REPORT | Wrexham 1-0 Sutton United

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Fri 19 Apr 2019

Kieran Kennedy volleyed in the only goal of the game as Wrexham beat Sutton United to earn a third consecutive win.

A dominant Wrexham performance at the Racecourse looked like going unrewarded until Kennedy’s composed finish into the top corner with 12 minutes remaining.

And a solid defensive performance led by Kennedy and captain Shaun Pearson earned a 26th clean sheet of the season – equalling the club record in the process – and a narrow, but deserved win.

Bryan Hughes named an unchanged starting XI – and substitutes – from the win at Barnet, with match winner Jermaine McGlashan still on the bench.

It meant, with the exception of Kennedy in for injured Jake Lawlor at the back, it was also the same line-up that beat Braintree in the last home game.

Wrexham started brightly and Bobby Grant’s low free-kick on four minutes was flicked on by Beavon – Dale Bennett having to be alert to stop Akil Wright sneaking in at the back post.

Mark Carrington’s through ball nearly found Chris Holroyd three minutes later, but Ross Worner was out quickly to gather at his feet – both players getting injured in the process.

After a bit of a delay, both players were able to continue but Wrexham continued in the ascendancy.

Stuart Beavon’s good closing down earned another chance on 16 minutes, and Paul Rutherford turned well to tee up Bobby Grant, whose left-foot was just wide from 20 yards.

Grant then turned provider on 25 minutes, feeding Chris Holroyd who dragged a low, right-footed effort wide from just outside the area.

Sutton were forced to play deep in their own half, reduced to half-chances such as Gime Toure’s long-distance effort which went high over the bar on 29 minutes.

A minute later, Mark Carrington surged forward down the left, taking on two defenders and standing up a cross for Grant, who headed wide at the back post.

Carrington’s runs forward from left-back were causing Sutton problems and, from another well-worked Wrexham move, the vice-captain curled a right-footed shot just over on 38 minutes.

Sutton started brighter in the second-half and Toure fired another long-distance effort over on 54 minutes.

From the resultant Rob Lainton goal kick, however, Worner horribly misjudged the bounce and had to claw the Wrexham keeper’s long clearance wide.

That sparked a spell of sustained spell of Wrexham pressure, which was further boosted by the introduction of Luke Summerfield from the bench for Rutherford.

With practically his first touch, on the hour, Summerfield charged down a clearance and crossed low for Holroyd but Worner gathered at the near post.

Summerfield then had two long-range efforts closed down as the Dragons pushed for a winner.

Wrexham’s anger grew further when they were denied the chance to contest another drop ball after – not for the first time – a Sutton player needed the physio on for an innocuous injury.

That only served to encourage the hosts to ramp up the pressure on the Sutton back line, pressing high up the pitch.

With still no goal, however, Wrexham’s response was to introduce McGlashan and Jason Oswell for Stuart Beavon and Bobby Grant.

Kennedy finally found the breakthrough the Dragons deserved on 78 minutes, however, controlling a brilliant half-volley into the top corner after Pearson’s header was blocked on the line.

Sutton responded by throwing men forward in a 4-2-4 formation, but Oswell was just inches away from getting the crucial touch to Summerfield’s cross on 85 minutes.

Four minutes of stoppage time gave Sutton more opportunity to throw players forward but Wrexham’s defence stood firm once again.

That 26th clean sheet of the season ensures the Dragons will be at home in the play-off qualifiers at the very least, and also equals the club record for all competitions, first set in 1972/73.

Wrexham: Lainton, Roberts, Pearson, Kennedy, Carrington, Young, Wright, Rutherford (Summerfield 59), Grant (McGlashan 72), Beavon (Oswell 72), Holroyd.
Subs: Dibble, Jennings.

Sutton United: Worner, Bennett, Bolarinwa, Toure, Ayunga (Kearney 79), Eastmond, Beautyman, Deacon, Barden (Bellikli 85), Williams, Dobson (Thomas 68).
Subs: Lema, Mason.

Referee: Peter Gibbons (Merseyside)
Attendance: 5,264
Away: 78

Bookings -
Wrexham:
Young (71, foul)
Sutton United: Eastmond (10, foul)

 

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