1 v 1 (1)
   CHESTERFIELD

 

Pre-match; Thomas is out, and may miss a few games having broken his nose in a Welsh Under 21 game in the week. Griffiths will replace him. Chesterfield have won 4 and drawn 1 of their last 5 games and are 12th in the league. Wrexham are 4th, 1 point behind Tranmere with 5 games in hand! 

COMMONSENSE ON A FROZEN OASIS


McNeil masters the conditions to equalise.

Match Report;
Ice, snow, greasy patches under foot - not the best of conditions, but play they did. It brought out the best in professional camaraderie but nullified skill. A draw was a fair result under these circumstances.
Shortly after Shinton, McNeil and Thomas came close to scoring, Chesterfield broke away and Cammack made the most of a Dwyer slip on the pitch, and passed to Rick Green to side foot the away side into a half time lead. 
Seconds after the restart, McNeil hit back with an equaliser from a Sutton and Hill move.
Both sides had a penalty appeal turned down. The spoils were shared.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWD                                      Position; 4th
1 Cambridge  Pl 31 Pts 39
2 Tranmere    Pl 31 Pts 37
3 Gillingham   Pl 29 Pts 37
4 Wrexham    Pl 27 Pts 37
5 Preston        Pl 28 Pts 34


F. A. CUP
5rd  Round 
18th February 1978

WREXHAM
 (0) 1 v 1 (1)
BLYTH SPARTANS

 

Pre-match;
A pitch inspection is due on the morning of the game. Blyth beat Stoke City in the last round, and will become the first non-league side to reach the quarter-finals of the F.A. Cup, should they beat Wrexham. Full back Ron Guthrie won an F.A. Cup Winners medal with Sunderland in 1973. Gareth Davis is doubtful for today's game. Mickey Evans stands by to deputise.


Blyth Spartans programme cover courtesy of Alan Davies

DIXIE STIFLES BLYTH CHEERS

Match Report;
Battling Blyth were within 2 minutes of a dramatic F.A.Cup shock at the Racecourse, but with both sides down to 10 men, Wrexham grabbed a last gasp equaliser, and had a corner flag to thank for all that!
Blyth took the lead through Johnson, who had scored 2 goals against Stoke City in the previous round. He latched on to an Alan Hill backpass to Davies goal, and keeping his feet on a bone hard pitch, slotted the ball under Davies.
Wrexham had 80% of the attacking.
Steve Carney was sent off following 2 yellow cards for fouls on Thomas and Lyons on 67 minutes. Lyons was himself sent off for retaliation.
Then the corner. The rules say the flags must be upright at corner kicks. It fell down twice, before Cartwright centred on the third attempt for Dixie McNeil to head the ball in off a defender, silencing the Geordie anthems coming from the terraces.
One important point which should not be overlooked, is the fact that the corner awarded, should actually have been a goalkick!.


  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
21st February 1978

LINCOLN CITY  
(0) 0 v 1 (1)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match;
Lincoln approach this match with some confidence having lost only once in their last 10 games, which has seen climb to 15th in the league. Wrexham hope to make ground on top spot again.

Match Report;
Dixie McNeil scored the solitary goal which kept Wrexham on track for promotion, against a club where he had spent three years. McNeil and Shinton had caused problems from the outset and Wrexham could have been 2v0 up early on. Wrexham's defence was sound although the home side came close to scoring through Phil Neale.
Dixie's goal came when he picked up a Whittle pass and watched his shot trickle over the line for a goal. Further efforts from McNeil and Shinton went close.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDW                                      Position; 3rd
1 Gillingham   Pl 31 Pts 40
2 Cambridge  Pl 32 Pts 40
3 Wrexham    Pl 28 Pts 39
4 Tranmere    Pl 32 Pts 38
5 Preston        Pl 30 Pts 37


F. A. CUP
5th  Round Replay
27th February 1978


BLYTH SPARTANS
 (0 1 v 2 (2)
WREXHAM

 
 

Pre-match;
Blyth are hoping for a 40,000 turn out at Newcastle's St James' Park for tonight cup replay - the scene of an earlier cup tie for Wrexham. Ground conditions are expected to be better than at the Racecourse.Hill is doubtful but Davis returns.

WREXHAM KILL BLYTH'S HOPES 


Spot-on Whittle blast the penalty home!

Match Report;
History overtook Blyth as they bowed out of the F.A. Cup.
Spurred on by a massive Geordie support, they fell behind in the early stages, as Whittle gave the Robins the lead from the penalty spot on 8 minutes for a foul on McNeil.
Wrexham then kept men behind the ball and close the game, and when Sutton brought the ball out of defence,Blyth's days were numbered. He slipped it to Shinton on the right. Graham Whittle made a dummy run, allowing Shinton to float the ball in to McNeil who ghosted in and volleyed home. 2v0 at half-time.
Blyth almost scored from the restart but Davies managed to tip the ball away. Shinton came close to extending their lead, but the Spartans never gave up fighting. Gareth Davis stopped a certain goal  by Johnson on 75 minutes, but 7 minutes later, Blyth got what they wanted.
Wrexham failed to clear the ball on the edge of the box, and Johnson was on hand to reduce the deficit.
Blyth piled on the pressure in the closing minutes without success.
They went on a well earned lap of honour around St James' Park. A very memorable run had come to its end.



  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
1st March 1978

OXFORD UNITED  
(0) 2 v 1 (0)
WREXHAM

 
Pre-match; Eddie Niedzwiecki replaces injured Dai Davies in goal for the visit to 15th placed Oxford, who have only lost twice at home this season..

SO-TIRED WREXHAM RUN OUT OF GLORY

Match Report;
Wrexham's third game in 5 days told on them and they had defender Mickey Evans stretchered off on the 80th minute.
Les Cartwright put the visitors ahead on 54 minutes after a goalless first half. He cleverley bended a 25 yard free kick around Oxford's wall after the ever-dangerous Graham Whittle had been fouled. Wrexham appeared the more dangerous team but were not prepared for the home side's fightback.
In the 60th minute, Peter Foley scored his 18th of the season, then Curran half volleyed the winner on 76 minutes. Wrexham came close to equalising at the end, but it wasn't to be.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWL                                      Position; 3rd
1 Gillingham   Pl 32 Pts 40
2 Cambridge  Pl 32 Pts 40
3 Wrexham    Pl 29 Pts 39
4 Preston       Pl 31 Pts 39
5 Tranmere    Pl 32 Pts 38


  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
4th March 1978

WREXHAM
(1) 2 v 1 (0)
   EXETER CITY

 

Pre-match; Davies still injured, and Mickey Evans, who is now on crutches and is expected to be out for a month is replaced by Alan Hill, as Wrexham look to achieve a double over Exeter, currently 17th in the league.

DIXIE'S THERE,
BUT WREXHAM LOOK JADED


Masterful McNeil nets the winner

Match Report;
Wrexham appeared strangely leaden-footed on a dead pitch, and it took a keeper's mistake for Whittle to open the scoring on 38 minutes. Keeper Key carried the ball over the 18 yard line, which resulted in Whittle scoring directly from the resulting free kick, with a powerful shot into the top corner. Wrexham missed a string of chances to surge ahead but on 79 minutes Keith Howker bundled the ball over the line following a corner to the visitors.
In the second half, Lyons replaced Cartwright and thundered the ball against the bar with his first shot.
A Shinton corner on 88 minutes was headed on by John Roberts for Dixie to supply a further header which resulted in the winning goal, his 28th of the season.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWL                              Position; 2nd
1 Preston       Pl 32 Pts 41
2 Wrexham    Pl 30 Pts 41
3 Cambridge  Pl 33 Pts 41
4 Gillingham   Pl 33 Pts 40
5 Tranmere    Pl 32 Pts 38

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
6th March 1978

WREXHAM
 (2) 6 v 1 (1)
   TRANMERE ROVERS

 

Pre-match; Wrexham get the chance to go top in this clash with Tranmere Rovers, having lost 3v1 at Prenton Park. McNeil is out with a bruised heel. Cartwright is expected to return after his injury against Exeter.

WARMING UP FOR ARSENAL


Roberts's rocket rocks Rovers!

