MATCH REPORT | Wrexham 0-0 Dover Athletic

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 23 Dec 2017

Wrexham were held to a goalless draw by a dogged and resolute Dover side in a top of the table clash at the Racecourse.

The Reds were the better of the two promotion-chasing sides, but chances were few and far between, and defences ultimately prevailed.

Wrexham climbed to second in the National League standings despite the stalemate, while Macclesfield remain two points clear at the top after a draw at Bromley.

The game started, perhaps unsurprisingly, as a scrappy and tight affair, with neither side able to carve out any meaningful opportunities.

Dover, a point behind Wrexham prior to kick-off, were employing their typically frustrating man-marking tactics in an attempt to stifle the hosts.

It worked successfully for large periods, although the Reds were the more dangerous of the two sides and created arguably the best openings of the first-half.

George Miller, a nuisance for the Dover defenders throughout, sliced a left-footed shot wide inside 20 minutes, while at the other end, Femi Ilesanmi tested Chris Dunn with a well-struck effort from distance.

The visitors had a promising spell of their own ten minutes before half-time, forcing a number of corners, although nothing came of their efforts.

It was Wrexham that enjoyed the stronger end to the half, both Scott Boden and Miller coming within inches of meeting tempting crosses, but neither side were able to open the scoring before the break.

A similar pattern continued in the early stages of the second-half; Boden found himself presented with a chance within minutes but could only fire a left-footed shot over the bar.

Wrexham were the side probing, while Dover were clearly content to settle for a point and defended confidently. It was no surprise that the two strongest defences in the division were somewhat cancelling each other out.

Chances were at a premium, although the Reds twice came close: first with a header from the lively Miller just after the hour mark and then through a long-range strike from James Jennings which flew just wide of the far post.

It seemed increasingly likely that Wrexham would be left frustrated, particularly after Paul Rutherford's acrobatic effort was held by goalkeeper Mitch Walker with just under ten minutes remaining.

That proved to be the last real opportunity for Dean Keates' side, with Dover able to hold out resolutely and leave the home supporters frustrated.

Wrexham: Dunn, Roberts, M Smith, Pearson, Jennings, Wedgbury, Kelly, Rutherford, Holroyd, Miller (Massanka 76), Boden.
Subs: Dibble, Hurst, Carrington, Mackreth.

Dover Athletic: Walker, Passley (Richards 84), Ilesanmi, Gallifuoco, Parry, Essam (Fazakerley 46), Brundle, Pinnock, Bird, Nortey, Jeffrey (Daniel 67).
Subs: Alabi, Deen-Conteh.

Referee: Thomas Bramall (Yorkshire)
Attendance: 4,980
Away: 53

Bookings -
None

 

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