Report | Louletano DC 1-2 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Tue 11 Jul 2017

Dean's Red Army marched on in the heat of Portugal to record a moral boosting success on foreign soil.

Two second half efforts from Natumba Massanka and Leo Smith ensured a well deserved win, after the visitors had struck the home woodwork three times in the opening 45 minutes and also conceded a sucker blow right on the half time whistle.

Wrexham had an early opportunity to take the lead when the home keeper saved an initial shot by Chris Holroyd, the ball coming back out and Trialist B hit the rebound against the foot of a post.

Still not cleared, Paul Rutherford collected and crossed deep for Marcus Kelly to hit a first-time effort, but just off target.

The opening quarter saw the visitors dominating possession, with the ball hardly getting back over the half way line, and several long-range efforts raining in on the Louletano goal, but without finding the break through.

Following a water break on 23 minutes, the Reds were back on the attack with Trialist B turning his marker inside out, before pulling the ball back to Holroyd, who saw his effort blocked.

The ball then ran free to the edge of the box, where Mark Carrington swooped first, but hit his shot over the crossbar.

It took until the 27th minute, before the home side registered their first effort, with Nuno Moreia curling a long-range effort over the bar.

Trialist B then livened up the large travelling support by recovering the ball in midfield, turning between two defenders, but his shot didn’t match the skill shown in the build-up.

Then twice within 10 seconds, we struck the Louletano cross bar, first Trialist B with a glancing header from six-yards, before Carrington latched onto the loose ball and hammered his effort against the woodwork from 15 yards.

Two minutes before the break and Louletano took the lead in true 'smash and grab' fashion. They broke downfield but their initial attack was broken up, only for Ruan to collect the loose ball and force a diving save out of Chris Dunn. The keeper pushing the ball wide, but it didn’t go out of play and the ensuing cross found Mequita free at the back post to tap home from a yard out, with the Wrexham defence looking for an offside flag that never came

Ht 1-0

Within 60 seconds of the restart though, the Welshmen were back on level terms, as a pass set substitute Ntumba Massanka free and the on loan striker controlled the ball before slotting passed Bernardo – much to the delight of massed ranks at that end of the pitch.

With the home side making numerous changes at the break, they certainly had the fresher legs, with just Tums and Scott Boden on for Wrexham.

On the hour, Rutherford’s persistence saw him win the ball back on the by line and cross for Boden, but it was just a little too hard and struck the former Inverness man on the arm.

A couple of changes for the Dragons on the hour as Sam Wedgbury and Jack Mackreth introduced for Kelly and Trialist A.

Then James Jennings sent in a great diagonal cross from the left that bounced inches in front of the on-rushing Boden.

Just one of several occasuons when Wrexham were getting around the back line of the locals.

A second goal for Tums seemed a formality on 73 minutes, as he ran onto a cross from Boden, but with the goal at his mercy he could only stroke the ball wide of the back post.

A fantastic 50-yard ball from Carrington was aimed at Mackreth on the right wing, he took the ball in his stride and fired over a cross that Leo Smith got his head to, but he was bumped into as he rose to make contact and the effort lacked the power to beat the hine keeper.

Then a Wrexham free kick on the edge of the Loulentano box was taken by Jennings, who whipped in a set piece that the home keeper was forced to punch away.

Leo Smith was again in the thick of the action, as he picked up a knock down and fired a thunderous shot goalwards from 12 yards that keeper palmed away with an instinctive save.

The heat was sapping the strength and Kelly was sent back on for Jennings, with seven minutes remaining.

Wrexham were still doing the majority of the attacking against a packed defence from Louletano.

In the 86th minute, Leo Smith darted to the byline and crossed deep, Mackreth tapped back across goal, but it was behind the waiting Boden.

All that didn’t matter a minute later, as Leo got his head to a Mackreth cross and steered his effort back across the keeper and inside the post for the winning goal.

It was no more than the visitors deserved for a great display on a sorcher of an evening in the Algarve.

Louletano: Bruno Lucio (Bernardo, 30), Kennedy, Carminho, Mesquita, Guilherme, Juliano, Nuno Moreira, David Vieira, Ruan, Garcia, Faria.
[On 30’ Alves came on #5, but there was no #5 on the teamsheet]
Second half: Bernardo (3rd keeper, 65), Ruizinho (#13, 65), Ricardo, #24 (#23, 65), Rodrigo, Goncalo, #5 (#4, 65), #18, Alves, Orlando (Carminho, 75), #9.
[Again the teamsheet only showed seven substitutes, but another six were also used!]

Wrexham: Chris Dunn (Christian Dibble, 78), James Hurst, Olly Marx, Manny Smith, James Jennings (Marcus Kelly, 83), Mark Carrington, Marcus Kelly (Sam Wedgbury, 60), Paul Rutherford (Leo Smith, 68), Trialist A (Jack Mackreth, 60), Chris Holroyd (Ntumba Massanka 46), Trialist B (Scott Boden 46).

Referee: Hugo Miguel (Por)
Assistant referee: Antonio Godinho (Por)
Assistant referee: Nuno Miguel Roque Conceicão (Por)
Fourth official: Fabio Verissimo (Por)

[The officiating team were travelling to Lisbon after the match, ready to fly out on Wednesday morning to take charge of the Europa League, second round, first leg, game between Panionios and Gorica in Athens on Thursday evening]

Photographs - Lloyd Jones - www.laj-photography.co.uk

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