Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 28 Nov 2020

Wrexham's match at Hayes Lane was made to feel insignificant as goalkeeper Rob Lainton suffered a horrible looking head injury.

The incident came midway through a first half which had already contained a five-minute break after a linesman pulled a muscle and had to swap roles with the fourth official.

Lainton's injury came after an accidental collision with James Alabi. The Bromley striker burst clear but looked well offside. The flag stayed down though, so the striker committed himself to chasing the ball, while Lainton sprinted off his line.

They collided on the left side of the box, at which point the linesman raised his flag, in accordance with the regulations, which call on officials not to stop play for offside until the chasing player reaches the ball. Sadly, this is of no consolation to Wrexham or Lainton, who could immediately be seen to be in distress.

To reiterate, the challenge was in no way Alabi's fault. The striker showed genuine concern for Lainton as medical staff from both clubs rushed to the scene. 

Twelve minutes later the players left the pitch, returning to warm up again as an ambulance arrived 11 minutes later, with Christian Dibble preparing to make his first appearance of the season.. Eventually, Lainton was taken aboard and play resumed with the fourth offcial signalling 26 minutes of added time. We wish Rob all the best, and can't thank the medical staff at Bromley enough for their rapid reaction to the incident.

Bromley settled first after the restart and Dibble had to be alert to race out of his area to bravely beat Michael Cheek to the ball with a stooping header.

He did his best to deny Bromley in the tenth minute of injury time, but was powerless as they took the lead. A Reckord corner reached Kelleher, who seemed to lose the flight of the ball. It ricocheted off his back and fell to Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, who put Billy Bingham clear on goal. Dibble did well to save but Cheek got to the rebound and drilled it in.

Soon afterwards Cheek was looking dangerous again. Getting in behind Theo Vassell on the right, he pulled the ball back to Alabi, but he struggled to get the ball out from between his feet and dug out a shot which whistled over.

Bingham went close after he latched onto a Kelleher headed clearance 30 yards out, took it on his chest and tried a speculative drop kick which scraped the bar with Dibble scrambling.

Wrexham were struggling to create, and the best they managed in the first half were a couple of half-chances. Kelleher nodded a Reckord free kick into the goalmouth, but it dropped behind Adi Yussuf and Kwame Thomas, and in the 23rd minute of added time, Yussuf turned on a Reckord throw and drove a powerful shot in from a tight angle which was blocked.

Bromley began the second half strongly, and if it hadn't been for the excellent Dibble, they would have put clear distance between them and The Dragons. Luke Coulson hit a 20-yard free kick whch the keeper held, and he had to be swift to beat Cheek to a weak touch from Kelleher.

Within the space of a few seconds, Bromley twice went close five minutes into the half. First Cheek had a header cleared off the line from a corner, then Alabi turned Vassell and hit a powerful shot which drew a fine parry from Dibble.

Once again Dibble denied Cheek with perhaps his best save: Coulson dribbled skilfully down the left and cut the ball back for Cheek, who struck a powerful shot from ten yards, but was denied by an acrobatic tip-over. Three minutes later Wrexham's centre backs were pulled too far apart, creating space for Trotter to surge onto a through ball, but Dibble was out swiftly and bravely once more to save at his feet.

Dean Keates looked to change things around with a double substitution as Elliott Durrell and Jordan Davies replaced Anthony Jeffrey and Jay Harris respectively with 24 minutes left, and Bromley boss Neil Smith countered by replacing Alabi with Forster and switching to a 4-5-1. The changes altered the balance of the game, and suddenly Wrexham sprang into life.

Dibble was called into action again first, with Hackett-Fairchild's inviting cross finding the head of Cheek, but Dibble denied him with a diving catch.

Then Wrexham  started to dominate. Their first clear chance was created when Yussuf broke down the right and found Thomas on the edge of the box. He held the ball up well and, off balance, managed to put Durrell clear in the left channel. His powerful drive insde the near post might have caught out most goalies, but Cousins got down brilliantly to save.

Cousins could not prevent the equaliser three minutes later though. A Davies free kick was headed clear to Rutherford, who scooped an inviting cross the the far post. Yussuf rose and planted a powerful header insde the left post, which Cousins couldn't claw around the post.

All of a sudden, Wrexham looked the more likely scorers, dominating midfield and finally feeding the forwards. With ten minutes left Bronley survived a frantic scramble in the box, as both Yussuf and Durrell had shots blocked before Davies fired wide. A minute later Yussuf did well to spin and drive a vicious cross into the goalmouth, and Cousins had to save bravely as Thomas lurked.

Bromley forged one final opportunity, when Forster turned and shot from 20 yards, only to be denied by an agile parry low to his left by Dibble, but it was Wrexham who carved out the final chance in the 90th minute. Davies surged down the left and swung an inviting cross towards Rutherford, who was unmarked in the centre of the box. Unfortunately, the ball was just too high for the winger to reach and the chance was gone.

Without question, the health of Rob Lainton is the only important issue coming out of the match, but the character Wrexham showed in recovering from that shock and coming back to dominate the final 15 minutes of the match deserves a great deal of credit.

Bromley: M Cousins, L Coulson, B Webster, J Kizzi, K Roberts, C Bush, L Trotter, B Bingham, M Cheek, J Alabi (H Forster, 68), R Hackett-Fairchild.
Subs not used: J Holland, T Purrington, N L'Ghoul, F Raymond.

Wrexham: R Lainton (C Dibble, 45+2), J Horsfield, F Kelleher, T Vassell, J Reckord, A Jeffrey (J Davies, 67), J Harris (E Durrell, 67), L Young, P Rutherford, K Thomas, A Yussuf.
Subs not used: J Bickerstaff, R Hall-Johnson.

Referee: Paul Marsden (Lancs)

Bookings -
Bromley: Bingham 
Wrexham: Harris (45+29), Reckord (48, foul)

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