Match Report;
Wrexham surged to top spot, crushing rivals Tranmere's promotion hopes, watched by Arsenal's chief coach, Don Howe.
The Robins were magnificent in the opening 20 minutes, but nothing to show for it. Then on 22 minutes, Sutton brought down a Cartwright cross and hammered it in via a post. Then, following an obstruction on Shinton, Cartwright's free kick was helped on by Hill for Roberts to net the second with a header.
Tranmere rallied and pulled one back on 31 minutes as a Bobby Tynan centre went over Niedzwiecki's head in to the far corner.
A Cartwright - Shinton combination from a corner resulted in the latter giving the home side a 3v1 lead on 50 minutes. 12 minutes later Shinton provided Mickey Thomas with the ball, and the Welshman drove home a tremendous shot - 4v1.
Whittle in one of his best games for the club was brought down, and taking the resulting free kick,  chipped the ball to Shinton  for his second of the night on 64 minutes.
Then on 81 minutes, more Whittle mastery as he juggled and bobbed the ball about, confusing the visiting defence, before laying it on for Lyons to nod home Wrexham's sixth and final goal.
A standing ovation as the Robins return to their rightful top spot, and they now eagerly await the Arsenal  in the F.A. Cup Quarter-final.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWW                               Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 31 Pts 43
2 Preston       Pl 33 Pts 43
3 Cambridge  Pl 34 Pts 43
4 Gillingham   Pl 34 Pts 40
5 Tranmere    Pl 33 Pts 38


F. A. CUP
5rd  Round 
11th March 1978

WREXHAM
 (0) 2 v 3 (1)
ARSENAL

Wrexham;
Niedzwicki
Hill  Dwyer
Davis  Roberts  Thomas
Shinton  Sutton  McNeil  Whittle  Cartwright
Sub; Lyons

Arsenal;
Jennings
Rice  Nelson
Price  O'Leary  Young
Brady  Sunderland  Macdonald  Stapleton  Hudson
Sub; Walford
 
Wrexham squad take a break from training

Pre-match;
This is Wrexham's seventh clash of the season against First Division clubs. McNeil and Cartwright are doubtful starters, Davies and Evans are out. John Roberts is relishing the chance of playing against one of his former clubs. Griffiths' head will rule his heart when it comes down to team selection, as he is also a former Gunner.
Arsenal manager Don Howe said "A lot of people seem to think we have the easiest draw of the lot and a place in the semi-finals is a formality. Well I don't see it that way. It certainly isn't a foregone conclusion. They came to Tottenham and beat them in the League Cup at White Hart Lane."
Arsenal keeper Pat Jennings who kept goal that night recalls, "They absolutely murdered us - I have never forgotten their quality that night. They were impressive throughout the side and are obviously very good, because we reckon they have beaten six First Division sides in recent weeks" 


Arsenal programme cover courtesy of Alan Davies

ARSENAL NEEDED ALL THE LUCK

Match Report;
There was certainly glory, honour and dignity for Wrexham in this in this hour of defeat. Arsenal had all the luck, and needed it. They were staggered by the quality of Wrexham's football as they weaved their way through the Arsenal defence.
Arsenal went ahead on the 25th minute when Malcolm MacDonald side footed the ball home after Stapleton had headed a cross from Rice across the face of goal.
Wrexham, looking for an equaliser as Sutton surged down the right and pulled the ball back into the middle for Thomas  to see his shot blocked on the line. Shinton following up smacked it through the bodies and past Jennings into the net. Referee Tom Reynolds shook his head and disallowed the goal for offside.


Shinton's offside goal

That might well have upset Wrexham, but they kept going.
Eventually, in the second half they got their reward in the 65th minute. A les Carwright throw in found Shinton, who shuffled past Pat Rice and his cross found McNeil who nodded it down into the goal. 1v1. This was his 11th goal of the cup campaign and hehas succeeded in scoring in every round.


McNeil, partly hidden heads in the equaliser.

Arsenal came back with two goals in four minutes.The goal which turned the screw on Wrexham, making it 2v1 came from a corner, which should have been a dead ball, scored by Alan Sunderland. The third, by Willie Young, took a cruel deflection past keeper Niedzwicki.
Whittle pulled a goal back with a tremendous volley from Sutton's pass. 2v3.   

Wrexham continued to pile on the pressure with both Shinton and Cartwright shooting just wide. It was not to be, but another fine cup campaign can be stored in the history books.
Arsenal manager Tery Neil admitted; "I'm not going to dispute that they were worth a draw."
 


  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
14th March 1978

SWINDON TOWN
(0) 1 v 2 (0)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Whittle misses today's league match at Swindon through flu, McNeil is doubtful and Lyons is again on standby as cover. Swindon are 10th and have only lost twice at home in16 matches, winning 10 of them. Griffiths has given the team a target of a point per game in their remaining 15 games, which should steer them to the Second Division.

LYONS ON TARGET -
THANKS TO ARFON

Match Report;
Arfon selected himself and inspired the team to victory, by creating both goals for John Lyons.
Gareth Davis saved some early blushes by preventing Chic Bates scoring in the second minute. The home side came close on another two occasions, before Lyons scored the first of his brace of goals. He fired in a dipping shot from the edge of the area, following a precision pass from Griffiths on 14 minutes. 
Niedzwiecki became a hero by saving a McHale penalty after a Sutton foul on Moss on 29 minutes.
Wrexham virtually sealed the points three minutes from half time, when Griffiths latched on to a Mickey Thomas free kick, setting up Lyons for his second.
Moss managed to pull one back for Swindon on 63, direct from a 25 yard free kick.
Niedzwiecki was hit on the back of his head by a missile thrown from the crowd.
Wrexham held on to their lead and two points despite playing into a heavy wind.
Tranmere and Cambridge both lost their evening matches.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWW                               Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 32 Pts 45
2 Preston       Pl 33 Pts 43
3 Cambridge  Pl 35 Pts 43
4 Gillingham   Pl 34 Pts 40
5 Tranmere    Pl 34 Pts 38

 LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
18th March 1978

WREXHAM
(0) 1 v 0 (0)
   WALSALL

 

Pre-match; Niedzwiecki, Hill and Lyons still deputise for Davies, Evans and McNeil respectively, and Whittle returns.


Programme cover kindly supplied by Trevor Beal, Braintree Town

WREXHAM SHOW DIVISION TWO CLASS

Match Report;
Wrexham had a fight on their hands, but came through it well, thanks to their composure. The game was won by a flash of impudent, impromptu opportunism and skill from none other than Bobby Shinton, playing against a former club. Gareth Davis, John Roberts and Mel Sutton controlled the game. 
Shinton's goal came in the 2nd minute of the second half, as he beat two men on his run from the halfway line. Whittle and Lyons took defenders with them to open up a gap for Shinton and beat Kearns with a great right footer.
Wrexham's sound defence kept Walsall out, restrictingthem to long range efforts which Niedzwiecki managed perfectly.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWW                               Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 33 Pts 47
2 Cambridge  Pl 37 Pts 45
3 Preston       Pl 35 Pts 44
4 Gillingham   Pl 36 Pts 42
5 Walsall       Pl 35 Pts 40


WELSH CUP
21st March 1978

WREXHAM
 (1)  3 v 0  (0)
MERTHYR TYDFIL

 
 

Pre-match;
Arfon Griffiths hopes his Third Division pace-setters can put paid to any aspirations South Walian team Merthyr Tydfil have to progress in the Welsh Cup Competition.
 

WREXHAM COAST ON TO CARDIFF


Merthyr keeper clears from Cegielski and Griffiths

Match Report;
A spectacular goal by Bobby Shinton paved the way for Wrexham's entry into the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup. Alan Hill had set up Gareth Davis to run on at goal, but the keeper cleared the ball and unfortunately for him, his shot rebounded into Shinton's path. He chipped the ball from a full 35 yards into an empty net on 27 minutes.
Wrexham took full control in the second half with Griffiths masterful in mid-field. Whittle made it 2v0 with a flashing drive on 54 minutes and Griffiths rounded off a fine performance with the third goal of the evening.
A remarkable 6,348 turned up to see this cup tie.
 .

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
24th March 1978

BURY TOWN  
(2) 2 v 3 (1)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Eighth placed Bury face a rampant Wrexham who are likely to bring a large contingent with them.


