A draw in the opening act of the Wrexham trilogy. It’s all a bit like The Lord Of The Rings, except there is nothing precious in Wrexham ( the A525 eastbound possibly), although Frank Sinclair o.g. does look like Golam.
Over the balance of play, the draw was about right, however had we scored 10-15 minutes prior to Jason Walker’s spot kick, we would have probably gone on and won the match, as we looked the more likely to score as Wrexham, after a decent start to the game, tired and settled for defending in mass numbers. Not that it would have mattered a great deal, although it stopped them doing the double over us in the regular League season.
Never going to be a great game. Wrexham fielded virtually a reserve team, personally surprised the strength of the team Brabin picked. It was a huge risk playing the likes of Tyler, Pilkington, Barner -Homer and Willmott to name but four only five days before a proper match. Thankfully no one got inured, although Poku hobbled off at the end. Although he always walks like his back and feet are killing him. Not the great man’s finest hour, he does try too hard and someone should tell him not to shoot.
We laboured badly in the first half, it terms of a cunning plan to give them a false sense of security it worked wonderfully, too ponderous on the ball, gave Wrexham far too much space in . Credit to them, for a stratch team, in the first half, they played pretty well, decent on the ball, reasonable movement.
Dan Walker was the attacking bright spot. As MBH looked uninterested until the second half, Owusu won little in the air, would have helped if he have timed his jump correctly. Willmott starved of sevice. It was left to Walker, backed up by another good performance from EAA( not the first player to up his game since the departure of Money), was allowed to run at his eternally back tracking namesake. His final ball/shot was wasn’t the best, but he kept going and when he can produce a bit more quality in that, added to his directness and pace, we have a very good prospect.
With Wrexham’s diamond formation in the midfield, Poku and Newton struggled badly to get much of a foothold into the game. On a sunny but breezy day, there was a good crowd at the Theatre of Comedy , pitch looking in splendid nick, watered heavily before hand. Reasonable support from North Wales, considering the lack of anything of the agme, the cost of transport, given the fact they are back in ten days time again. Good round of minute’s applause in memory of Allan Brown.
Our first effort of target of the game, came after an Edward run and checked back before slamming a cross onto Owusu’s head, simple catch for thje big man Mayebi in goal. He made some flashy stops, there is a bit of the juggler in him. Although you can tell Saunders is his boss, by the way everytime he caught a cross, he rolled over dramatically.
Brown’s through pass, would have been cut out by Pilkington, but for him slipping, the ball went through to Tyler, just too mcuh on it for the impressive Moss to get there. There were a nuber of youngsters in the Wrexham side both starting and on the ebnch. Had they been women from there, they were by pregnent by now, drinking Diamond White by the railway station opposite the Vauxhall dealership in Mold Road. Hmm…spent far too much of my life in Wrecsam.
Hunt allowed to travel down the left flank, poked the ball towards Williams, spotting Tyler off his line, his lofted effort was close but always drifting off line.
After some patient possession football between Tolley, Cieslewicz( who looked on the day, far too good, to be a squad player in this league) and Brown, played the ball into Williams, getting a bit of space, pushed the ball into the path of Moss ( looking offside) to tap in past Tyler and put them ahead.
Good ball up from the back by Kroca into Owusu touching off for Barnes-Homer to finish wildly over. With both Poku ( who at stage looked heading towards the world record for soft fouls conceded in a half of football ) and Newton, neither were positive or quick enough with the ball, although our Walker looked to have the beating of their Walker at right back, hacked doqwn as he attempted to round the whole defence, although Willmott could only blast his free kick at the wall positioned four inches away.
Ball knocked forward by Kroca, MBH gave half hearted chase, Mayebi claimed it but in the process knocked Fowler to the deck. With the pitch being so firm, Fowler looked to have sustained a nasty looking shoulder injury before being stretchered off, ironically he was one of the few players who have featured in their sixteen over the past few weeks.
Unfortunately Walker missed a golden opportunity to level the game, a wayward attempted header back by Andrews put his keeper in trouble, Mayebi could only knock the ball out in the direction of Walker, about twenty five yards out, fairly central position. He lacked the composure and wellied the ball nearer the scoreboard than the goal. Maybe he could have laid the ball off to MBH in a slightly better position.
