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MATCH REPORT | Dag & Red 1-1 Wrexham

The season petered out disappointingly, as a draw at Dagenham was not enough to secure a place in the play-offs.

29 May 2021

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT | Dag & Red 1-1 Wrexham

The season petered out disappointingly, as a draw at Dagenham was not enough to secure a place in the play-offs.

29 May 2021

With Jay Harris not fit, Dean Keates was forced into one change, bringing James Horsfield into a central midfield position.

Wrexham started very brightly, winning two corners in the opening two minutes. From the second, Luke Young’s delivery was met beyond the far post by Shaun Pearson, whose looping header clipped the bar.

The game then settled into a quiet period, with the two sides’ similar systems cancelling each other out.

However, the home side enjoyed their first spell of dominance around the 25th minute. Shaun Pearson made two impressive blocks as first Reynolds and then Myles Weston fired in powerful shots from the edge of the area, and Theo Vassell had to make an excellent far post header to clear a cross with the dangerous target man Paul McCallum lurking.

The home side’s best moment of the first half came after half an hour, when Wright’s free kick from the left corner of the box was narrowly wide of the near top corner.

Soon afterwards Wright had to be alert at the other end, making a crucial far post header when a wicked Cameron Green corner arrived into a dangerous area, and both sides would carve out a chance each as the half came to a close.

First a patient move by The Daggers ended in Matt Robinson sliding a neat pass to Angelo Balanta on the right side of the box. He cut back onto his left foot and swung in a cross to the far post which McCallum misheaded back across the face of goal.

Then, in the 45th minute, a Young free kick sparked a scramble on the edge of the area which ended in Jordan Davies winning the ball and hitting a snap shot just wide of the right post.

Keates withdrew Horsfield at the break, replacing him with Paul Rutherford, but sadly the substitute’s 11-minutes on the pitch were to be unhappy ones.

Six minutes later Dagenham opened the scoring. Balanta fed Wright on the right side of the box, and his driven cross was diverted into the net off Fiacre Kelleher.

Five minutes after that, Wrexham found themselves a man down as well. As they scrapped for a loose ball on the edge of the area, Rutherford jumped into a tackle and the referee had no doubt as he delivered a straight red card.

Keates was about to introduce Dior Angus when Rutherford was dismissed, and had to delay his change to reorganize his plans. Angus did eventually make his way on, alongside Dan Jarvis as Wrexham switched to four at the back.

For the next ten minutes The Daggers controlled possession and created chances around the edge of the box. Robinson twice tested Rob Lainton: his first shot was easily held, but the second one was well placed and forced the keeper into a smart save.

Between those shots, Seidou Khan hit a powerful 25-yarder just wide, but the home side didn’t threaten in the last 20 minutes as the 10-men tried to find a way back into the game.

Jordan Ponticelli looked like he might capitalize on confusion on the edge of the area to go one-on-one, but Kenny Clark made a superb saving tackle, but the centre back did less well soon afterwards when his awkward backpass forced goalkeeper Elliott Justham into a 50-50 tackle on Ponticelli.

A minute later a goal for Chesterfield completed a disastrous sequence of results, dropping us out of the play-offs and needing a win to correct the situation.

With ten minutes left, a superb switch of play by Davies set Jarvis away down the left, but his shot was blocked, and as time ran out, Shaun Pearson was sent up front. The centre back made an impact too, and the closing minutes saw Wrexham mount their most sustained attacking threat.

With a minute remaining, Angus burst in from the left and drove in a shot which Justham parried well, but soon afterwards the Dragons were level.

Pearson won a header and Jarvis fed the ball wide to Reece Hall-Johnson. His driven cross was tapped in by Ponticelli, and the goal stood even though he was in an offside position.

As the final whistle went at the other relevant grounds, confirming that results had gone against us, Wrexham pushed hard for a miraculous winner, and a minute after the goal the opportunity arose as Angus burst in behind the defence on the right. However, with two men in the box he was unable to find them with his cross, and his second effort deflected cruelly across the face of goal off Callum Reynolds. With The Dragons committing men forwards, Dagenham nearly scored as they broke away, with Balanta’s shot deflecting just wide off Theo Vassell.

Injuries disrupted the period of added time, and eventually the whistle blew to signal a cruel end to a season which has seen Dean Keates’ squad give everything to try and have a shot at the play-offs.

Wrexham: Lainton, Kelleher (Jarvis 61), Pearson, Vassell, Hall-Johnson, Young, Horsfield (Rutherford 45), Davies, Green, Omotayo (Angus 61), Ponticelli. UNUSED SUBS: Dibble, French.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Wright, Clark, Reynolds, Weston (Saunders77), Khan, Sagaf, Robinson, Gordon, Balanta (Wilson 90), McCallum (McQueen 86). UNUSED SUBS: Eleftheriou, Smith.

Referee: James Durkin

Attendance: 1,278

Yellow cards:

Wrexham – Pearson, Davies

Dagenham – McCallum

Red Cards:

Wrexham – Rutherford 56

Dagenham –

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