Bury Town programme cover courtesy of Alan Davies

WREXHAM TRIUMPH -
AFTER A LATE SCARE

Match Report;
Wrexham secured their eighth away league victory at Gigg Lane to give their promotion ambitions another boost as they came from behind twice to secure the points.
Bury snatched a surprise lead in the 28th minute as an unmarked Brian Stanton netted easily. Four minutes later, Lyons hit the woodwork from 25 yards and Whittle was on hand to equalise from the rebound. McIlewraith sneaked in a glancing hader to put the home side 2v1 up in the 35th minute.
After the break, Wrexham tore the home side apart with two goals in two minutes. Whittle fastened on to a Sutton pass and smashed in an equaliser in the 52nd minute and Shinton set up Gareth Davis for the third goal  just seconds later.
A penalty was awarded to Bury  four minutes from time.  Alan Suddick sent keeper Niedzwicki the wrong way, but his effort hit the post.  

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWW                              Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 34 Pts 49
2 Preston       Pl 36 Pts 46
3 Cambridge  Pl 37 Pts 45
4 Gillingham   Pl 36 Pts 42
5 Walsall        Pl 35 Pts 40


  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
25th March 1978

WREXHAM  
(2) 2 v 0 (0)
   BRADFORD CITY

 

Pre-match; Manager Arfon Griffiths declares that Wrexham are aiming for the Championship of the Third Divsion. "We hope to get the trophy and the medals that go with it." Davies trained with the side, but Evans and McNeil are still out. Les Cartwight is also injured. 


Bradford City Town programme cover

WREXHAM ROCKET HOMES IN
ON TITLE TARGET


Whittle, hidden behind Griffiths scores from a free kick 

Match Report;
Wrexham's promotion rocket is bang on target as they put next to bottom Bradford City aside.
A heavy two hour downpour before the match turned the pitch into a p[addy field. Shinton headed Wrexham into the lead after 11 minutes as Griffiths curled a free kick his way, with Graham Whittle extending the lead on 22 miutes as a 30 yard free kick deflected into the net.
Keeper Downsborough kept the score down magnificently as Wrexham piled pressure on the visitors' defence.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWW                             Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 35 Pts 51
2 Preston       Pl 37 Pts 47
3 Cambridge  Pl 38 Pts 47
4 Gillingham   Pl 37 Pts 43
5 Tranmere    Pl 37 Pts 41

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
27th March 1978

CARLISLE UNITED  
(1) 1 v 4 (3)
WREXHAM

 
Pre-match; Victory today would put Wrexham within four points of promotion to the Second Division. Cartwright returns after injury.

WIZARD WHITTLE WHIPS IN ALL FOUR

Match Report;
Wrexham's Welsh wizards gave Carlisle a goal start after 2 minutes as McVitie found the net, and then took control as Graham Whittle had a field day!
On 15 minutes, with the home defence all over the place,  Shinton centred and Whittle netted with a remarkable overhead kick. 3 minutes later, Shinton was brought down in the box, and Whittle netted from the spot.
Just on half time, an other overhead kick by Whittle from Cartwright's corner was nestling in the net, courtesy of the crossbar.
Lyons set up the fourth for Whittle when his cross was nodded in off the foot of the post.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWW                              Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 36 Pts 53
2 Preston       Pl 38 Pts 48
3 Cambridge  Pl 38 Pts 47
4 Gillingham   Pl 38 Pts 44
5 Walsall        Pl 38 Pts 42


  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
1st April 1978

GILLINGHAM  
(0) 0 v 0 (0)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Ten games to go to possible promotion. A point a game would do it. Gillingham, 4th in the league and have lost only 2 of their 20 home games, are the next club in their sights. The Gills are rated as one of the best footballing sides.

WREXHAM HAPPY TO TAKE A POINT

Match Report;
Gillingham had no answer to Wrexham's skilfully composed style of play. The Robins went home with the point they wanted.
Gillingham had a 7th minute goal turned down for a foul on keeper Dai Davies. Hillyard in the opposite goal saved from Thomas and a Whittle 25 yarder before the break. Two more saves from Shinton and Roberts kept The Gills in the game.
Gareth Davies and John Roberts were like mountains in defence and kept any predators at bay.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWWD                              Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 37 Pts 54
2 Cambridge  Pl 40 Pts 50
3 Preston       Pl 39 Pts 48
4 Gillingham   Pl 39 Pts 45
5 Peterboro   Pl 37 Pts 44

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
3rd April 1978

WREXHAM
(0) 1v 2 (2)
   CHESTER CITY

 

Pre-match; Wrexham are expected to extend their 8 match unbeaten run against local rivals Chester, who have former Wrexham keeper Brian Lloyd in goal. Chester are currently 9th, with no away wins to their credit, having drawn 13 of their 20 matches away from home.

LLOYD STARS AS CHESTER CHECK
WREXHAM GALLOP


Lloyd punches clear to thwart John Lyons

Match Report;
Wrexham suffered their first home laegue defeat of the season, ironically due to two brilliant saves by their former keeper Brian Lloyd.
Chester took the lead on 30 minutes when Howat crashed the ball home, stunning the 19, 125 crowd. They went further ahead two minutes before the break when Mellor was given too much time to pick his spot.
Wrexham found the net on 75 minutes, when a Whittle header from a Shinton cross went in following a rebound off Chester's Raynor.
More superb saves by Lloyd denied Lyons and Cegielski.
Wrexham struggled to find the rhythm that has got them to the top of the league. 
"All we've lost is a game hand" said manager Arfon Griffiths after the match.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWWDL                         Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 38 Pts 54
2 Cambridge  Pl 40 Pts 50
3 Preston       Pl 39 Pts 48
4 Gillingham   Pl 39 Pts 45
5 Peterboro    Pl 37 Pts 44

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
8th April 1978

WREXHAM  
(0) 0 v 0 (0)
   PRESTON NORTH END

 

Pre-match; Mickey Evans is likely to return after his St David's day injury at Oxford United, replacing an admirable deputy in Alan Hill.
Manager Griffiths said "Preston will be tough opposition, but no tougher than Chester. Currently 3rd, Preston are themselves striving for promotion.


Preston North End programme cover

A POINT WON,
BUT WREXHAM NERVES SHOW

Match Report;
Wrexham edged closer to the second division, with just 3 points needed from 7 games. Arfon had shuffled his pack somewhat, but took himself off to be replaced by Lyons in an effort to break the deadlock.
This naturally was a tense match for both sides, but Preston managed to subdue the home side's attacks. Both teams had a goal disallowed. Dai Davies was called upon to make another match saving stop from Alex Bruce.
"As far as I am concerned, it is a point gained. Tension is increasing with every match and the only safe way is not to lose", remarked Griffiths.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWWDLD                      Position; 1st
1 Wrexham    Pl 39 Pts 55
2 Preston       Pl 41 Pts 51
3 Cambridge  Pl 42 Pts 51
4 Peterboro   Pl 39 Pts 48
5 Gillingham   Pl 41 Pts 46

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
11th April 1978

PORT VALE
(0) 1 v 1 (1)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Injured John Roberts is a doubtful starter and Cegielski is on standby. Port Vale are also desperate for points as they are 19th, just 3 points above the relegation zone.


Port Vale programme cover

LYONS ROARS IN FOR WREXHAM -
HITS A BEAUTY

Match Report;
Wrexham should have taken both points in this encounter. John Lyons had scored a magnificent opener for the Robins on 18 minutes.
It was well prompted by the midfield trio of Sutton, Thomas and Cartwright. Sutton's pass sent John Lyons racing nearly half the length of the field through the middle. Lyons beat a man, took a return pass from Shinton at full speed and then cracked a beauty from 18 yards that left goalkeeper John Connaughton helpless.
Roared on by their away supporters, Wrexham always looked like extending their lead, with Shinton and Roberts going close.
The elusive victory disappeared when, 4 minutes from time, Hawkins headed home an equaliser from Russell Bromage's corner.
No victory in their last 4 games for Wrexham, but the points mount up slowly.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWWDLDD                     Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 40 Pts 56
2 Preston        Pl 41 Pts 51
3 Cambridge  Pl 42 Pts 51
4 Peterboro    Pl 40 Pts 50
5 Gillingham   Pl 42 Pts 47


WELSH CUP
Semi-Final
13th April 1978

CARDIFF CITY
 (0)  0 v 2  (0)
WREXHAM

 
 

Pre-match;
Arfon Griffiths hopes Dixie McNeil will be available after his injury. This cup tie is being billed as 'The Championship of Wales' as the second division side paly host to the North Walian outfit. Wrexham hope to avoid a draw to ease their fixture congestion..

