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Cup Hero Likely To Start

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Former Sheffield United and Arsenal keeper Mark Howard is likely to start against his former club when Wrexham host the Blades later today.

The 36-year-old stopper was an inspirational member of Nigel Clough’s Sheffield United side which, as a League One side, reached the FA Cup semi-final, losing 5-3 to Premier League Hull City.

It is the first time in 23 years that the Red Dragons have appeared in this stage of the competition, with Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson inciting that they aren’t here to make up the numbers. The former Bradford City boss told their official site; “We want to put in a performance in the same manner as we do in the National League each week and as long as we do that, I’ll be happy.”

Wrexham had to come through the final qualifying round before they entered at the Round 1 stage. They beat Blyth Spartans in the Fourth Qualifying Round 3-2 in a replay, following a 1-1 draw at Croft Park. The Red Dragons oversaw Oldham Athletic 3-0 in the First Round before a Paul Mullen hat-trick helped dispose Farnborough 4-1.

The Red Dragons got off to a perfect start in their Third-Round tie at Championship side Coventry City after early goals from Sam Dalby (12 minutes), and Elliot Lee (18 minutes) marched them into a two-goal lead before going onto win the match 4-3. Ben Sheaf had pulled one back for the Sky Blues before Thomas O’Connor added a third on the stroke of half-time. The hosts were reduced to ten men on 57 minutes after Jonathan Panzo handballed in the box, with Mullen converting the spot kick. Substitute Viktor Gyokes and Kasey Palmer’s free kick set up a tense finish but the visitors held on for the victory.

Past Results v Wrexham

Played 10
Won 4
Drawn 3
Lost 3

28.02.1979 – Wrexham 4-0 Sheffield United (Division Two)
17.04.1979 – Sheffield United 1-1 Wrexham (Division Two)
16.10.1982 – Sheffield United 2-0 Wrexham (Division Three)
26.02.1983 – Wrexham 4-1 Sheffield United (Division Three)
19.11.1983 – Wrexham 1-5 Sheffield United (FAC 1)
05.12.1988 – Wrexham 1-1 Sheffield United (Sherpa Vans Trophy – Group)
17.01.1989 – Wrexham 2-1 Sheffield United (Sherpa Vans Trophy – Round 1)
12.08.1997 – Wrexham 1-1 Sheffield United (League Cup Round 1, 1st leg)
26.08.1997 – Sheffield United 3-1 Wrexham (League Cup Round 1, 2nd leg)
21.09.2004 – Wrexham 2-3 Sheffield United (League Cup Round 2)

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