WREXHAM goalkeeper Andy Dibble gave manager Denis Smith an injury scare yesterday in what should have been a routine training session ahead of this afternoon's Racecourse meeting with Rochdale.
Dibble, whose form in successive Saturdays against Boston United and Macclesfield has had much to do with the Dragons' unbeaten start to the season, collided with youngster Mark Evans and needed treatment for a thigh injury.
Smith and club physiotherapist Mel Pejic could hardly believe it, particularly as the session was arranged primarily for the players to ease the bumps and bruises from Saturday's 1-0 win at Macclesfield out of their system.
"Andy got clattered right at the end of the session and now it's a case of waiting to see how he feels in the morning," said Smith, who also lost youngster Craig Morgan with a recurrence of the thigh strain that has hampered him since the start of the season.
Striker Lee Jones and midfielder Paul Barrett, who both missed the trip to Moss Rose, have been ruled out for this afternoon so the Dragons' boss might have to include assistant manager Kevin Russell in his squad, even though the veteran has been troubled by a toe injury.
Following Saturday's win, which took Wrexham to joint top of the third division, Smith said he wanted the run to continue this afternoon. "We must make sure we don't lose against a side I'm led to believe have been in the play-off positions for the past 40 games.
"They will provide a good yardstick for our own promotion hopes and what we saw of them in the Isle of Man suggests that it will be another good test for us.
"But, while we have nothing to fear from them, they will be treated with the respect they deserve and we must go out with the attitude of giving them a difficult game."
Wrexham's chief scout Brian Prandle watched Rochdale's 1-1 draw with Darlington at the weekend and said: "Wrexham are still the best third division side I've seen this season. Providing we take the game to them on Monday, we should win it."
Smith was delighted with the manner of Wrexham's first away victory of the season, at Macclesfield, saying: "They play the same system as us and we cancelled each other out for long periods but what we were looking for was that little break and one goal either way was possibly always going to win it.
"It's the sort of result we've not been able to get previously. It got a bit physical at times and we got a bit physical at times. If teams do that to us, now we can handle it."
Although they were forced to defend for sustained spells, Wrexham came through with another clean sheet, thanks to a series of fine saves from Dibble, whose splendid display makes it even more of concern that he's fit for this afternoon's action.
But Smith said: "I thought the back three did well for me today. Jim Whitley came more more into his own in the second half and started to dictate things a bit more and Shaun Holmes did a lot better."
And the Dragons' boss had a word of praise for striker Lee Trundle, who worked tirelessly for his team-mates and also picked up his third booking in four outings.
But Smith said he would not be fined this time. "Lee has a right to go for challenges. He's not a natural tackler but the lad showed the right attitude.
"He wanted to do the right things and he was fighting for the cause so you don't fine people for that. It wasn't a stupid thing so he won't be in trouble from me for that."