Maybe not the outcome manager Sam Ricketts would have been looking for, but we earn a second consecutive 0-0 draw at Harrogate Town – in the main due to the first half heroics of keeper Rob Lainton, who pulled off several top class saves.
So we return to the Racecourse on Tuesday evening for the replay, by which time we will know the outcome of Monday evening’s first round draw.
With the option to name seven substitutes and no limit on the number of loan players a club can use in this competition. Mike Fondop and Doug Tharme were included in the starting line-up, although none of the returning injured players were considered this week.
Wrexham enjoyed some promising possession in the opening exchanges, without getting through onto the home goal.
Then on nine minutes, the home side passed up a glorious chance to open the scoring, when Jordan Thewlis saw his effort superbly saved by Rob Lainton. As the ball spun away from the Wrexham keeper, Mark Carrington used his body to bravely block the follow up effort.
From the ensuing corner, centre half Kelvin Langmead was first to the cross at the near post, flicking his header onto the woodwork, only for the ball to come back off the crossbar and eventually ran away
From our first corner on 16 minutes, Shaun Pearson headed back across the face of the goal, but Brad Walker’s follow up effort drifted off target.
Minutes later, Harrogate’s Joe Leesley sent in a teasing ball from their left wing and rising at the back post with Pearson was Aaron Williams, who won the duel onts occasion, but couldn’t keep his header down and it hit the social club building behind Lainton’s goal.
Lainton was again in the thick of the action on 20 minutes, as he palmed away Thewlis’ point-blank header, after the midfielder connected with another Harrogate header that was going wide.
The Reds did have the ball in the net a few moments later, as Fondop was judged to have fouled his marker inside the six-yard box, with the ball then running to Luke Young, who fired home from 16-yards. Interesting to see what the video shows, as it didn’t look an obvious foul from our position in the press box.
As the half hour mark approached, a free kick delivered by Pearson from the half way line, saw Fondop cause some concern for the home defence and force an attacking corner – as the Reds looked to be come more of an attacking force.
Then it was Roberts’ turn to get passed his marker and fire in a low shot that was turned behind for a corner. When that ball came in, the home keeper felt he was fouled by big Mike, but the referee gave nothing and Belshaw decided to take the discussion further and chased after the Wrexham striker.
This left Mr Oldham needing to calm matters down and the home players leading their keeper away before he got himself into anymore hot water.
First booking of the day went against Fondop on 41 minutes, for an over zealous challenge on the half way line, in front of the dugouts, which left the fourth official busy keeping the home coaching staff and Mike apart.
A change at the break with Summerfield being replaced by Rekeil Pyke.
Three minutes after the break and Fondop raced through onto a long ball, held off his marker and chipped over the advancing keeper, but with no one else in the ground appealing, the assistant raised his flag for offside – another one for the video to show either way.
Another yellow was shown to Paul Rutherford on 55 minutes, when he clipped the heels of Jack Emmett, taking one for the team
The same player was then pushing Wrexham forward down the left and his jinking run ended with both Fondop and Walker unable to get a telling touch in a crowded goalmouth.
Defender Warren Burrell then broke up a promising Wrexham attack, illegally said the referee, and booked the Harrogate man. From the free kick, Pearson got above the rest to win a header although it went straight into the arms of a much relieved Belshaw in the home goal.
Former Red Mark Beck and fellow striker Jack Muldoon were sent on for the home side after 67 minutes, while a few moments later, Stuart Beavon replaced Fondop for the visitors.
Youngster Tharme seemed to suffer with tight muscles, probably not surprisingly with his lack of action in recent weeks, and after treatment was replaced on 81 minutes by Jordan Maguire-Drew, with Walker going to centre half for the second week running.
Immediately afterwards, there was a half chance for Pyke, as Beavon fed him through, but the striker got the ball stuck in his laces and was hustled away by the recovering defenders.
As the minutes counted down, Carrington and Beavon set up Pyke from the edge of the home box, but his effort was collected easily enough by Belshaw.
Harrogate launched a quick counter attack into added time and Beck should have scored when he got on the end of a Leesley cross, but the ball cleared the Wrexham crossbar and slide down the back of the net!
But there was still time for Maguire-Drew to chase down a lost cause and pull the ball across the face of the home goal, only to be cleared for a corner - which Pearson got his head to, but it was just wide of the back post.
The final whistle sounded and it’s all back to the Racecourse on Tuesday evening to do it again.
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Falkingham, Burrell, Thomson (Agnew 76), Emmett, Leesley, Thewlis (Muldoon 67), Langmead, Williams (Beck 67), Kitching.
Subs: Cracknell, Howe, Kerry.
Wrexham: Lainton, Roberts, Pearson, Tharme (Maguire-Drew 81), Carrington, Walker, Summerfield (Pyke 46), Wright, Young, Rutherford, Fondop (Beavon 69).
Subs: Dibble, Burgess, Deverdics, Hinds.
Referee: James Oldham (Derbyshire)
Harrogate: Burrell (63, foul)
Wrexham: Fondop (41, foul), Rutherford (55, foul)