REPORT | Eastleigh 1-1 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 07 Apr 2018

Wrexham’s path to the play-offs is certainly becoming a rough one as they failed to make the most of an early lead from the penalty spot and the dismissal of Eastleigh centre half Andrew Boyce.

The Spitfires never gave up though and managed to force an injury time equaliser.

Within the first minute, Ryan Broom found space on the edge of the Wrexham box for a shot that deflected off the blocking Manny Smith, forcing Chris Dunn into a two-handed save at the expense of a corner.

A driving run by Chris Zebroski forced his way into the Wrexham box and a low save by Dunn for another corner on 10 minutes. As the kick was sent in, the referee blew for a foul, but Dunn and Andrew Boyce clashed heads, leaving the keeper the worse for wear.

Immediately, play restarted and Chris Holroyd went down holding his ankle, requiring another spell of treatment from physio Phil Davies.

Despite restarting, the striker was soon struggling and had to be replaced by Sam Ainge on 17 minutes.

A minute later and Boyce was adjudged to have pulled Scott Quigley’s shirt only just inside the Eastleigh penalty area, but it was enough for referee Adam Bromley to award the penalty.

Quigley was straight to the ball and fired home the spot kick, sending Graham Stack the wrong way.

Shortly after the restart. Boyce clashed with Wedgbury on the half way line, earning himself a caution for his troubles.

James Jennings delivered the free kick to Ainge on the left of the home box and his snap shot was only just over the Eastleigh cross bar.

Back at the other end and Dunn would have been glad to see Paul McCallum’s effort bounce off Jennings and into his hands.

Following persistence by Akil Wright close to the left-hand Eastleigh corner flag, Jennings picked up the ball and drove it across the face of the home goal, but no red shirts were close enough to apply the finishing touch from close range.

There was another stoppage on 36 minutes, after Jennings was bumped from behind by his skipper Shaun Pearson, as the pair went for a header 10-yards into their own half. No prisoners taken…

Dunn came to the rescue again on 40 minutes, when from a deep Zebroski cross McCallum was presented with a free header from five-yards own and the Wrexham stopper pulled off a top class save to deny the striker.

Another Eastleigh corner, the ball skimmed off Wedgbury’s head, hit McCallum and forced Dunn into another reflex save to keep the Spitfires at bay.

The injuries to several Wrexham players saw an extra eight minutes of time indicated by the fourth official.

Deep into added time and there was a yellow card for Ainge, after he caught Cavaghn Miley as the pair chase a loose ball on the edge of the home penalty area.

Ht 0-1

Concerted early pressure from the home side, saw them pinned back the visitors, as Wrexham struggled to get much possession.

This saw Sam Matthews forced a comfortable save from Dunn, to his 25-yard free kick and then McCallum used his full height to get in a header that flew across the face of the Wrexham goal, but also passed the far post.

Then Wrexham broke quickly on 54 minutes, but Quigley failed to find either of his two team mates inside the Eastleigh box. On the next attack he saw his shot bounce away for what should have been a corner, but the referee gave a goal kick instead.

It was end-to-end stuff, as the hour mark approached.

The height of McCallum was a potent weapon for the Spitfires and they used it to good effect at most set pieces.

The hosts made their first change on 65 minutes, when ben Williamson was introduced for Sam Togwell.

A quick Wrexham break on 67 minutes, saw Rutherford with a chance from the right and his dipping effort was well pushed away by Stack between the posts for Eastleigh.

Then Nicky Deverdics was sent on to replace Kelly.

Immediately from the restart, Boyce handed the ball as Quigley ran at him and earned a second yellow card to end his afternoon.

The next sub for the home side saw Zebroski withdrawn and Reda Johnson sent on.

Eastleigh certainly weren’t ruing their bad luck through and they continued to push forward looking for a way back into the match and kept pushing on to win a series of corners.

There was mire treatment for Dunn as we approached 80 minutes, after he took a whack from Manny Smith, as the pair went for the same ball on the edge of the box.

Last change for Eastleigh was the introduction of Michael Green for Sam Wood.

Still the blue shirts poured forward and on 88 minutes Miley fired his effort from the edge of the box well off target.

Mark Carrington came on for Quigley as 90 minutes played out and an additional five minutes were shown.

Wrexham next attack saw Rutherford to the line, pull back for Carrington, who squared for Deverdics, but his effort from 12-yards was blocked by some flailing legs for the home side.

From yet another corner on 90+3 minutes, the ball bounced inside the six-yard box and it was Cresswell who was judged to have forced the ball over the line for the Spitfires, as indicated by the assistant on the far side of the pitch.

Yet more points slip away as for the second away game we have failed to hold onto a lead against 10-men.

Eastleigh: Stack, Togwell (Williamson 65), Cresswell, Wood (Green 82), McCallum, Yeates, Zebroski (Johnson 71), Broom, Boyce, Miley, Matthews.
Subs: Flitney, Hollands.

Wrexham: Dunn, Raven, M. Smith, Pearson, Jennings, Rutherford, Wedgbury, Wright, Kelly (Deverdics 67), Holroyd (Ainge 17), Quigley (Carrington 90).
Subs: Mackreth, Boden.

Referee: A Bromley (Devon)
Attendance: 1,765
Away: 205

Sending Off -
Boyce (second yellow, 68, foul)

Bookings -
Boyce (20, foul)
Wrexham: Ainge (45+7, foul)


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