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Match Report


Posted Sat 16 Apr 16 at 19:45 PM

Reds Take Derby Day Honours

Whatever happens on the play-off front, the smiles on the faces of both the players and fans of Wrexham AFC was as wide as the Mersey tunnel this afternoon.

Having lead through Kayden Jackson's early first half strike, the visitors were pegged back when James Norwood hammered home a penalty on 78 minutes - but not to be out done, there was still time for Sean Newton's header from a Wes York corner to send the three points back to North Wales.

The first chance of the game came on nine minutes, when Newton fired in a left footed shot that was only inches passed the far post, after he beat two defenders to get into position.

Rovers followed that with a long range free kick that was headed behind for a corner, before the flag kick came in and although Michael Ihiekwe headed just over from close range, the whistle had gone for a foul on Connor Jennings.

Wrexham took the lead on 15 minutes through Kayden Jackson’s individual effort. He picked up a poor pass from Steve McNulty held off Ihiekwe as he came in from the wing and slotted home his shot passed the advancing Scott Davies.

Shortly afterwards, Rovers responded with a cross in from Mekki that evaded everyone until Newton hooked it clear!

After picking up the ball in midfield Heslop fired in an effort from 30 yards that was only parried by keeper Davies, with the rebound going high when worked back to Fowler.

Then it was Newton's turn to get involved again, as his header on the end of a long cross from Jennings went straight into the arms of the home keeper.

A few minutes later and Newton was on the end of another cross field ball, this time heading down and looking for Jackson, but keeper was first to it inside his six-yard area.

Then a flick on from James Norwood carried safely over the Wrexham crossbar as Rhys Taylor watched on.

A few minutes before the break and Harris was booked for a high challenge on Lee Fowler - honestly! Newton took the free kick from 20 yards out, but is effort carried a yard or so over the Tranmere bar.

There was still time for Mekki to enjoy a run deep into the Wrexham half before shooting across the Wrexham goal, but it carried beyond the far post as Taylor dived full length to cover.

Ht 0-1

Mekki won a dubious free kick that he took himself from on the right. It was half cleared to Harris, whose deft chip seemed to be heading towards the head of Michael Higdon at the back post, but it was to carry over the tall forward.

Moments later another similar move ended when Taylor had to spread himself to deny a shot from Jeff Hughes, as Rovers had raised tempo in an effort to find their way back into the match in the opening minutes of the half.

On 56 minutes, with Taylor off his line having palmed a cross away, the keeper watched on in relief as Higdon failed to find the target, even allowing for a row of yellow shirts covering back behind their custodian.

Just after the hour, Fowler made way for Javan Vidal, while Rovers also changed Higdon for Jake Kirby.

Former Kidderminster defender Lee Vaughan was booked on 63 minutes for a foul on Robbie Evans.

Rovers then sent on the experienced Gary Taylor-Fletcher for Hughes midway through the half.

The former Premiership striker with both Blackpool and Leicester City, made an immediate impact with a great through ball that picked out Norwood on the left and with Mekki free in the middle, Manny Smith made a crucial saving tackle.

The scene did change on 77 minutes, when Wrexham conceded a penalty following a corner that was taken short, Mekki turning Heslop and being hauled down.

Former Forest Green man James Norwood was charged with the spot kick and fired home from 12 yards, although Taylor made a brave effort to get across.

Manager Gary Mills was not happy to settle for a point and send on both Louis Briscoe and Wes York for Hudson and Heslop respectively with 11 minutes remaining.

A neat through ball from Briscoe had Jackson in on goal, but Davies was quickly off his line to save at the feet of the striker.

Then on the 85th minute the away end erupted in delight as Newton scored from York's corner, as he headed goalwards from a distance out and while Harris on the line got a touch to the ball, it still ended up in the back of the net.

The stuffing was knocked out of Tranmere, who knew they needed a win to really help their play-off charge and it was Wrexham who went closest to another goal when Jennings was wide with a header from 10 yards, after good work by Evans on the left flank to set him up.

Despite five minutes of added time being played, it was the Reds who made a happy return to the Wirral and added three points to their FA Trophy success last November.

Tranmere Rovers: Davies,
Vaughan,McNulty,Ihiekwe, S Jennings,Ridehalgh, Harris, Norwood, Mekki, Hughes (Taylor-Fletcher 68), Higdon (Kirby 63).
Subs: Turner, Maynard, Fenwick.

Wrexham: Taylor, Carrington, M Smith, Hudson (Briscoe 79), Fyfield, Newton, Fowler (Vidal 62), Heslop (York 79), Evans, C Jennings, Jackson.
Subs: J Smith, Gray.

Referee: Martin Coy (Co Durham)
Attendance: 7,541
Away: 1,254

Bookings -
Harris (40, foul), Vaughan (63, foul)
Wrexham: Heslop (73, foul), Taylor (74, time wasting), Newton (89, foul)

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