MATCH REPORT | Wrexham 1-0 Hartlepool United

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Tue 30 Oct 2018

Wrexham returned to winning ways against a determined, ten men Hartleppol side at the Cae Ras. Luke Young struck a brilliant 25 yard effort to separate the two sides. The Dragons returned to second place behind Salford on goal difference.

Looking to forget the injury time misery of last Saturday, Sam Ricketts' men welcomed Hartlepool United to North Wales

After a minutes' silence in  memory of those killed at Leicester was impeccably observed, the visitors went on the offensive immediately. However, the first chance of the game didn't come until the tenth minute when Luke Young's shot was parried by keeper Loach, Maguire-Drew's follow up header looping over the bar.

A minute later, Wrexham won a free kick on the edge of the box, and Maguire-Drew's curling effort was once again denied by the sprawling Loach.

At the other end, Dinanga's effort forced a sharp save from Wrexham keeper Rob Lainton, and he was equal to the task from the resulting corner, dropping low to smother the ball between his feet.

It was end to end stuff now, as on 14 minutes, Akil Wright pounced on a loose ball in the Hartlepool box, only to drag his shot agonisingly wide of the post.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 21st minute, when Luke Young picked up the ball on the halfway line, turned and sprinted forward, unleashing a speculative shot from 25 yards which beat Loach in the Hartlepool goal.

Wrexham, lifted by the opening goal looked to increase the pressure, and forced a couple of corners which the visitors managed to smuggle away.

The half hour mark passed without either side claiming any clear cut chances. However, four minutes later, Donaldson cut in from the left, his strong strike pushed around the post bythe sprawling Lainton.

Drama came in the 40th minute, when Hartlepool were reduced to ten men. Captain Andrew Davies was shown a straight red after reacting with his head to a challenge by Stuart Beavon, from a Wrexham goal kick.  Beavon, meanwhile was booked for his part in proceedings.

The second half began with Sam Ricketts' men defending the Kop end. After a quiet opening seven minutes, Wrexham won a corner, and Jake Lawlor was unlucky not to double the lead, his shot flashing across the Hartlepool goal. Three minutes later, Akil Wright's shot slipped just wide.

Wrexham were nearly pegged back on 59 minutes when Lainton's fingers were stung by a long range shot. His blushes were spared when the ball squirmed around the wrong side of the goalpost.

Just before the hour mark, Mike Fondop replaced Beavon, who had landed awkwardly when challenging for the ball. 

Wrexham suddenly enjoyed a period of sustaained pressure, without being able to make the man advantage count. 

Hartlepool manager Matthew Bates looked to reinvigorate his team with a double substitution on 72 minutes, with James and Newton replacing Muir and Featherstone respectively. The Dragons endured a torrid ten minute spell, seemingly unable to keep control of the game. Hartlepool continued to push forward looking for the equaliser.

Sam Ricketts reinforced his tiring team when Rutherford replaced Walker with nine minutes left, and Jordan Maguire-Drew was substituted by Nicky Deverdics on 85 minutes.

As the 90th minute passed and the third official indicated six minutes of injury time, Luke James lashed a fierce shot from the left side of Lainton's box. However, the Wrexham keeper made a brilliant diving save to deny the visitors an equaliser.

With memories of last weekend fresh in the mind, the frustrated home crowd saw Wrexham make needless errors and Hartlepool seemed to be camped in the home half.

With the last effort of the game, Donaldson's curling effort from just inside the box beat Lainton but mercifully dipped too late.

A minute later, the referee blew his whistle to the delight, and immense relief of the Wrexham support.

Wrexham: Lainton, Roberts, Jennings, Pearson, Young, Pyke, Maguire-Drew (Deverdics 85), Walker (Rutherford 81), Wright, Beavon (Fondop 59), Lawlor.
Subs: Dibble, Holroyd.

Hartlepool: Loach, Kioso, Magnay, Noble, Donaldson, Muir (James 72) , Davies, Featherstone (Newton 72), Anderson, McLaughlin (Hawkes 85), Dinanga.
Subs: Kitching, Hawkins.

Referee: Martin Woods ()
Attendance: 4,665
Away: 121

Sending Off -
 Davies (40, violent conduct)

Bookings -
Beavon (40, foul), Jennings (70, foul), Fondop, 87, Pyke (90+6, UGC).
Hartlepool: McLaughlin (8, foul), Kioso (90+6, UGC).







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