REPORT | Eastleigh 0-2 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Tue 03 Dec 2019

A very welcome three points came courtesy of a first half double by Omari Patrick.

Overall it was a much improved performance that came with two early goals to settle the nerves and allowed us to go one and see the game out.

Mark Carrington was included from the start, with Luke Summerfield missing due to a knock, as we switched to three centre halves and two forwards. This also meant Jason Oswell was named on the bench.

The early exchanges saw Patrick win a couple of corners in quick succession for the visitors, before winger Sam Smart fired a shot high over the Wrexham goal when getting on the end of deep cross for the Spitfires.

On 11 minutes, a long ball up field from James Jennings found Patrick down the left channel. He held off his man to get a shot away which was blocked and rebound out of the area to Akil Wright, who hit a powerful effort from 20-yards that keeper Max Stryjek was happy to be well placed for and he held onto the ball.

There was a booking for Mark Carrington on 15 minutes, when he uncharacteristically jumped in on an Eastleigh midfielder close to the halfway line – not really sure why he did it. From the resulting free-kick the home team were caught offside to avert any danger.

The Reds took the lead on 17 minutes, when Jennings cut in from the left, along the by-line and hit a low pass into the six-yard box that Patrick was able to finish foo from close range.

We followed this up with a free kick from the left deep into the Eastleigh half, after Patrick had been fouled. This was knocked behind for a corner, although the home keeper was able to claim the flag kick.

A defensive mistake by Wrexham then saw Smart left with space to cross from their right and with three blue shirts waiting in the centre, it was Jake Lawlor who was able to head the ball behind for a corner. When that was delivered in, Rob Lainton came through plenty of bodies to get a two-handed punch and sent the ball well up field.

On 27 minutes, Bobby Grant fed a ball through for the speeding Patrick, who dragged his man into the home box, before shooting at goal and winning a corner. This was then knocked in deep for Kieran Kennedy at the back of the Eastleigh box, but his powerful header went inches wide of the near post.

On 42 minutes, Patrick made it a double as a ball through from Grant, allowed the forward to outpace Andrew Boyce and force his effort under the advancing keeper, although it did only just trickle over the line – but they all count.

There was a let off for Wrexham when Kennedy gave the ball away in his own area, it was squared by Smart, but the follow up shot by Scott Rendell was well saved by Lainton, low to his left.

Ht 0-2

Eastleigh were looking for a quick way back into the game as the second half got underway and they forced several corners. There were also loud appeals for a penalty, as Tyrone Barnett leapt high into the air before falling to the ground, although the referee was unimpressed.

But on 58 minutes, Akil Wright’s long b=pass allowed Patrick to race down the left wing, before cutting inside and as the home defence was stretched, fired an angled drive that this time Stryjek was able to block with his legs.

The Spitfires sent on Marcus Barnes for Tom Bearwish on the hour.

The home side were enjoying the greater amount of possession as the half wore on, but Wrexham were having their moments, when balls through for Patrick, allowed the on loan forward to chase them down and bring his teams mates into the play.

Kennedy was booked ion 70 minutes for time wasting at a throw in.

There was a harsh handball against Luke Young after 7r5 minutes, allowing Charlie Seaman a free kick from 25-yards, but his effort carried over Lainton’s crossbar.

The lively Barnes had a close-range shot deflected behind for a corner by Jennings on 77 minutes, as Eastleigh throw bodies forward.

Mark Harris was sent on for Patrick on 79 minutes, as the Bradford City man had run himself into the ground.

After some patient build up play Rutherford found Grant and from 12-yards his shot stung the palms of the Eastleigh keeper.

Grant was then replaced on 86 minutes by Jason Oswell.

Try as they might to reduce the lead, Eastleigh were being kept at bay by the Reds and it was the traveling fans who could get behind the players in the closing stages.

Eastleigh: Stryjek, Atkinson, Boyce, Rendell, Barnett, Smart, Bearwish (Barnes 60), Miley (Green 84), Hollands, Seaman.
Subs: Flitney, Scorey, Beale.

Wrexham: Lainton, Carrington, Kennedy, Lawlor, Pearson, Jennings, Young, Wright, Rutherford, Patrick (Harris 79), Grant (Oswell 86).
Subs: Dibble, Redmond, Tollitt.

Referee: James Bell (Sheffield)
Attendance: 1,542
Away: 56

Bookings –
Wrexham: Carrington (15, foul), Kennedy (70, time wasting), Rutherford (90+3 diving)

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