It was only in the latter stages of the half, we managed to get a spell of pressure, which Willmott saw more of the ball, helping a pass from Graham from the right wings, Walker at the far post, caught in two minds, whether to control or shoot first time, did neither and the ball dribbled harmlessly across goal.
Ciesleswicz clattered Pilkington near the touchline, EAA sent a raking crossfield free kick across to Graham, who was slow initially to spot the pass, but he got there, finding Willmott, moving infield, sending a fine cross over which Walker nodded behind , getting in front of Owusu. Willmott tiptoed through both McMillian and Brown top fire a low drive which Mayebi held.
The second half brought about a much needed upping of the tempo and gradually took control of the game, mainly with the arrival of the subsitutions, both Adam Watkins and Jason Walker gave good cameo perfiormances, as did Alex Lacey filling in at at unfamiliar role of right back.
A ball forawrd by Graham, flicked forward by MBH, Willmott carried the ball forward, driving low at Mayebi, who stopped the ball but slipped it and had to recover the ball.
Willmott raiding down the right, but Andrews, who performing well for them at centre half, flicked the ball behind. From the resulting corner, Willmott recycled the ball after a duff delivery, finding Kroca neat chest trap, MBH lent back and fired over.
MBH and Owus for once combined well together, rolling the ball out to the newly arrived Watkins ( on for Willmott), he delayed his strike, but when he eventually tried a curler was deflected wide. dan walker sent in a naer post corner, which newton did well to stoop and turn his header which mayebi, a mite dramatically turned over the bar.
Wrexham whilst never having so much of the ball , were always a potential threat on the attack, Ciesleswicz got through too easily on the left channel centered for Williams, who had to sciore, but didn’t thanks to a great point blank reflex save by Tyler.
Excellent pass by Watkins out to Walker, slipping past Hunt, his centre was knocked away by Andrews before Owusu could reach it. The visitors were under the pump by this stage, since by Williams down in the area, being urged by the bench to get up to avoid having ten men at a corner, which Newton belted a drive, which maybei pushed skywards and eventually calimed before ending up on the floor again.
Jason Walker replaced Owusu, we just were starting to run out of ideas, when the newly arrived Stephens made a needless challange on Walker by the byline, from MBH’s forward ball. Straight forward decisoon to award a penalty. After Walker and MBH seemed to have differing views on whom should take the penalty. It was Walker stepped forawrd to be greeted by some extroidarny antics on the line by Mayebi , jumping up and down, shadow boxing. He fell down quickler than Audley harrison, diving to his right, Walker lifted the ball from wence he came, if he had stayed still he would have probably hit him in the face. Decent penalty, so that’s walker anme down on the list for the inevitable shoot out somewhere down the line.
Wrexham could have pinched it, more good movemnet and play by Cieslewicz from the left, a slight touch by Tolley and a screaming header by Salathiel, whizzed just over. Our last opportunity came from EAA’s fine run, turning back to centre for Walker to nod the ball into the ground.
Bring on the play offs and all the injustice it brings. At least this year we haven’t finished as the highest qualifer so if we don’t go up got no complaints. The current working of it is mind bogglingly stupid, why should one team have no advantage when they finish a long way clear is madness( admittedly that doesn’t apply so much in our league) . SKY love it, so that’s all who matters these days. Can’t say Im a fan of them in the slightest. 46 league games and could go out on penalities. That’s not cricket ‘arry.
Considering we have never won a play off match in four attempts, we can’t do any worse this year anyway. That’s optimism for you. At least we have got there with our match winners Lawless, Willmott and Gnakpa all in good form but do have the nagging doubts about our average results generally against the better teams in this division. Surely our rotten record against Wrexham has to come to an end soon, surely?
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and toilet rolls in the fridge.
Mark Tyler 6.75, Luke Graham 5.5, Zdenek Kroca 6.5, George Pilkington 6.25 ( Alex Lacey 6), Edward Asafu-Adjaye 7.75 , Dan Walker 7, Godfrey Poku 4.5 , Adam Newton 5.75 , Robbie Willmott 6.75 ( Adam Watkins 6.50 ), Matthew Barnes-Homer 6, Lloyd Owusu 5( Jason Walker 6.75 ).
Subs not used – J.J. O’Donnell, Kevin Pilkington.
Wrexham – Mayebi, Walker, McMillian, Andrews Hunt, Brown, Fowler (Tomassen ), Tolley, , Cieslewicz, Williams( Stevens), Moss (Salathiel ).