CITY FLOP OUT OF WELSH CUP
AFTER TWO-MINUTE GOAL


Cartwright corner cracks Cardiff

Match Report;
A fluke goal direct from a corner kick by Les Cartwright in the second minute, virtually sealed Cardiff's fate in this Welsh Cup semi-final.
Cardiff seldom threatened although Mickey Evans had to clear a Paul Went effort off the line, and Davies was called into action to make a full-length save from 25 yards.
Mel Sutton revelled against his old club as he set up Whittle, whose shot went just wide.
Alan Dwyer scored a magnificent effort when he raced 50 yards with the ball to slide it perfectly under keeper Healey, with just two minutes of the tie left. .
 .

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
15th April 1978

COLCHESTER UNITED
(1) 1 v 1 (1)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Wrexham are likely to field an unchanged side as they strive towards promotion. Colchester were early pace setters this season, but have slumped to 12th spot, and have not won in their last 4 games.

WREXHAM DEFENCE SAVE THE DAY

Match Report;
Wrexham had to fight hard for this invaluable point.
Mickey Evans cleared off the line as the home side stove to take the lead. However, they broke through on 12 minutes as Allinson crossed for Foley to head past Davies. Within a minute the on form Shinton had a shot blocked and Mickey Thomas was on hand to silence the home crowd. Davies was called upon to make a full-length dive to keep Leslie's shot out.
Lyons disappointingly had two goals disallowed for offside in the first half, and had another fine effort was blocked in the second half. Hill could have sealed it for Wrexham, but shot wide. Davies was called upon again to make another match saving leap to punch the ball over the bar, from Foley's shot.
Wrexham may have taken over the mantle of draw specialists with 5 out of 6 recently, but all the hard work was done during their midseason purple patch.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWWDLDDDD              Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 41 Pts 57
2 Preston        Pl 42 Pts 53
3 Cambridge  Pl 43 Pts 53
4 Peterboro    Pl 41 Pts 50
5 Gillingham   Pl 43 Pts 49

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
22nd April 1978

WREXHAM
(5) 7 v 1 (0)   
ROTHERHAM UNITED

 
Pre-match; Wrexham can gain promotion today if they win and other results go for them. A crowd of over 20,000 is expected against struggling Rotherham. Only doubt is John Roberts, but Dixie McNeil's hope of a comeback has failed. Lyons continues with his impressive form.


Rotherham programme cover courtesy of Alan Davies

WREXHAM - UP, UP AND AWAY 


Whittle slots in his spot kick.

Match Report;
Wrexham went up to Division Two on a high tide of goals and jubilation amid unforgettable scenes at The Racecourse.
Mickey Thomas opened the scoring  in the 12th minute, following a fine one-two with Lyons. John Lyons scored the second three minutes later from a Cartwright cross.
Whittled netted his first penalty after Cartwright had been brought down, then Thomas made it 4v0 from a Shinton pass. Cartwright laid on the third for Whittle. 5v0 at half time.
Trevor Phillips snatched one back for Rotherham, before another Whittle spot kick extended the lead. Fittingly, Cartwright who had assisted in each goal made a spectacular solo dash to net the seventh, sending the home crowd into raptures with chants of "Champions, Champions" and "Arfon Griffiths, Prince of Wales".
Arfon led his team around the pitch in a lap of honour.
This was the day history was made at The Racecourse Ground.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWWDLDDDDW           Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 42 Pts 59 Promoted
2 Preston        Pl 44 Pts 55
3 Cambridge  Pl 44 Pts 54
4 Peterboro    Pl 43 Pts 54
5 Chester        Pl 44 Pts 50

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
25th April 1978

CAMBRIDGE UNITED  
(0) 1 v 0 (0)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Griffiths comes in for injured Lyons as The Robins go for the title. McNeil's injured foot is now in plaster. 

WREXHAM WILL HAVE TO WAIT.....

Match Report;
Wrexham's championship stays on ice as Cambridge try to snap up a promotion spot themselves. They have not lost at home since opening game of the season and are currently 3rd.
It was a tough game for Wrexham with plenty of tension around, with Cambridge forcing three corners in a hectic two minute spell.
Then a pile of toilet rolls was set on fire behind Davies's goal.
Cambridge's winner came on 62 minutes, as Biley got away down the right and crossed to Sweeter who headed home. The home crowd went into a raputurous "We are going up!"
Wrexham roll on to Hereford for their next match.                       
.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                       DDWDWLWWWWWWWDLDDDDWL       Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 43 Pts 59 Promoted
2 Cambridge   Pl 45 Pts 56
3 Preston        Pl 45 Pts 55
4 Peterboro    Pl 43 Pts 54
5 Chester        Pl 44 Pts 50

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
29th April 1978

HEREFORD UNITED
(1) 1v1 (0)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Wrexham hope to gain the point they want to become Third Division Champions.  Lyons may be fit to return, but if not, Alan Hill will play up front.

WREXHAM MAKE THEIR POINT!

Match Report;
Wrexham, without a recognised striker, earned the point they needed to clinch the Championship against a Hereford side, doomed for relegation.
Wrexham's finishing was always poor and Hereford took the lead after 28 minutes when Barton, another defender playing up front, put Hereford ahead.
Wrexham improved in the second half and went level when Thomas met a Whittle cross on the 54th minute. He also came close to snatching a winner before the end.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWWDLDDDDWL    Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 44 Pts 60 Champions
2 Cambridge   Pl 46 Pts 58 Promoted
3 Preston        Pl 46 Pts 56
4 Peterboro    Pl 45 Pts 55
5 Chester        Pl 46 Pts 54

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
1st May April 1978

WREXHAM
(0) 0 v 0 (0)
   PETERBOROUGH UNITED

 

Pre-match; Wrexham will receive their Third Division Championship trophy before today's kick off. Peterborough need to win this game to snatch third spot, and promtion themselves. Failure to do so, will send Nobby Stiles's Preston up.


Peterborough United programme cover courtesy of Alan Davies

THANKS, BUBBLES NOBBY


Shinton holds the trophy aloft
with Captain Gareth Davis, Manager Arfon Griffiths and John Roberts

Match Report;
Nobby Stiles, watching this match said " That result was a credit to League football." Wrexham had nothing to play for but pride, and they were magnificent - especially Dai Davies.
Three times Davies stood alone as Peterborough strove for the goal that would bring them instant promotion. Three times Davies pulled off top class saves. The last two were against Trevor Anderson and Alan Slough on 88 minutes.
Wrexham's boss Arfon Griffiths said, "I sympathise with Peterborough. I know exactly how they feel, because the same thing happened to us last year."

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWWDLDDDDWLDD   Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 45 Pts 61 Champions
2 Cambridge   Pl 46 Pts 58 Promoted
3 Preston        Pl 46 Pts 56 Promoted
4 Peterboro    Pl 46 Pts 56
5 Chester        Pl 46 Pts 54
  

  LEAGUE DIVISION THREE
3rd May 1978

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
(2) 2 v 1 (0)
WREXHAM

 

Pre-match; Wrexham will field an understrength team at Hillsborough today, with first outings likely for Peter Williams, Steve Kenworthy and Steve Buxton. Niedzwicki plays in goal for his 15th appearance and Championship medal.

Match Report;
Wrexham were not at their best in their last game of this victorious campaign, showing a lack of urgency. Gareth Davis nearly gave the Champions the lead on 20 minutes. Davis was also in action when he palmed a goal bound shot from Ian Porterfield over the bar and was booked for his effort. Brain Hornsby scored from the spot.
The Owls went further ahead five minutes from half-time when Tommy Tynan lobbed the ball over Niedzwicki as he came off his line. Griffiths could have pulled one back, but shot wide. It was left to Cartwright to score Wrexham's final league goal of 1977/78, a minute from time.

