The Dragons reached Wembley twice but it was another frustrating season in the end
Was the 2012-13 season a success or failure for Wrexham? Those who choose to look on the bright side would point to the fact that the fan-owned club was run professionally and is finally free from the threats to its existence that had dominated the previous decade. Furthermore, Andy Morrell's men reached Wembley – something that no other Wrexham team had ever managed – on two occasions and won the FA Trophy.
However, the club's primary objective – promotion to the Football League after a five-season absence – wasn't met. The fact that we missed out on the only prize that really mattered can be attributed to a number of factors, ranging from long-term injuries to key players to the appalling deterioration of the Racecourse pitch throughout the season. Not to mention the energy expended in winning a tin-pot distraction.
Wrexham were often wasteful in front of goal, resulting in a number of draws and defeats being snatched from the jaws of victory. Reliance on veteran, pedestrian strikers to support the modest threat of Danny Wright – 23 goals in 80 appearances – meant we never recorded more than four consecutive victories and long unbeaten runs were littered with dropped points. These are perfectly valid reasons behind our third play-off failure in succession but a proportion of the blame must rest with player-manager Morrell. The popular forward relied heavily on experience – nine recognised first-team players were over the age of 30 – while he displayed a damaging reluctance to rotate his squad and had a bemusing belief in Dele Adebola.
Nevertheless, the Dragons finished the season in fifth place, despite being three points clear at the top of the table on March 5, and set up an all-Welsh play-off final against Newport County. Predictably, we missed chances – Brett Ormerod was the biggest villain from six yards – and it came as little surprise to see Christian Jolley open the scoring for our opponents with a ruthless strike on 85 minutes. This was particularly galling as County fended off interest from other clubs, including Wrexham, to sign Jolley from AFC Wimbledon in January – a benefit of having a multi-millionaire chairman.
Without a lottery winner of our own, a fourth successive tilt at promotion seems a lot to ask given that any extra revenue generated by our trips to Wembley has already been accounted for. This will give an opportunity for a promising crop of youngsters to flourish but whether or not Morrell can amalgamate them into a promotion-chasing team remains to be seen. Nathan Lee Davies
Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud by Nathan Lee Davies is due to published by Blackline Press in August and follows his journey around Welsh Premier League football grounds during 2011