MATCH REPORT | Wrexham 0-0 Eastleigh

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 07 Mar 2020

A blusterous afternoon at the Racecourse saw an unsteady performance by Wrexham, as they played out a goalless draw with Eastleigh.

This relegation scrap to further distance themselves from the drop zone was in fact a scrappy match. Wrexham were the dominant side, but created minimal chances against a shaky Stryjek in goal.

Wrexham threatened with an offside goal and a dangerous volley by Jordan Ponticelli, but in turn, could not break down the Eastleigh bus, which had arrived from Hampshire.

Dean Keates made one change to the side that lost 3-0 away at Yeovil Town, as Mark Carrington came in for Tyler Garratt.

The visitors sat one place above Wrexham, but a win for the home side would have seen them move level on 45 points in the league table.

Wrexham started the fixture two points above Chesterfield in the relegation zone, with a superior goal difference, placing added importance onto a much needed three points at the Racecourse.

Both sides struggled to amount anything of real substance in the opening ten minutes, in quite blusterous conditions at the Racecourse.

It had taken a short while, but Wrexham had adapted to conditions and were supplying the home crowd with some clever link up play. The movement of Dan Jarvis, Ponticelli and Davis Keillor-Dunn was causing problems for the Eastleigh backline.

Wrexham were looking to pass their way through the Eastleigh backline, but the Spitfires’ tight backline remained strong. Jarvis was doing his best as the wizard to trick his way through, but there were no attempts at goal at this stage.

The visitors were offering nothing offensively and Wrexham were controlling all the play in the midfield region.

Strange circumstances were seen in the 32nd minute, as there was confusion over a throw-in, whilst Wrexham bided time for Keillor-Dunn to change his boots. The first bit of drama to have happened at the Racecourse that afternoon.

Eastleigh started to come out of their Hampshire shell towards the end of the half, but like Wrexham, they were simply not creating any chances and wasted corners.

Wrexham finally created the first chance of the game in the 44th minute. The ball was fed back into the Spitfires’ box to a crowd of Wrexham players. Jordan Thompson was able to chip the ball to Ponticelli, who fired his shot narrowly over from close range.

The players returned to the dressing rooms with the scores level at 0-0. Rampant team talks would be needed to spring the game into life by Keates and Ben Strevens.

The first minute of the second half saw Cavaghn Miley shove Carrington off the ball on the touchline of the Wrexham box. His pull back to Tyrone Barnett was met well, but drilled straight at Lainton.

Andrew Boyce found himself free in the Wrexham box in the 53rd minute, but could only direct his header straight into the hands of Lainton.

Keillor Dunn surged into the Eastleigh box in the 55th minute and a hand appeared to swipe at his face as he went down, but referee Lewis Smith emphatically said no.

After a Jack Payne yellow card and Paul Rutherford coming on the pitch for Jarvis, Ponticelli thought he had taken the lead for Wrexham with a steaming header, but was denied a short while after by an offside flag in the 62nd minute.

Eastleigh hoped to make a resurgence in this second half through Jake Scrimshaw, as he came on for Sam Smart in the 67th minute.

Luke Young attempted a pile-driver in the 70th minute, as he found some room on the edge of the box, but the effort pinged back off the advertising boards.

Keates seemed to alter the offensive tactics, as full back Carrington was pushing higher on the wing, whilst Kieran Kennedy was filling his void.

Jay Harris was booked in the 77th minute for an accumulation of fouls, which would see him suspended for the next game, due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

The Spitfires made a double substitution in the 80th minute, seeing Tom Bearwish and Scott Rendell come on for Dayle Grubb and Barnett.

A free kick in a dangerous area for Wrexham, ended up finding Rutherford on the edge of the box with some room. However, his placed effort slotted neatly in the WrexRent Stand in the 86th minute.

The fourth official indicated four minutes added time for the players to break the deadlock. Although this seemed very unlikely based on the previous 90 minutes.

A succession of corners for Wrexham at the death, saw the Eastleigh backline block the ball from crossing the line, as Carrington tried to squirm it in at the back post. Scrimshaw was also able to counter in the penultimate minute, but he drilled his shot at the angle straight at Lainton.

Smith blew for full time, seeing the gap remain at three points between Wrexham and Eastleigh. The Spitfires’ backline were strong, but perhaps a missed three points for Wrexham.

Wrexham: (5-2-2-1): Lainton (GK), Carrington, Pearson ©, Lawlor, Kennedy, Thompson, Young, Harris, Jarvis (Rutherford 60’), Keillor-Dunn, Ponticelli.
Subs not used: Dibble (GK), Garratt, Oswell, Barker.

Eastleigh: (4-5-1): Stryjek (GK), Partington, Baldwin, Boyce, Green, Payne, Hollands ©, Miley, Smart (Scrimshaw 67’), Barnett (Rendell 80’), Grubb (Bearwish 80’).
Subs not used: Flitney, Alabi.

Referee: Lewis Smith (Lancs)
Attendance: 3,436
Away: 16

Bookings -
Wrexham: Harris 77’ (Foul)
Eastleigh: Payne 59’ (Foul), Barnett 63’ (Foul)

Man of the Match: Jay Harris

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