League form; LDDDWLLWDWWWDWWWWWDWLWW (23 games)
                      DDWDWLWWWWWWWDLDDDDWLDDL  Position; 1st
1 Wrexham     Pl 46 Pts 61 Champions
2 Cambridge   Pl 46 Pts 58 Promoted
3 Preston        Pl 46 Pts 56 Promoted
4 Peterboro    Pl 46 Pts 56
5 Chester        Pl 46 Pts 54

WELSH CUP FINAL
First Leg
7th May 1978

BANGOR CITY
 (1)  1 v 2  (2)
WREXHAM

 
 

Pre-match;
Bangor have played a marathon 70 league and cup games so far this season, which includes 12 in the past month. The Northern Premier League side are having a 48 hour break before their potential money spinning run in the European Cup Winners Cup, should they produce what would be a massive upset, by beating Wrexham.
The visitors have a full squad available, apart from goal ace Dixie McNeil.

WREXHAM ARE THE MASTERS


Shinton, left, chips the keeper.

Match Report;
Farrar road with a capacity crowd is always a splendid sight. Throw in a couple of superb goals from Wrexham, a little show biz razamataz, a touch of controversy and you have the scene.
Bangor were a little overawed at first, and went behind in the 7th minute when Bobby Shinton delivered another of his delightful chipped goals, when he saw keeper Mike Craven off his line.
Cartwright delivered the second goal on 39 minutes with a real cracker from 30 yards out.
Controversy just two minutes from the break. John Hughes chased a ball into the penalty box and clashed with Welsh International Dai Davies in what looked a harmless challenge. But referee Clive Thomas thought otherwise and awarded an indirect free kick to Bangor, almost on the penalty spot. Elliot side footed the ball to Dewi Atherton, his shot was blocked and Hughes was on the scene to scramble the ball home.
Bangor improved in the second half but could not get on level terms. A tough task awaits them in the second leg at the Racecourse.

 

WELSH CUP FINAL
Second Leg
9th May 1978

WREXHAM
 (1)  1 v 0  (0)
BANGOR CITY
Wrexham win 3v1 on aggregate

 
 

Pre-match;
Bangor need to cause a major cup upset if they hope to win the Welsh Cup at the Racecourse tonight.

HISTORY MADE AS
WREXHAM LIFT THE CUP

Match Report;
Bangor were never in with a chance of repeating their 1962 Welsh Cup success over Wrexham. Their only real chance came on 67 minutes when John Hughes headed wide. They showed skill and courage, but it wasn't enough.
John Lyons scored the all important goal for the Robins  on 30 minutes - a goal McNeil would have been proud of. A cartwright corner was blocked and the player crossed again for Lyons to flicked a back header past Bangor keeper Mike Craven. 3v1 on aggregate. Only a miracle could save Bangor.
The Robins continued to knock the ball about in style and confidence.
A sutton - Shinton move gave the keeper an opportunity to make a fine save from Whittle with just 5 minutes left.

 

DEBENHAMS CUP FINAL
First leg
13th May 1978

WREXHAM
 (0)  1 v 2  (1)
BLYTH SPARTANS

 
 

Pre-match;
The Debenhams Cup lasted for just two seasons and was competed for between the two sides outside the top two divisions of the Footbal League to have progressed furthest in the F.A.Cup that season. Wrexham's team was depleted by four palyers on Welsh International duty - Gareth Davis, Dai Davies, Mike Thomas and Les Cartwright 

SPARTANS JOIN THE MIGHTY

Match Report;
Blyth stepped into the lofty company of Liverpool and Arsenal by beating Wrexham in a cup match at the Racecourse in this promotion season.
Within 5 miuntes Blyth were in the lead when Terry Johnson scored his 33rd goal of the season.
Manager Griffith was also away and unable to rally his troops at half time. Blyth began the second half determinedly and Niedzwicki was called to make three saves, before Whittle grabbed an equaliser.
David Varty sealed the game on 72 minutes, when he intercepted a pass and drove home from 20 yards.


DEBENHAMS CUP FINAL
Second leg
18th May 1978

BLYTH SPARTANS
 (1)  1 v 1  (0)
WREXHAM
Blyth win 3v2 on aggregate

 
 

Pre-match;
Wrexham hope to repair the damage made in the first leg of the cup for 'giant killers'.

BLYTH PIP WREXHAM IN CUP

Match Report;
A brilliantly headed goal by Dave Varty after 21 minutes pushed the Northern League side to a £7,000 prize in the Debenhams Cup Final at Croft Road.
Wrexham showed plenty of class but former Newcastle  and Sunderland full back Ron Guthrie, kept a tight hold on Bobby Shinton.
The Welshmen kept coming at Blyth and got their reward in 68 minutes with a neat header by John Lyons.
The score remained 1v1 and Blyth skipper John Waterston lifted the trophy.



   1977 / 78  WREXHAM
LEAGUE
RESULTS

Opponents
Home
Away

FvA League Division 3 Wrexham Scorers
Shrewsbury
Oxford
Port Vale

Peterborough
Portsmouth
Tranmere
Chesterfield
Swindon
Chester
Lincoln
Cambridge

Exeter
Sheffied W
Walsall
Bury
Plymouth

Preston
Colchester
Rotherham
Hereford
Bradford City
Carlisle
Plymouth
Gillingham
Shrewsbury

Portsmouth
Chesterfield
Lincoln
Oxford
Exeter
Tranmere

Swindon
Walsall
Bury
Bradford C
Carlisle
Gillingham
Chester
Preston

Port Vale
Colchester
Rotherham
Cambridge
Hereford
Peterborough
Sheffield W

1v2
2v2
1v1
2v2
2v0
1v3
0v1
2v1
1v1
1v0
4v1
1v0
1v1
1v0
3v1
2v0

3v1
2v1
2v2
2v1
1v2
3v1
1v0
3v3
0v0

1v0
1v1
1v0
1v2
2v1
6v1

2v1
1v0
3v2
2v0
4v1
0v0
1v2
0v0

1v1
1v1
7v1
0v1
1v1
0v0
1v2

Ashcroft
Shinton, Roberts
Griffiths (pen)
Shinton 2
Shinton, Davis
Shinton
-
McNeil, Whittle
Whittle
Shinton
McNeil 2, Evans, Murray o.g.

McNeil
Shinton
McNeil
Thomas 2, Roberts
Roberts, Shinton

Sutton, Shinton, McNeil
Shinton, Whittle
Whittle 2
Whittle, Cartwright
McNeil
McNeil, Whittle, Thomas
Shinton
Lyons, McNeil
-
Whittle
McNeil
McNeil
Cartwright
Whittle, McNeil
Sutton, Roberts, Shinton 2, Thomas, Lyons

Lyons 2
Shinton
Whittle 2, Davis
-
Whittle 4
-
Raynor o.g.
-
Lyons
Thomas
Thomas, Lyons, Whittle 3, Shinton, Cartwright
-
Thomas
-
Cartwright

Points per

game

Win = 2 pts   Draw = 1 pt   Loss = 0 pts


Wrexham A.F.C. Appearances 1977/78
(including those as substitute)

Div 3: League Division 3
FAC; F.A. Cup
WC; Welsh Cup
LC; League Cup
max; games played
Pl; Played
Gl; Goals scored
  


 

Div 3
46 max
Pl - Gl

FAC
 9 max
Pl - Gl

W C
 5 max
Pl Gl

Lg C
 6 max
Pl Gl

Total
66 max
Pl Gl

Ashcroft
Buxton
Cartwright
Cegielski
Davies D
Davis G
Dwyer
Evans
Griffiths
Hill
Kenworthy
Lee
Lloyd
Lyons
McNeil
Niedzwiecki
Roberts
Shinton
Sutton
Thomas
Whittle
Williams
Own goals

 3 - 1
 1
41
 9
30
46 -  2
45
24 -  1
20 -  1
30
 1
 6
 1
21 -  6
23 - 13
15
41 -  4
46 - 16
46 -  2
43
37 - 18
 1
3

