Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC 0-1 Tranmere Rovers

Red Dragons fall to defeat at STōK Cae Ras

16 March 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC 0-1 Tranmere Rovers

Red Dragons fall to defeat at STōK Cae Ras

16 March 2024

Wrexham AFC succumbed to a narrow defeat in the cross-border derby, as they lost 1-0 to Tranmere Rovers in North Wales.

The hosts had a few opportunities in the opening stages, but they were punished on the counter-attack, as Luke Norris latched onto a long-range pass and broke the deadlock after eight minutes.

After going behind, opportunities were few and far between for the Red Dragons, as they battled away throughout with no real success.

Ultimately, despite Wrexham’s efforts they couldn’t manage to find an equaliser, and now sit level on points with MK Dons in the Sky Bet League Two table, with only goal difference separating the two sides.

Phil Parkinson named two changes from his side’s 1-1 draw against Harrogate Town in midweek, as the suspended James McClean was replaced by Luke Young in midfield, while Steven Fletcher was preferred over Ollie Palmer in attack.

Tranmere elected to switch ends as they won the coin toss ahead of the match in North Wales, before Paul Mullin got proceedings underway in the cross-border derby.

Luke Young strike on the volley blocked after just two minutes, after Ryan Barnett’s header fell at the feet of Wrexham’s captain.

Tranmere then registered their first shot of the afternoon just two minutes later, as Luke Norris fired just wide on his right foot from the edge of the box.

It was no surprise that the magnitude of the cross-border was on full display early on, as Joe Yarney was shown a card in the 7th minute with tensions starting to rise within the STōK Cae Ras.

Just less than a minute later, Rovers took the lead in North Wales. Hendry lifted the ball over Young, before firing a long-range drive forward into the path of Norris.

Norris, on the counter-attack, engaged in a race with Andy Cannon which he eventually managed to win, as the midfielder failed to clear his lines – resulting in Tranmere’s number nine firing straight into the bottom corner after eight minutes.

Wrexham almost found a swift response to going behind after 11 minutes, but Young’s long-range strike, which bounced awkwardly towards Luke McGee was dealt with well by the keeper, who made a smart save down low.

Despite trailing to Rovers, the sold-out crowd started to ramp up the atmosphere in the hopes of inspiring a crucial equaliser in front of the STōK Cold Brew Coffee Stand.

Elliot Lee fired a shot wide of McGee’s post, as Wrexham started to work their way back into the match.

Parkinson’s side had a number of half-chances but nothing concrete, as Paul Mullin and Steven Fletcher both had to deal with a physical defence that often liked to grapple onto the forward line.

Fletcher almost managed to net the leveller after 41 minutes as Lee flashed a delivery across goal, but despite the efforts of the outstretched ex-Scotland international, he couldn’t connect at the back-post.

The Red Dragons had one final chance before the interval, but Young’s powerful volley from the edge of the box spun just over McGee’s bar as Wrexham went into the break with a one-goal deficit.

Tranmere got the second half back underway at the STōK Cae Ras, but Wrexham’s frustrations remained as they failed to break down the visitors.

While Wrexham enjoyed most of the possession, it was their play in the final third that caused issues, being unable to record many chances of note.

Parkinson made a triple substitution after 65 minutes, as Ollie Palmer, Jordan Davies and Sam Dalby all entered the fold as Wrexham adjusted into a back four following a change of shape.

Dalby almost had an instant impact, but couldn’t direct his header into the net, as he latched onto Ryan Barnett’s delivery, only to see his effort drift wide in the 68th minute.

Ten minutes later, Davies had his own opportunity to provide an equaliser from a set-piece, but ultimately it was too far out, and his free-kick drifted over the bar.

Wrexham’s best effort of the second half came in the 81st minute, when Lee’s shot took a wicked deflection and looked set to nestle into the net. However, McGee came to the rescue in the nick of time, tipping the ball over the bar at the last second.

The fourth official indicated a minimum of five minutes added time to be played, but the breakthrough never came as Wrexham succumbed to a disappointing defeat.

Wrexham AFC: Okonkwo, Cleworth, O'Connell, Boyle (Palmer 65’), Barnett (Bolton 69’), Young (C) (J. Davies 65’), Cannon (O’Connor 79’), Lee, Mendy, Mullin, Fletcher (Dalby 65’).

Subs not used: Howard, Tozer.

Tranmere Rovers: McGee, O’Connor, Walker, Turnbull, Hendry, Norris (Dennis 71’), Jennings (C), Saunders (Morris 90’), Yarney, Apter (Lewis 76’), Wood.

Subs not used: Murphy, Hawkes, Merrie, Belehouan.

Match Attendance: 12,519 (1,151 Away)

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account