MATCH REPORT | Wrexham 1-0 Ebbsfleet United

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 28 Sep 2019

Paul Rutherford handed Wrexham the win against Ebbsfleet United, seeing Brian Flynn collect all three points on his return to management at the Racecourse.

Rutherford’s long ranged dipper was enough to hand Wrexham their first win since 13th August against FC Halifax Town.

Bobby Grant’s missed penalty seemed Wrexham’s only chance of getting a winner, but Wrexham fought on and found that golden goal.

Wrexham made one change from the ill-fated affair at AFC Fylde, seeing Mark Carrington return to the starting line-up for Michael Chambers.

Wrexham came into the game sitting one point above the Fleet in 21st position, hoping to escape the dreaded relegation zone.

JJ Hooper returned to the bench for the Reds after injury to lift Wrexham hearts.

Interim Manager Brian Flynn decided to switch up the formation to a 3-4-3 with the extra defender, as opposed to Bryan Hughes’ favoured 4-2-3-1.

Ebbsfleet threatened early on in the third minute, as Stephen Obileye’s header skimmed past the post.

Constant ricochets in the fifth minute allowed James Ball to have a dipping effort for the Fleet, but this came to no avail.

The Ebbsfleet efforts didn’t amount to constant pressure though, as Shaun Pearson headed over the bar for Wrexham off an eighth minute corner.

Jake Lawlor was the next Red to have an effort off a corner, as Luke Young’s ball takes the defender by surprise and rebounds off him just past the post, with 11 minutes on the clock.

A short ball to Jazzi Barnum-Bobb in the 16th, somehow allowed him to run at the Ebbsfleet defence as he set through Mark Harris. Harris’ strike unfortunately blazed past the post, as Wrexham should have taken the lead.

Three minutes later, Wrexham had a set-piece, which saw James Jennings show off his acrobatic skills, as his bicycle kick was cleared off the line by Jamie Grimes.

The Wrexham dominance was starting to show 20 minutes in, as Harris long ranged effort was deflected wide. The resulting corner was headed straight into Jordan Holmes’ hands by Lawlor, with the score remaining level.

A good run by Devonte Redmond allowed him to pick out Barnum-Bobb on the wing. Jason Oswell managed to sneak around the Ebbsfleet defender for the cross, but he couldn’t muster any power on the header, as it bounced straight into the keeper’s hands in the 27th minute.

After half an hour, the Fleet were finally able to create some pressure and chances at the Wrexham end, however the ‘Red Wall’ was equal to the challenge, producing some fine blocks and sliding tackles.

Fans covered their eyes as Redmond’s eyes lit up on the edge of the box. However, his shot finished high up in the University End in the 35th minute.

The second half seemed to be petering out after the early influx of chances, as both sides failed to cause any mayhem in the final third.

The teams went into the dressing room at half time with the scores level at 0-0. Wrexham showed some promising signs at the start of the match, but clearly needed an effective talk from Flynn.

The restart of the second half brought about two substitutions for Wrexham, as Bobby Grant and Rutherford entered the field for Harris and Redmond.

Wrexham came out of the blocks the better side, with substitute Rutherford trying to link the midfield and forwards to create more danger in the final third.

Barnum-Bobb went on a charging run in the 55th minute straight into the Ebbsfleet box. Grant was unable to sort his feet out and couldn’t direct a clear shot at goal, after a neat pace by Barnum-Bobb.

The Red Dragons showed some excellent link-up play on the right-wing, causing the Fleet some real problems.

A routine cross was played by Wrexham and Obileye was booked for bringing down a man in red, resulting in Andrew Kitchen giving a penalty in the 62nd minute.

Grant quite rightly stood up to take the penalty, after his previous displays, but his spot-kick was too central and Holmes made the save to keep the scores level.

Grant needed medical attention following the penalty kick, as he injured his wrist on the unsuccessful rebound.

With twenty minutes left to play, Hooper made his comeback to the Racecourse following a lengthy injury.

The substitutions combined on the 74th minute to give Wrexham the lead! Hooper found some space in between two Ebbsfleet defenders, with Rutherford charging forward on the wing unmarked. The pass by Hooper was a little short, but Rutherford added some curl and dip to his shot to give Wrexham the lead late on.

The game might not have offered enough entertainment to the fans, but they were certainly amused by the seagull who was unwilling to leave the pitch.

Hooper teased Wrexham hearts as his swinging effort fizzed narrowly past the post in the 83rd.

Barnum-Bobb was still bombing forward in the 84th, as his drilled cross was vitally punched away by Holmes, as Oswell was lurking at the back post, waiting for a tap-in.

The Red’s arguably biggest accomplishment of the game, was the fact that they were able to hold out for the win, amidst a lot of Ebbsfleet pressure. The counter attacking football at the end seemed our best form of defence.

The referee blew his whistle as the ball landed safely in Christian Dibble’s hands. Wrexham had won their first league game for over a month.

Wrexham: Dibble (gk), Barnum-Bobb, Pearson ©, Lawlor, Jennings (Hooper 70’), Summerfield, Young, Carrington, Redmond (Rutherford 46’), Harris (Grant 46’), Oswell.
Subs: Szczepaniak (gk), Wright.

Ebbsfleet: Holmes (gk), King (Biabi 86'), Obileye, Wilson, Ball (Egan 68’), Weston, Umerah (Ugwu 60’), Grimes, Sutherland, Cordner, Reid
Subs: Palmer (gk), Achuba.

Referee: Andrew Kitchen (Co Durham)
Attendance: 3,627
Away: 47

Bookings -
Wrexham: Summerfield (85, foul), Grant (91, foul), Hooper (94, time wasting)
Ebbsfleet: Obileye (62, foul)

MOTM: Luke Summerfield

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