A swiveling shot from Devonte Redmond was enough to clinch a 1-0 victory for Wrexham against Salford City XI, in the final pre-season game before the start of the Vanarama National League campaign.
A fairly scrappy game was awakened by the Redmond goal, as he was able to finish-up a frustrating goal-mouth scramble, by swiveling and slotting the ball into the far bottom corner of the Salford net with 67 minutes on the board.
Jake Bickerstaff was a shining light amongst the Wrexham team, as he blinded the Salford team early on by hitting the post twice. His pace and strength for the rest of the game proved to be real handful for the Salford defenders, as the young Wrexham forward looks to be apart of Dean Keates’ first team plans for the start of the season.
Wrexham entered this second pre-season friendly against The Ammies on the back of a 1-0 loss to Telford United, amidst off-field drama and a more than adequate team performance. The last time these two sides met, The Reds came out on top 2-1, with goals from our trialist and Bickerstaff.
The Reds made ten changes from the eleven that played just two days prior against Telford United. A fresh splash of youth was sprayed across the team, as Max Cleworth, Bickerstaff and Sam Williams all made starts.
Salford had the first real chance of the game inside the first three minutes, as their number 18 slashed at a ball from inside the box, forcing Christian Dibble to get down low and effectively shin the ball away out of danger.
Bickerstaff decided to go on a driving run in the fourth minute and tee-up a shot at goal from 20 yards. His thunderous strike cannoned off the crossbar. That effort would have certainly lifted fans out of their seats.
Harrison Myring found himself on a driving run in the sixth minute and provided a tame shot from the angle, which Dibble awkwardly pushed out back into the danger zone. Captain Pearson was on hand to put the oncoming Salford number 18 off though, as a seemingly tap-in from close-range dribbled just wide of the post.
Wrexham hit the post again in the 12th minute, and again it was Bickerstaff, from close-range this time. The Wrexham number 9 was looking sharp at the start of this pre-season friendly.
Salford’s number 10 found some room on the edge of the box in the 21st minute and decided to curl and effort from range. The effort clipped a Wrexham body and slipped a foot wide of the post.
A Salford corner was poorly defended in the 34th minute, allowing the ball to fall to Salford’s number 18 once more. The angle proved too tight for The Ammies striker, as he could only find the side netting.
A quick one-two between Salford’s number 3 and 6, saw the former burst through the Wrexham box. His left-footed shot at the angle wasn’t met cleanly, meaning his shot bobbled wide of the far post.
After a blistering opening exchange, the game tailed off and became scrappy, as both sides exited the ground through different tunnels with the score level at 0-0.
Bickerstaff managed to turn his man 30 yards out on the wing to give him space to run into. A further ‘chop’ inside the box gave him time to find Redmond free in the middle, who lent back and skied his shot in the 46th minute.
A Salford counterattack in the 54th minute saw The Ammies’ number 10 try and curl one into the top corner of Dibble’s goal, but the Wrexham goalkeeper was able to easily catch the ball.
Salford’s number 18 was amidst the drama again, as his shot was destined for the bottom corner, but defender Cleworth was on hand to clear the ball away off the line in the 62nd minute.
Pinball in the Salford City box eventually led to Redmond swiveling and burying the ball into the bottom corner to give Wrexham the lead. Bickerstaff, Williams and Redmond all had shots blocked in a goal-mouth scramble, before the Wrexham number 16 arguably put away the hardest shot, to open the scoring in the 67th minute.
Paul Rutherford was next to try and get in on the act, as his low-driven shot from 20 yards was pushed just wide of the post by Nick Hayes in the 72nd minute.
The ball made its way to Williams inside the Salford box and it opened up for him to shoot just a minute later. However, the young man poked it to Rutherford who laid off Bickerstaff towards the edge of the box. His viciously curling effort was tipped wide of the top corner by a sprawling Hayes in goal.
A poor ball across the Wrexham half of the field set away the Salford counter. The dangerous number 18 was able to drag others into play, as he found their number 10 free in space on the right-hand side. Dibble was called upon to make an outstanding diving save low to his right, to keep the Reds in the lead, with ten minutes left to play.
The last ten minutes saw Wrexham close out the game, with The Ammies offering nothing going forward in search of an equaliser. The Reds happily finished their pre-season campaign with a win and a clean sheet.
Wrexham: (4-4-2): Dibble (GK), Horsfield, Pearson ©, Cleworth, Carrington, Jarvis, Davies, Redmond, Rutherford, Bickerstaff, Williams (Humphreys 82’)
Subs not used: Szczepaniak (GK), Austin, Nash
Salford City XI: Hayes (GK), Touray, Loughlin, Sargent, Campbell, Evans, Hawkins, N’Guessan, Goldthorp, Moore, Myring
Subs not used: Will Shephard, Berkoe, Ditchfield, Stafford, Perry, Tom Shepard
Referee: Nick Pratt