MICK Wadsworth believes snuffing out the threat of veteran hitman Gareth Taylor is the key to Chester City ending their 31-year wait for a league win at the home of their fiercest rivals.
Kate Bush was top of the charts with Wuthering Heights and Ian Rush was still one year away from his Chester debut the last time City beat Wrexham in a league game at the Racecourse – way back in April 1978.
But Blues boss Wadsworth reckons that run can come to an end in Sunday’s high noon showdown – providing his young defence get to grips with Dragons top scorer Taylor.
The 36-year-old former Manchester City and Wales striker is on fire having hit six goals in nine games for Dean Saunders’ side – and it will be impressive loanee Chris Lynch who will be charged with keeping Taylor in check.
Wadsworth said: “Taylor has been a top player for many years and I remember coming up against him when he started out at Bristol Rovers and I was managing Carlisle United. I’ve watched his career and he’s gone on to play for some very big teams.
“So we’re going to have to be ready for him. It’s going to be a big challenge for someone like Lynchy.
“Chris has been in outstanding form, though, and he should be looking forward to it – as we all are.”
Rookie Lynch, who is 18 years Taylor’s junior, was man of the match on Tuesday as Chester were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at relegation rivals Salisbury City. Wrexham thrashed title favourites Luton Town on the same night and they will be hot favourites for Sunday’s all-ticket affair.
Wadsworth said: “We’ll be up for it. It’s going to be a big challenge and a win there were would be an absolutely fantastic result.
“We need to start turning draws into wins and what a place it would be do it.”
Wadsworth, unlike Dragons boss Saunders, is working with a squad desperately short on numbers – but he is confident that is about to change.
Wadsworth hit the road yesterday to take in reserve team games between Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers and Scunthorpe United and Leeds United, and he hopes to announce new loan signings in time for Sunday.
Goalkeeper John Danby came off with concussion against Salisbury but he will be fit to face the Dragons. Midfielder Anthony Barry remains sidelined.
City, who are 22 points away from Blue Square Premier safety, entertain winless Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Chester City have so far sold in excess of 500 tickets for Sunday’s derby. The Deva Stadium ticket office is open between 10am-4pm today and tomorrow and from 10am-noon on Saturday.
John Batchelor is back in to buy the Blues. The controversial former York City owner claims Gillico – the company he is fronting – have made a £1.5m offer for Chester City and is waiting on Stephen Vaughan’s response.