0
0
6 - 1
1
8
8 - 1
9
4
3
6
0
0
0
3
9 - 11
1
8
9 - 4
9
9 - 1
9 - 3
0
1

0
0
4 - 2
1
4
5
5 - 1
3
3 - 1
2
0
0
0
3 - 1
1 - 1
1
4
5 - 2
5
4 - 1
5 - 1
1
0

2 - 1
0
6
1
3
6
6
3
2
3
0
1 - 1
2
3 - 2
0
1
6
6 - 2
6
6
5 - 2
0
1

5 - 2
1
57 - 3
12
43
65 - 3
65 - 1
34 - 1
28 - 2
41
1
7 - 1
3
30 - 8
33 - 25
18
59 - 4
66 - 24
66 - 2
62 - 2
56 - 24
2


1977/78 Division 3 Final Table  P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Wrexham 46 23 15 8 78 45 +33 61
2 Cambridge United 46 23 12 11 72 51 +21 58
3 Preston North End 46 20 16 10 63 38 +25 56
4 Peterborough United 46 20 16 10 47 33 +14 56
5 Chester 46 16 22 8 59 56 +3 54
6 Walsall 46 18 17 11 61 50 +11 53
7 Gillingham 46 15 20 11 67 60 +7 50
8 Colchester United 46 15 18 13 55 44 +11 48
9 Chesterfield 46 17 14 15 58 49 +9 48
10 Swindon Town 46 16 16 14 67 60 +7 48
11 Shrewsbury Town 46 16 15 15 63 57 +6 47
12 Tranmere Rovers 46 16 15 15 57 52 +5 47
13 Carlisle United 46 14 19 13 59 59 +0 47
14 Sheffield Wednesday 46 15 16 15 50 52 -2 46
15 Bury 46 13 19 14 62 56 +6 45
16 Lincoln City 46 15 15 16 53 61 -8 45
17 Exeter City 46 15 14 17 49 59 -10 44
18 Oxford United 46 13 14 19 64 67 -3 40
19 Plymouth Argyle 46 11 17 18 61 68 -7 39
20 Rotherham United 46 13 13 20 51 68 -17 39
21 Port Vale 46 8 20 18 46 67 -21 36
22 Bradford City 46 12 10 24 56 86 -30 34
23 Hereford United 46 9 14 23 34 60 -26 32
24 Portsmouth 46 7 17 22 41 75 -34 31
Table courtesy of Wikipedia

 

WREXHAM A.F.C. 1977/78
YOUTH TEAM
!

Welsh Youth Cup Winners 1977-78
Afan Lido 1 v 2 Wrexham

 


Scorers Steve Buxton and Peter Williams
with the Welsh Youth Cup

Wrexham Youth Team won the Welsh Youth Cup at Aberystwyth by beating Afan Lido from South Wales, after extra time.

Afan took the lead and five minutes from time, Peter Williams equalised. Steve Buxton, who had earlier missed a penalty, got the vital winner.

It is the seventh time Wrexham have won the trophy.


Welsh Youth Cup Winners 1977/78

Back Row; Mr Terry Bates (Coach), Bruce Urquhart, John Hughes,
Frankie Jones, Brian Evans, Jimmy McDonnagh, Peter Williams,
Dave Highton, Vince Clapton (Trainer)
Front Row; Eli Roberts, Steve Buxton, Elfyn Edwards,
Dave Jones, Nickie Hencher.


I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM FANS
WHO REMEMBER THIS 1977/78 SEASON!
CAN YOU HELP BY SUPPLYING SCANNED
IMAGES OF PROGRAMMES FOR THE SEASON, PLEASE?
Ken Davies October 2010
mail@penmon.org

"WREXHAM A.F.C. 1977/78"
webpage serialised in
The DRAGON
the official match day programme of
Wrexham F.C.

 
Wrexham v Darlington  programme cover, 20th November 2010
edited by  Terry Brumpton and Scott Smith
reproduced here courtesy of
JJ Sports Promotions Ltd 

A Step Back In Time.

Ken, a long standing Wrexham supporter, took it upon himself to put together a scrap book of information, including match reports, paper clippings and photos profiling our 1977/78 campaign. Between now and the end of the season we will be profiling sections of that past campaign so that some of you supporters can relive one of the most memorable seasons in the club's long and distinguished history.
You can check out Ken's collection here; 
www.penmon.org/page70.htm

I am extremely grateful to Scott Smith of JJ Sports Promotions Ltd
for the professional way in which he has profiled this webpage,
featuring a month at a time in each Wrexham home programme,
from and including the Darlington game.
The programme itself is outstanding, and worthy of a club in the
Barclays Premier League, let alone Wrexham in the Blue Square. 
Ken Davies

Websites of Interest

Bobby Shinton
Manchester City 1979-80
(click here)

Newcastle United 1980-82
(click here)


Dixie McNeil
Profile
(click here)


Dixie
The autobiography of Dixie McNeil


This Goal machine Dixie McNeil was a star football striker whose career spanned three decades. Dixie played the beautiful game at Leicester, Exeter, Northampton, Lincoln, Hereford and Wrexham. Top goalscorer of all four divisions in the Football League in 1974-75 and 1975-76, he played against some of the best sides in the land and in Europe.
Hero-worshipped at Wrexham F.C., he spent nine years there as a player and later as their manager.

Y Lolfa
www.ylolfa.com
ISBN 978-1-84771-365-0
(paperback)

£9.95
2011

Billy Ashcroft
Facebook
Courtesy of Dave Almond
 
(click here)

 

Wrexham F.C. Hall of Fame
(click here)
where you can select the following 1977/78 players,
and more;
Graham Whittle
Mickey Thomas
Bobby Shinton
Dixie McNeil
Eddie Niedzwiecki
Dai Davies
Billy Ashcroft
Arfon Griffiths
Alan Dwyer


 

Wrexham F.C.
Official website
(click here)



 WREXHAM SUPPORTERS ASSOCIATION
(click here)

2010/11 Season, Statzone, Tactics,
Podcasts & Videos, Association News
Everything a Wrexham supporter
needs to know about 2010/11 - fantastic !



Blue Square Premier League's Official Website
featuring Wrexham F.C. with links to the other clubs


 

You may be interested in visiting
the following pages on this website


Wrexham's Robin Remembers
A page in memory of sportswriter
Dave Lovett


Dave Powell
Wrexham 1962 - 1969

(click here)

Dave Powell was born in Dolgarrog, and started his professional career with Wrexham. He gained his first Welsh International cap against West Germany in 1967/68 , eventually winning 11 caps.
Dave was transferred to Sheffield United and finished his career at Cardiff City 
        

Football Programme Collection
(click here)

Over the years, like many other football  fans, I have collected a mass of programmes featuring many clubs, obviously including Wrexham.

This webpage has a selection of them, with a story behind most.
       


Acknowledgements
Information on this unofficial Wrexham A.F.C. webpage
is based on newspaper cuttings and photos primarily from the
Liverpool Daily Post.
Reporters; John Hall, Leslie Thomas, Charles Lambert,
Gwynne Davies,  Peter Bills, Bob Whiting, Andrew Stratton,
Eric Handley, Horace Yates, Charles Watson, Victor Churcher.

Gareth M. Davies, Wrexham's historian.
 


Copyright Historical Football Kits
are reproduced by kind permission



JOHN LYONS
1956 - 1982
 

I was touched by this request from Richard Morris, a Bristol Rovers supporter.

I am trying to find out more about the late John Lyons, and noticed your website. I live near Buckley and moved to the area about 10 years ago where John grew up and is now laid to rest. I found out about John and have felt very touched by his sadly short life, I don't really know why.
It seems he was a very popular man, and well-liked, but it is very hard to find out much about him considering  that he was such an influential player at a very successful time for Wrexham.
I notice that he is spoken of occasionally on messageboards, and Millwall fans in particular remember him very fondly among his other clubs.
The reasons for his untimely and tragic death also seem to be a mystery still - I think he may have suffered from depression, but am not sure. I wondered if you could shed any light on any aspects of his life?
It seems a pity that he has become such an enigmatic figure.

 Hi Ken

I read on your site that Mr Richard Morris would like to know a bit more about my friend, John Lyons. Well I can add something, as I grew up with John, and we first met John in the Board School in Buckley, Flintshire around 1967.

