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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 28 Oct 14 at 22:27 PM

Wrexham swept aside Conference rivals Macclesfield Town at the third time of asking this season in a breathless seven goal thriller at the Racecourse.

The hosts had twice hit the post before Andy Bishop (33) cancelled out Alex Grant's sixth minute opener.

The instrumental striker headed the Reds ahead in added time (45+1) before having a penalty saved (45+3) in the final action of the first half after Grant was dismissed for upending Wes York in the box. 

Johnny Hunt, in the starting XI at the expense of the suspended  Connor Jennings, made it 3-1 two minutes after the restart with a low drive before Paul Turnbull (55) reduced the arrears with an exquisite long-range strike. 

However, goals from Jo e Clarke (61) and Nick Rushton (90+2) ensured a home First Round tie against Woking with an assured finish.

The victory did come at a price though - Elliott Durrell and York both went off injured, but Reds boss Wilkin will seek solace in the fact top scorer Louis Moult and Connor Jennings are set to return from suspensions ahead of Saturday's league clash with FC Halifax Town. 

Ahead of the game academy prospect Joe Whittington was named on a youthful bench - Dean Keates the exception! 

Macclesfield shrugged off a second minute injury to Paul Lewis by opening the scoring during an insipid start to the contest.

Waide Fairhurst's flat delivery from a corner should have been easy pickings for Andy Coughlin but Grant stole a yard at the near post to divert his point-blank  header into the net.

Wrexham rallied but Rhys Taylor smothered an Elliott Durrell daisy-cutter with relative ease as the hosts sought a way back into the game.

Taylor then watched helplessly as Manny Smith touched Neil Ashton's free-kick onto the post with his head.

The same post was rattling minutes later as Durrell's deflected low shot again let the visitors off the hook.

The woodwork continued to enjoy the limelight as Paul Turnbull crashed a volley against the base of Coughlin's right post.

Durrell was forced off through injury after 31 minutes, forcing Wilkin into a reshuffle. He pushed Mark Carrington into the right-midfield berth with substitute Ross White slotting in at right-back.

Two minutes later and Wrexham were level. Ashton's corner was hardly one for the purists but it had enough on it to deceive several Silkmen's players who could only watch as Bishop converted from six yards.

Drama finally unfolded in the first of four minutes added time. The Silkmen's defence was split by White's raking pass and Bishop planted his header past the on-rushing Taylor.

Two minutes later York was hauled down in the box by Macc scorer Grant, who was red-carded for a professional foul.

Bishop, seeking his treble, smashed his penalty low to Taylor's right but the a Welsh keeper guessed right to keep it out with a strong hand. 

The two-goal cushion did materialise just two minutes into the second half, Hunt squeezing the ball under Taylor, who should have done better.

The same could be said for Wrexham's slack defending which allowed Turnbull plenty of time to pick his spot with some aplomb from 20 yards as the ten men of a Macclesfield refused to lie down. 

But Wrexham attacked at will and continued to make the extra man count - Clarke nodded in the fourth after Neil Ashton's header was saved. 

The winger - a constant threat - became the second Wrexham casualty after coming off worst in a challenge and had to make way for Rushton with 13 minutes left.

Taylor thwarted Bishop the chance to take the match ball home yet again at the death with a sublime save, but Wrexham were not to be denied a fifth as Rushton slotted in Joe Clarke's pass to cap a top-class team performance. 

Wrexham: Coughlin; Carrington, Smith, Hudson, Ashton; Durrell (White, 31), Harris (Keates, 85), Clarke, Hunt, York (Rushton, 77), Bishop. 
Subs: Gray (GK), Tomassen, Evans, Whittington.

Referee: Jason Whiteley (Yorkshire)
Attendance: 2,260
Away:
194

Sending Off -
Macclesfield: Grant (45, denying goalscoring) 

Bookings -
Macclesfield: Bailey (25, foul), Halls (42, foul) 

Photographs courtesy of Andrew Price - View Finder Pictures

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