Thu 17 Oct 13
at 22:06 PM
Wrexham 2v0 Southport
Joe Anyinsah struck his second goal in as many games to earn Wrexham a morale-boosting win at the expense of Southport.
The powerful targetman capped a man-of-the-match display with the 75th minute winner as Wrexham finally took one of the many chances they created.
However, it could have been so different had it not been for a wonderful double save by Andy Coughlin just minutes earlier.
Add the fact that several key players returned and Wrexham completed the game booking-free it turned out to be a decent night’s work for Andy Morrell’s side.
He welcomed back skipper Dean Keates to the first team after a lengthy lay-off following foot surgery.
Jay Harris joined him in midfield after serving a suspension whilst Andy Bishop was preferred to Theo Bailey-Jones who dropped to the bench along with Johnny Hunt.
Harris wasted little time stamping his authority on proceedings and it was his deft pass which set Joe Clarke free on goal after nine minutes. However, a combination of a backtracking Sandgrounders defender and a poor touch scuppered the chance.
After a brief lull Wrexham fashioned two chances in as many minutes. Brett Ormerod threw himself at Neil Ashton’s precision cross to the far post but he headed wide before Anyinsah nodded over the bar from close range.
A last-ditch tackle denied Ormerod what would have been a superb individual effort after the veteran ran 25 yards whilst leaving one player trailing in his wake.
Clarke then flashed a shot across goal from an acute angle as Wrexham continued to dominate possession without any reward.
A minute before half-time the visitors almost took the lead against the run of play but Brice Irie-Bi ‘s shot found the base of the post after he outpaced Dave Artell.
Southport boss Alan Wright made a double substitution for the start of the second half with Osayamen Osawe and Paul Rutherford given a chance to impress at the expense of Irie-Bi and Aaron Chalmers.
The fresh legs certainly produced the desired effect. Sandgrounders captain Jamie Milligan rifled a fierce shot just wide before Coughlin got down low to palm away Karl Ledsham’s drive.
Wrexham countered but only some brave defending and desperate goalkeeping denied Anyinsah. First his shot on the turn from five yards was deflected out and from the resulting corner Hurst palmed over his header from a similar range.
Keates, inspirational on his return, almost capped a fine display with a goal but he directed his diving header just wide of goal after it arrived to him unexpectedly by way of Clarke’s wayward shot.
Coughlin then produced heroics in the Wrexham goal. First he clawed away Osawe’s chip after he broke from his own half and left Wrexham’s defence for dead.
Wrexham failed to clear from that chance and the ball fell kindly for Danny Hattersley but his shot was blocked by the keeper from point-blank range.
Buoyed by the let-off Wrexham heeded their luck and finally broke the deadlock with 15 minutes remaining.
Anyinsah got on the end of a slide-rule pass and drew Sandgrounders keeper Danny Hurst. He dinked the ball over the floored keeper and kept a cool head to fire into an empty net from 12 yards.
Mulligan pulled a free-kick just wide from 25 yards in the first of three minutes added time but an equaliser would have been unjust on an encouraging Reds performance.
Wrexham: Coughlin, Ashton, Clarke, Harris, Bishop (Ogleby, 84), Ormerod (Bailey-Jones, 77), Keates (cpt), Clowes (Hunt, 55), Anyinsah, Artell, Carrington.
Subs: Mayebi (GK), Cieslewicz.
Referee:Darren England (Yorks)