I took a ball to school one day and had about 15 a-side playing. A lad walked up to me and asked "Can I have a game?"
I said "Yeah, OK. You're on my side." That was the first time I met john and we became great mates. A lad who I respected and looked up to.

Two years later, we moved to just around the corner from John's house. He was in the 4th year football team when I was in the 3rd year.We played football most nights, using gate posts as goals.

John and Mike Iball, another one of John's mates, played against about 6 of us but we could never beat them. 

He would come round at night with his little dog called Whiskey. They were never apart. John  had a brother who was a great rugby player. John also held the the long jump record at Elfed High School. I'm not sure if it was ever broken. He was a great lad, a great mate and a great footballer, even at a young age.

I'm so glad to have met and known John and a privilege to have played football with him.

Regards Pete Iacurti
Many thanks Pete for sharing such a wonderful memory of John. KD
January 2014


John Patrick Lyons

Football Career
1975; Wrexham
1977; Bangor City (loan)
1979; Millwall
1980; Cambridge Utd
1982; Colchester Utd

Honours;
1978; Division 3 Champions
1975 & 78; Welsh Cup Winner
1979; Welsh Cup Runner-up
1975; Welsh Youth Cup Winner

John Lyons was born on the 8th November 1956 in Buckley Flintshire and in his early days he was a Wrexham supporter.

He said "I remember when Wrexham got promoted from the Fourth Division to the Third Division, I ran on to the pitch. I missed my bus back to Buckley".

John started his Wrexham career when he joined them from school in 1973.

Wrexham's programme for the 17th August 1974 opening day of the Third Division's 1974/75 season, Wrexham v Port Vale,  includes the following item;
Congratulations! to the 'under strength' Wrexham F.C. Youth squad who finished sixth in the 'Little Youth Tournament' during the summer.
Although Wrexham were unbeaten in all three games, they were placed sixth because the competition was on a league table basis.
In the first game we drew with Barcelona 0v0, then beat Glasgow Rangers 2v1, the scorers being John Lyons and Mike Williams, and then presented bottom placed Alost of Belgium with their only point, the game ending 0v0.
Under the guidance of Arfon Griffiths, Eddie May and Ron Bellis, the Wrexham squad was; Geoff Hopley, Peter Kane, Tony Larkin, David Lloyd, Alan Robertson, Mike Williams, Jim Burns, Robert Williams, Jim O'Rouke, John Lyons, Mark Smallman, Phil Thomas, Iolo Hughes and Kerry Davies.
 


He replaced David Smallman in Wrexham's first team, when David was transferred to First Division club Everton on the 12th March 1975..

John made his Football League debut for the Robins, aged 18, against Peterborough Utd, scoring Wrexham's goal in a 1v2 home defeat, on the 22nd of March 1975.

John was also selected for the following game against Watford away, which Wrexham won 2v1.

John, number 10, scoops home skipper Eddie May's thunderous header
for Wrexham's winner at Watford


John was not selected in any of the next six games but scored against Swindon in a 1v2 home defeat, on the 26th April 1975, when he replaced Billy Ashcroft as a subsitute.

The following game was the last of the season, in which he again appeared in a 0v0 draw at Blackburn Rovers. An impressive start to his Wrexham league career. 4 games, 3 goals! 

The icing on the cake for John that season, was scoring the winner in a 2v1 victory aainst Cardiff City in the first leg of the Welsh Cup Final. He was not selected for the second leg, which Wrexham won 3v1.


The 1975/76 season started promisingly for John, as he secured a first team place for the first 5 games. Unfortunately the signing of Stuart Lee put him in the sidelines. He played 15 times with 4 substitute appearances, scoring 3 goals in the league. John also scored in the 3v0 League Cup victory over Chester at The Racecourse.

John made an European Cup-Winners Cup appearance against Djurgardens of Sweden in a 2v1 victory, as a substitue for David Fogg, who was injured.

He played another bit part for Wrexham in the 1976/77 season, with 3 full appearances at the end of the season with 4 as substitute, scoring in the 2v4 home defeat to Crystal Palace as the Robins failed to secure what looked like certain promotion to the Second Division.
 

The Wrexham v Crystal Palace programme states;
Wrexham's second string have won the Northern Floodlit League challenge trophy for the sixth time in eight seasons.
They beat Shrewsbury Town 1v0 in the second leg on Thursday at the Racecourse to win the final tie on a 3v2 aggregate. John Lyons got the winning goal.
The Wrexham line up was; Niedzwiecki, Alan Hill, Steve Kenworthy, Tony Larkin, Wayne Cegielski, John McLaughlin, Everton Wiliams, Michael Williams, Alan Sumner, John Lyons, Brian Evans.
 


John did however score 4 goals for Wrexham Reserves in a 6v0 win over Bangor City in a Welsh League match in March 1977. Alan Sumner and Everton Williams were the other scorers.

His luck changed the following 1977/78 Championship winning season, when he replaced the injured Dixie McNeil and stayed in the side for the remainder of the season.

John was listed as a substitue in the F.A. Cup Third Round tie at First Division club Bristol City's programme, on the 7th January 1978, which resulted in a remarkable 4v4 draw!
The programme describes John as; A young striker who has been on the fringe of the first team for several seasons but has now staked his serious claim  with some fine displays at the end of last season. A former Welsh youth player.
  


John was selected to play against Liverpool in the 5th round of the Football League Cup on the 17th January 1978.

The Wrexham match programme stated that;
John Lyons, the Wrexham striker has everything to play for tonight against Liverpool......including a place in the Wales under-21 side to face Scotland at The Racecourse on February 7th.
Programme's teams;
Wrexham; Davies, Hill, Dwyer, Davis, Roberts, Thomas, Shinton, Sutton, Lyons, Whittle, Cartwright.
Liverpool; Clemence, Neal, Hansen, Thompson, Kennedy, Hughes, Dalglish, Case, Johnson, McDermott, Callaghan.

The result; Wrexham 1v3 Liverpool.
Wrexham's scorer................. John Lyons.

One of his goals was away at Port Vale on the 11th April, 1978.

The match programme describes him as;
John Lyons (forward) - Young striker who has been on the fringe of the first team for a number of seasons. A Welsh Youth International, he was restricted to 3 outings last term but is a useful man to have in the squad.
Port Vale 1v1 Wrexham. scorer - John Lyons.
Match report: John Lyons, proving an able stand in for Dixie McNeil robbed Vale's Ridley in the 18th minute and ran the length of the field before flicking a short pass to Bobby Shinton.
Shinton's perfect return left Lyons clear to pick his spot and he drove firmly past the advancing keeper
  


John also scored a goal in the 7v1 victory against Rotherham - the match which clinched promotion. 

He told David Lovett of the Shropshire Star, "It's a great feeling knowing we will be in the Second Division next season. In fact I don't think it has really sunk in yet. I feel a bit sorry for Dixie, missing out on all that this afternoon, but he has played his part as much as anyone"

Finally that season, John scored the only goal in the second leg of the Welsh Cup Final at home to Bangor City, securing the trophy on a  3v1 aggregate.

John came on as a 67th minute substitue for Bobby Shinton in Wrexham's first ever Second Division match at home to Brighton and Hove Albion, in 1978/79. The visitors were manager by former Spurs and England star Alan Mullery. The match ended in a disappointing 0v0 draw. 

He scored in the next game as a substitute against Fulham in 1v0 victory at Craven Cottage.

During this season, his last for the club, he made 28 league appearances with  7 as a substitue, scoring 10 goals. His last goal was in the final game of the season, against........ Millwall, on the 17th May 1979.

John signed for Millwall in July 1979, for a fee of £50,000 

 

MILLWALL F.C. 1979/80
Click here to see details of John's first season at The Den 


He played a total of 55 league games at The Den, scoring 20 goals.

 

CAMBRIDGE UNITED
1980

This impressed Cambridge United who signed John for £90,000 in October 1980.

Cambridge United 1981-82

Back row: Andy Polycarpou, John Lyons, Dave Donaldson,
Martin Goldsmith, Roger Gibbins, Jamie Murray, Tom Finney
Middle row; Chris Turner, Lindsay Smith, Richard Key,
Steve Fallon, Malcolm Webster, Floyd Streete, George Riley
Front row; Derrick Christie, Stephen Pyle, Graham Cox,
Steve Spriggs, Tommy O'Neill, Graham Watson 


He only made 21 appearances there before signing for Colchester United in February 1982.

