Macclesfield Town
Posted:Tue 13 Aug 2019

Mark Harris’ third goal of the season was enough to get ten-man Wrexham back to winning ways and end Halifax’s unbeaten start to the new season.

Jake Lawlor was dismissed for a professional foul midway through the second half but Harris then scored what proved to be the only goal of the game.

After stoppage-time heartbreak in the last two matches, the Dragons then stood firm through five additional minutes to earn all three points.

Bryan Hughes made two changes from the side which had started the three previous matches – including a Wrexham debut for Jazzi Barnum-Bobb.

Leighton McIntosh also made his first Wrexham start, with Mark Carrington dropping to the bench and Bobby Grant suspended after the appeal against his Dover red card failed.

Wrexham started very brightly, and Sam Johnson produced a smart one-handed save on six minutes when JJ Hooper’s cross – aimed for McIntosh in the middle – was deflected goalwards by a Town defender.

Referee Simon Mather played a good advantage as Wrexham broke on eight minutes, despite Liam Nolan scything Luke Summerfield down in the middle, but Mark Harris’ low shot lacked power.

Harris went close again a minute later, when James Jennings’ cross dropped for him at the back post, but his effort was blocked.

Wild tackles continued to fly in, and Jeff King brought down Barnum-Bobb just to the right of the penalty area, but the Dragons did not take advantage of the free-kick.

The league leaders managed to get a grip of the game back after that fast and furious flurry, however, and Nolan shot well over on 14 minutes.

Chances dried up a little, but Devonte Redmond still dragged a right-footed effort just wide on 25 minutes after Shaun Pearson kept the ball alive following a free-kick.

Christian Dibble kept the scores level on 27 minutes though, instinctively sticking out a strong hand when Jamie Allen’s low shot deflected off Pearson.

Jeff King, off balance, then shot well over the bar on his left foot from 25 yards on the half-hour.

Wrexham wanted a penalty on 32 minutes, when the ball appeared to deflect up and hit Nathan Clarke’s arm, but referee Mather waved away the appeals.

Summerfield and Harris exchanged passes a minute later, but Johnson saved the former’s low right-footed effort down to his left.

At the other end, Cameron King’s shot deflected off Lawlor in the area, which took the sting out of the ball for Dibble to save and hold well.

Pearson turned Summerfield’s low corner goalwards on 43 minutes, but again the shot lacked the power to beat Johnson low to his left and the sides went in goalless.

The second-half started more cautiously than the first, but Wrexham went close to breaking the deadlock eight minutes after the restart.

Harris’ shot was deflected into Hooper’s path, who teed up Redmond, but Johnson did really well to turn his shot wide at full-stretch.

From Summerfield’s subsequent corner, Jennings got across his man at the near post but headed just over.

Hooper’s snap-shot on the turn bounced in front of Johnson on 62 minutes, but the goalkeeper held it at a comfortable height.

At the other end, Cameron King laid the ball off to substitute Liam McAlinden after a quick break, but he shot well over.

Wrexham were reduced to ten men for the second consecutive match, however, when Tobi Sho-Silva beat Lawlor to a long ball on 68 minutes and the defender tripped him – seeing red for a professional foul.

Halifax wasted the free-kick, but the Dragons were forced into a reshuffle with Mark Carrington replacing McIntosh and Jennings moving to centre-back.

Nevertheless, Luke Young fizzed a right-wing cross in on 74 minutes, which Johnson had to parry clear as it beat everyone in the middle.

At the other end, Cameron King struck a fierce low effort from 25 yards on 76 minutes, which flashed just wide of Dibble’s right-hand post.

Wrexham took the lead on 78 minutes though – Hooper keeping the ball alive on the ground to find Rutherford, who played Harris in, and the Cardiff loanee dinked over Johnson and into the far corner.

Halifax threw men forward in search of an equaliser, and Dibble had to save low when King fired a low cross across the six-yard area on and Sanmi Odelusi dived in.

At the other end, Hooper’s low left-footed effort was saved at the second attempt on 88 minutes.

With five minutes added on, Odelusi went down in the area looking for a penalty on 92 minutes, to Pearson and Jennings’ fury, but the referee gave a goal kick.

There were more nervy moments for the hosts in the fourth minute of stoppage time, when Binnon-Williams headed over from a corner.

But the Dragons stood firm – the first clean sheet of the season sealing all three points.

Wrexham: (4-2-3-1): Dibble, Barnum-Bobb, Pearson, Lawlor, Jennings, Summerfield, Young, McIntosh (Carrington 70), Redmond (Rutherford 76), Harris, Hooper (Oswell 89).
Subs not used: Szczepaniak, Barton

FC Halifax Town: (4-4-1-1): Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Brown, Binnon-Williams, Allen, Staunton, Nolan, J.King (McAlinden 60), C.King, Sho-Silva (Odelusi 81)
Subs not used:  Appleyard, Earing, Hanson

Referee: Simon Mather (Manchester)
Attendance: 5,517
Away: 307

Bookings -
Wrexham: Barnum-Bobb (58, UGC), Young (66, foul), Pearson (90+1, foul)

FC Halifax Town: Staunton (44, foul), Sho- Silva (56, foul)

Sent-off –

Wrexham: Lawlor (68, professional foul)

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