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Maidenhead vs Wrexham: Title contenders travel to York Road in crucial National League clash
Maidenhead host high-flying Wrexham in the National League as the away side look to continue their title charge.
It’s Wrexham’s turn to take centre stage in the National League title race after the dramatics of last weekend at Notts County.
The Magpies were beaten 2-1 by Dagenham and Redbridge at Meadow Lane in front of the BT Sport cameras, a result which allowed Wrexham to move top with a midweek win over Chesterfield.
Now the Dragons travel to Maidenhead for the late Saturday kick-off, and you can watch all the action live on BT Sport 1.
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Can Wrexham avenge last season's defeat?
York Road hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Wrexham. They’ve won just once in seven trips to the stadium and last season’s visit was a particularly disappointing one for the Welsh side.
Having trailed 2-0 in the first half, goals from Paul Mullin and Jordan Davies levelled things up, but by then the away side had seen Bryce Hosannah sent off - mistakenly, because Mullin was the guilty party and would later serve the suspension.
Josh Kelly slotted home late in the second half to secure a 3-2 win for the hosts and send Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney home disappointed after what was their first taste of live National League football.
Wrexham’s owners will hope for a very different outcome this time around. Clearly, the squad is stronger this season and results have reflected that; the title favourites now sit a point ahead of Notts County with a game in hand, having only lost twice all season.
Phil Parkinson’s side are now 22 league games without a defeat, so losing at Maidenhead would be a significant upset.
They will know the possibility of a slip-up is always heightened at this stadium, though, and they will need to be at their best to leave with a valuable three points.
Can Maidenhead continue fine form?
A couple of weeks ago it seemed entirely possible that Maidenhead could be dragged into a relegation battle.
Alan Devonshire’s National League stalwarts were struggling for consistency and wins were few and far between.
But there will be a noticeably more relaxed atmosphere at York Road now after Maidenhead put together a run of three successive wins, beating Yeovil, Halifax and Dagenham to climb to 14th and move nine points clear of the bottom four.
The pressure is off, then, and they will not be reliant on picking up points against a team as strong as Wrexham.
Still, Devonshire has built something of a reputation as a scalper of the division’s big clubs and his team will be full of confidence heading into Saturday’s match.
A victory, or even a draw, would maintain Maidenhead’s impressive run of results and potentially set up a strong end to the season.
Will Wrexham's match-winners step up?
Wrexham’s congested schedule in February was a concern for fans heading into the month but they have emerged with just one draw and six wins, even if performances were perhaps not as free-flowing.
Late goals and resolute defending have characterised the recent victories, particularly last time out on the road when Sam Dalby scored a header in the sixth minute of injury time to give his side a 4-3 win at Aldershot.
A few days after that, Paul Mullin was on hand to score twice from the spot against Scunthorpe before Elliott Lee produced two stunning strikes in wins over Dorking and Chesterfield.
Ollie Palmer, the club’s record signing, was on the bench in the last two games but could he be the man of the moment at Maidenhead?
Whoever comes to the fore, there is a clear spirit and togetherness in the squad. The quality of the individuals at Wrexham has often been the difference and it wouldn’t be a surprise if a difficult trip to Maidenhead requires a moment of brilliance.