 

COLCHESTER UNITED
1982


John made 33 appearances for Colchester, scoring 9 goals.
His last appearance was against Chester at home in a 1v0 win, on the 9th November, 1982.


John Lyons tragically committed suicide on the 11th November 1982
He was only 26 years old.
He is buried in his home town, Buckley

The church was packed, with many personalities from the soccer world attending to pay their last respects.
He was a popular lad. 

 

WREXHAM MEMORIES 

Vic Tyler-Jones shares some Wrexham memories;

I am a long suffering Wrexhamite, and can remember playing for Llay Welfare Reserves in the 1970s against the Wrexham starlets Mickey Thomas and Graham Whittle.

I remember the best days of Billy Ashcroft and Bobby Shinton and before that the strange Clive Colebridge on the wing, and before that Ally McGowan and Alan Fox when the ball was like a solid rock in the mud.

I was there when Mickey Metcalf went over the wall at the Mold end and broke his arm badly. Years later I was teaching in Ellesmere Port when he came to see me - he was a representative for Philip Harris - science equipment - he said he could still not straighten his arm.

The first game I can remember is v. Man Utd in around 1957. - I think that was the biggest gate. I was at the back of the Crispin Lane end - right at the back - I had to build a pile of bricks to stand on but people kept stealing these - I saw the ball go up in the air once or twice and that was it.

4th January 1957 - 4th Round FA Cup.
Wrexham 0 v 5 Manchester Utd.

Wrexham;
Waters
McGowan, Parker,
Green, Fox, Davis,
G. Jones, Hewitt, Thompson, Anderson, D. Jones.
Att 34,445



Alan Davies
is a keen Wrexham fan
living in South Africa


My name is Alan Davies. I discovered your site just the other day and have not yet had the time to go through everything but I did come across your section on Wrexham AFC 1977/78, which I remember very well.

I have attached copies of the front cover of the program from the two most memorable games of that incredible season; Arsenal in the Cup and of course Rotherham, - who can forget that match?

I have lived in South Africa since 1982 and still follow the town, but have only seen them once live back in 2007 against Hereford. It was when I visited the UK, when myself and my brothers got together for the first time in 26 years. I am originally from Llay.

I have a number of programmes from that season, including Newcastle, Blyth Spartans and Liverpool and a few from other seasons which I inherited from my late father in law, Bill Smith also from Llay. Bill was an avid Wrexham supporter. He would be devastated to see them in the Blue Square Premier (non) league.

Apart from the Hereford game, I did see one match live but on TV, in I think 1992. They showed West Ham v Wrexham FA Cup live on TV here in SA, 2 - 2 I think the score was. They showed highlights of Wrexham v Arsenal as well, quite a number of times actually.

Well I have a lot of browsing to do. So keep up the good work
Alan.

I am very grateful to Alan for getting in touch and for supplying many programme covers from the 1977/78 season which are included  on this Wrexham webpage. KD


F. A. Cup 4th Round
Cardiff City
3v2
Wrexham
29th January 1977

I am delighted that Cardiff City supporter, Dai Woosnam,  
has got in touch with this cup tie memory

May 18th 2011
Dear Ken,
I see that you are a Racecourse fan from your site. 
I could talk a lot about games between the two clubs.

The best I ever saw was a tremendous encounter in the 4th Round of the FA Cup in January 77.  

Wrexham - the better team throughout - had a great team then under John Neal.  Mel Sutton (ex-City), Arfon Griffiths, Billy Ashcroft, Bobby Shinton, Graham Whittle, Mickey Thomas ... and a few others whose names will come if I think about it.  Was Dai Davies playing in goal?  No, I don't think he had arrived by then.  Was John Roberts at centre half?  I cannot recall.


I remember Billy  Ashcoft equalising just as the game went into injury time, and then John Buchanan going straight down the other end and scoring the winner.  3-2.  Heck of a game.  Peter Sayer also scored for City. He had scored in the third round win over Spurs, pictured here.

Photo copyright; Football Echo

But I go back even further with Cardiff City.  I never missed a game as a boy and youth ... even saw all the Welsh Cup home games like the time they defeated Knighton Town 16-0. 
I even recall the great Wyn Davies playing for Wrexham, before moving on to Bolton and even greater glory.    He was - after John Charles - the best header of a ball that I ever saw.  
We have a good friend who is 87 and is a retired GP who has  lived in the Wrexham area since strating married life there 60 years ago.  We were over at his house on top of the mountain in Llanfynydd, just 3 weeks ago.   He told me how sad so many Wrexham fans are these days, and how there seems no immediate solution.


Wrexham 4 v
Friendly

8 Leeds United
1964/65

Received an enquiry from John O'Keefe

Hi Ken,
I have followed Wrexham since 1963, the season after Kevin Keelan was sold to Norwich, Ken Barnes was the Player Manager.
I have a recollection of Wrexham playing Leeds United in a friendly at The Racecourse in the Sixties, the score as I remember it was Wrexham 4 Leeds 8.
I seem to remember that Steve Fleet was in goal for Wrexham, with Gary Sprake being the Leeds goalkeeper and Billy Bremner was in the Leeds team.
I also believe that the headline on the back page of the Wrexham Leader saying something like 'Wrexham lose to Leeds United but put 4 goals past the mighty Leeds'.
I remember Steve Fleet being in goal and kicking Billy Bremner in the backside in a jovial way inside the six yard box.
I assume that Arfon Griffiths, (Prince of Wales), played alongside, say, Albert Kinsey, Sammy McMillan, possibly Ernie Phythian and Martyn King, what about Clive Colbridge and Alan Fox.
The reason I am contacting you is that I can't find anyone who remembers the game and have been having a difference of opinion with a Leeds United supporter who is adamant that Wrexham and Leeds have never played each other, can you help me please? 


I made an enquiry to Gareth Davies, a Wrexham FC Historian through Ian Garland, authors  of the A-Z of Welsh International Footballers, and received the following reply:

I've spoken to Gareth.  Two matches were played against Leeds in the1964-65 season, home and away. They were friendlies and played in midseason. The 4-8 score rang a bell with him. The match programmes are among the rarest Wrexham programmes - even Gareth doesn't have them. But he confirmed the matches straightaway and added the two sides have never met in a competitive match.
Hope this helps.

My thanks to Gareth and Ian for their assistance. KD

I'm very grateful to Dave, webmaster of The Mighty Leeds website for supplying me with a press article, part of which appears here. It confirms that Wrexham also played Leeds United away in a friendly that season.

Yorkshire Evening Post Wednesday 23/9/64
Debut for Belfitt in United cup-tie team
Terry Lofthouse
Rodney Belfitt, one of Leeds United's string of promising youngsters, makes his senior debut against neighbours Huddersfield Town in the second round of the Football League Cup at Elland Road tonight.

Doncaster born Belfitt (18) was signed by Leeds in July 1963, after being released by Arsenal, for which club he played as an amateur. He joined the Highbury staff from Yorkshire League club Doncaster United. He has been a regular member of United's Central League side, and he got a taster of first team football when playing in the second half in the pre-season friendly with Wrexham at Elland Road.



Possible Wrexham team which played Leeds Utd

Based on 'WREXHAM - A complete Record 1872-1992' by Peter Jones - mid season 1964 65, the possible Wrexham team could have been:
1 Fleet: 2 Holland 3 McClelland: 4 Barnes 5 Mielczarek 6 Jones P:
7 McMillan 8 Webber 9 King 10 Griffiths 11 Williams

Re the names John mentions;
Possibly 8 Pythian  11 Colbridge
No Kinsey nor Fox in squad that season.

Leeds United 1964/65
Runners up League Division One

Click here to visit the Might Leeds website 1964/65 season


Photo copyright Mighty Leedswebsite 

Thanks for all your help and information,JohnO'Keefe.

If you can help with additional information on the
Wrexham
v Leeds Utd friendly,
John can be contacted via  mail@penmon.org


If you have any Wrexham memories to share
please forward them to
mail@penmon.org