REPORT | Tranmere Rovers 0-1 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 23 Sep 2017

The ten-men of Wrexham succeeded where so often 11 have failed and returned home with three points from Prenton Park.

Sam Wedgbury saw red for two yellows after just 14 minutes and then it was always going to be a battle, but amazingly it was one we won.

That was thanks to Chris Holroyd’s first goal in a Wrexham shirt, coming from a Marcus Kelly corner on 58 minutes, and some great team work from everyone else in a Wrexham shirt for the rest of the afternoon.

Two changes for the Reds at the start, with Alex Reid and Akil Wright coming in for Scott Boden and Mark Carrington.

In the first attack of the afternoon, striker Holroyd went to ground as he raced into the Rovers penalty box, seemingly having had his shirt tugged, but referee Thomas Bramhall waved play on with appeals for a penalty ringing loudly in his ears.

Minutes later, a clash between Connor Jennings and Sam Wedgbury saw the free kick go to the home team, but the former Wrexham player wound up having his name taken for a bit of afters.

The free kick was delivered long and on into the Wrexham area, where Luke Coddington attempted to punched clear but failed and it took a clearing kick by Kevin Roberts to avert the danger.

On 12 minutes, Wedgbury got his own back on Connor, tapping his ankles 12 yards outside our area.

The resulting free kick dropped into the Wrexham box and James Norwood was able to try a cheeky back heel from wide of the goal, but it only hit the side netting, although many in the mains stand thought their team had taken the lead.

On 14 minutes, Wedgbury picked up a second yellow when stretching for a challenge as he and Jay Harris chased after a loose ball. Harris jumped high over the approaching Wrexham man, although nowhere near being touched. The referee went straight for his pocket again and the midfielder was heading for the dressing rooms.

There is an old adage in football about not giving the match official an excuse to produce a red card, well Sam was probably guilty of that and it saw him taking the long walk.

Wrexham's James Jennings defends at Tranmere

Harris then fired a 25-yard effort from the right that took a deflection off a Wrexham defender and struck the outside of Coddington’s left hand post for a corner.

With the extra man, Rovers were certainly enjoying a much great percentage of the possession, keeping Wrexham pinned back for extended periods. One of these saw Norwood fire a long-range effort that had Coddington diving across his goal, but it passed a yard wide of his right hand upright.

A foul by Akil Wright, some 20-yards out, gave Tranmere a free kick directly in front of visitors' goal, but the effort was fired wide.

Ex-Chester striker James Alabi found space on the right of the box for a low shot that Coddington did well to get down to and push away on 35 minutes.

Then Connor Jennings set up Ollie Norburn with a header into his path, but the midfielder’s effort was dragged well off target from the edge of the Wrexham box.

Into added time and Alex Reid’s persistence won the visitors a corner. The kick came back out to the taker Marcus Kelly, who then cut inside his marker, heading towards goal, but only to fire into the side netting from a very tight angle.

Ht 0-0

Within 30 seconds of the re-start Connor Jennings got his head to a cross from right back Adam Buxton and although he had the space to direct his effort, it went just wide of Coddington’s near post - a let off for the Reds!

On 52 minutes, a deep cross from left back Liam Ridehalgh was tipped over by Coddington and when the corner can it the ball ended up in the Wrexham net, but by that stage the move had already been flagged up for offside.

On their next attack, Rovers aimed the ball to the head of Alabi, whose flick on passed a yard wide of the right-hand post, with Coddington watching on.

The Reds did get forward occasionally and won another corner on 58 minutes, after a run by James Jennings and his pass into the home penalty area took a deflection to go behind.

Kelly sent the ball in from our right, it carried on passed the back post, where Chris Holroyd was lurking and his driven effort managed to find its way into the Tranmere net – cue pandemonium from the travelling fans behind Scott Davies’ goal.

Wrexham's Chris Holroyd fires the winning goal at Tranmere

There was a booking for Rovers' substitute Andy Cook on 71 minutes, as in his frustration he pushed Pearson to floor as the ball was running out of play for a goal kick.

Moments later and the Reds only half cleared another Tranmere attack, with the ball sitting up nicely for Norwood to unleash an effort from 15-yards, but it was another to fly well wide of the mark.

As pressure continue to be directed at the Wrexham goal, Cook got his head to another cross but it also drifted wide.

On 74 minutes, Mark Carrington was sent on for goal scorer Holroyd, who had been moved back into midfield after Wedgbury's dismissal.

Play was suspended at the same time to allow a Wrexham supporter to be removed from the Cowshed and stretchered across the pitch to the first aid room situated in the players' tunnel.

Jack Mackreth was next on, replacing Kelly after 85 minutes, with George Waring appearsing for Tranmere as Alabi was withdrawn from the home ranks.

After last week’s eight added minutes against Guiseley, we made it into double figures this time around, as the board went up with 10 minutes indicated.

Nerves were getting strainied now and a Harris shot was deflected wide for a corner, before Ntumba Massanka replaced Alex Reid on 90+4 minutes.

Then Wrexham broke up field with Mackreth sprinting away to win a corner and see some more seconds off the clock.

On 90+7, there was a booking for Coddington, time wasting said the referee.

On 90+9 minutes, with keeper Davies up for a Rovers corner, the referee blew up for pushing against Tranmere, to relieve the pressure for a few moments.

Then Mackreth chased a lost cause in front of the main stand and still succeeded in forcing Davies ito conceding a corner. This turned out to be the final action of the game and enabled the final whistle to sound, prompting more joyous scenes in the Cowshed Stand…

Tranmere Rovers: Davies, McNulty, Norburn (Cook 63), Buxton, Dunn, C Jennings, Alabi (Waring, 85), Ridehalgh, Harris, Norwood, Sutton.
Subs: Pilling, Hughes, Gumbs.

Wrexham: Coddington, Roberts, M Smith, Pearson, J Jennings, Rutherford, Wright, Wedgbury, Kelly (Mackreth 85), Reid (Massanka 90+4), Holroyd (Carrington 74).
Subs: Preston, Boden.

Referee: Thomas Bramall (South Yorkshire)
Attendance: 6,802
Away: 1,478

Bookings -
Tranmere: C Jennings (5, ungentlemanly conduct), Cook (71, foul)
Wrexham: Wedgbury (12, foul), Rutherford (87, foul), Coddington (90+7, time wasting)

Sending Off -
Wrexham: Wedgbury (14, foul - second yellow)

Photographs courtesy of Alun Roberts (AJAR Photographics)

Wrexham fans at Tranmere

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