REPORT | Wrexham 0-1 Torquay United

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Mon 05 Apr 2021

Torquay stung injury-hit Wrexham with a stoppage-time sucker punch as the Reds suffered a second defeat of the Easter weekend to a play-off rival.

Sam Sherring lashed home the only goal of the game in stoppage time, after Wrexham had twice hit the woodwork.

It meant a second consecutive loss to a play-off rival for the Reds, whose injury worries also deepened.

In fact, Dean Keates’ injury woes deepened before a ball was even kicked at the Racecourse – Rob Lainton pulling up in the warm-up and being replaced by Christian Dibble.

Keates had already been forced into two changes from Friday’s defeat to Notts County, with Theo Vassell (cut eye) and Jordan Ponticelli (hamstring) out injured.

Fiacre Kelleher and Dan Jarvis came into the starting line-up as a result, while Mark Carrington also started with captain Shaun Pearson dropping to the bench.

Late replacement Dibble’s goal was where all the early action was too – though too often Torquay failed to work the Wrexham keeper.

Adam Randell shot well off target within the first minute after beating Luke Young in the middle, while Armani Little’s shot deflected just wide on five minutes.

From the resultant Connor Lemonheigh-Evans’ corner, Jay Harris sliced his clearance at the near post but Asa Hall headed wide from close range.

Dior Angus – playing as the lone central striker with Jarvis and Jordan Davies just behind – had Wrexham’s first big opportunity on 14 minutes.

Harris, on his 250th Wrexham appearance, intercepted well in midfield to find Davies, who fed Angus down the right, but he shot too close to Lucas Covolan from a tight angle.

Harris then won a free-kick on the edge of the box in the 20th minute, but Davies’ curling, left-footed effort clattered the bar and bounced clear.

Two minutes later, Jamie Reckord arrived late to meet Jarvis’ teasing right-wing cross on 22 minutes, but he shot at Covolan, who parried wide.

Torquay were then forced into a change, with Ben Kimpioka going off injured to be replaced by Billy Waters, and the stoppage changed the momentum of the game once more.

Again, however, Torquay failed to test Dibble despite a number of shooting opportunities – and the Wrexham keeper saved low when Hall’s deflected drive did sting his palms on 38 minutes.

Wrexham had the wind behind them after the break, but Ben Wynter dragged a shot wide for Torquay three minutes into the second half.

The visitors were forced into another save ten minutes after the break, however – Andrews replacing the injured Lemonheigh-Evans.

His injury forced a long stoppage, which contributed to a slow start to the second-half, as neither side found any early rhythm.

Davies nearly provided the spark on 58 minutes, racing onto a loose ball and spotting the keeper off his line, but he missed the target with an ambitious long-range effort.

Wrexham made their first change on the hour, as Paul Rutherford replaced Jarvis, while Torquay’s final change saw one former Red replace another as Scott Boden came on for Danny Wright.

Boden’s first touch was to set Hall up on 64 minutes, but Dibble saved low and held the ball at the second attempt.

A minute later, Kelleher headed Young’s deep corner back inside, but Davies could not get enough power onto his own header to beat the defender on the line.

Harris had to make an inch-perfect tackle in his own penalty area on 73 minutes to deny Boden, meanwhile, as both teams sought a breakthrough.

At the other end, Wrexham forced a succession of corners as the 80th minute approached but could not make them count.

Reece Hall-Johnson then cut inside on 81 minutes but his left-footed shot, off balance, was blocked and Harris’ follow-up was straight at Covolan.

Kelleher’s header was then saved low in the 82nd minute and, from the resultant corner, Davies headed onto the post after Harris’ flick-on.

Wrexham could not make the pressure tell, however, and the final throw of the dice saw Pearson replace Davies to play up front.

Disaster struck just moments later, however, as a ball into the box was not fully cleared and Sherring lashed in the follow-up to win the game for Torquay.

After 23 points from the previous 12 matches, Wrexham have now lost two in a row for the first time since December.

Wrexham: Dibble, Hall-Johnson, French, Kelleher, Carrington, Reckord, Young, Harris, Davies (Pearson, 90+2'), Jarvis (Rutherford 60'), Angus.
Subs: Redmond, Durrell, Horsfield.

Torquay United: Covolan, Wynter, Law, Little, Sherring, Lewis, Hall, Randell, Mbunga-Kimipioka (Waters (29'), Lemonheigh-Evans (Andrews 55'), Wright (Boden 68').
Subs: MacDonald, Moxey.

Referee: Andrew Miller (Co Durham)

Bookings -
 Angus (76', simulation), Harris (84', foul)

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