REPORT | Wrexham 5-1 Salford City

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Wed 26 Dec 2018

Wrexham stormed to victory at home to Salford City before a bumper Boxing Day crowd at the Racecourse to leapfrog their opponents into second place in the National League.

Shaun Pearson’s header broke the deadlock early on, before Akil Wright and Brad Walker struck to give Wrexham a 3-0 lead at half-time in front of 8,283 fans.

Ben Tollitt’s debut goal and Chris Holroyd’s strike sealed victory late in the second-half, with Salford playing out the final few minutes with ten men after Thomas Walker’s red card.

With virtually the last kick of the game, Daniel Whitehead’s long-range strike deflected in to hand Salford a consolation but nothing could detract from a big home win.

Unchanged from the goalless draw at Aldershot last Saturday, Wrexham needed to do what they could not that afternoon – beat the opposition keeper.

The skipper did exactly that within three minutes though, losing his man to meet Luke Summerfield’s corner – won after Wright’s good work – to power a header beyond Christopher Neal.

The Dragons were back on front foot again three minutes later, but Summerfield’s left-footed effort was blocked and Bobby Grant shot wide from the rebound.

At the other end, Matt Green was quickest to a loose ball and shot wide on the half-volley from the edge of the area.

Salford then worked the ball well from right to left on nine minutes, but Daniel Lloyd’s shot was deflected wide by former Salford man Jake Lawlor.

Good endeavour from Stuart Beavon and Paul Rutherford won the ball back deep in the Salford half on 11 minutes but Brad Walker scuffed his ambitious long-range effort and Neal saved.

Rutherford tried to catch Neal out with a first-time half-volley after running onto James Jennings’ throw, but his lofted shot was saved at a comfortable height.

Wright doubled the lead on 25 minutes though, losing his man at the back post to head in Summerfield’s cross unmarked after patient build-up play.

Under pressure from Rutherford, Neal’s loose clearance gave Mark Carrington the chance to shoot first time from distance on 31 minutes but he missed the target.

Two minutes later, Beavon’s clever pass released Rutherford’s cross, who stood a cross up for Bobby Grant, but his acrobatic effort was blocked by Ibou Touray.

Beavon was a constant menace for the Salford defence in the first half, and he won the ball on 43 minutes to set Wright up but, this time, his first-time effort was sliced wide.

Salford’s frustrations were emphasised at the end of the half, when Beavon nutmegged Nathan Pond and the experienced defender was booked for swinging a leg at him as he ran past.

From the resultant free-kick, in the first minute of first-half stoppage time, the ball was worked to Brad Walker, who made space for himself and let fly into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Salford, who replaced Pond with Liam Hogan at the break, were brighter at the start of the second-half, and Agustim Mafuta shot wide from 18 yards on 50 minutes.

Wrexham absorbed the pressure, however, and Beavon shot wide on 59 minutes after Wright’s persistence in the middle before Grant shot straight at Neal moments later.

Ben Tollitt replaced Beavon on 65 minutes for his home debut, before Grant curled a long-range free-kick well over a minute later.

Grant curled a long-range free-kick high into the stand on 66 minutes then, three minutes later, played in Summerfield, who released Rutherford, but his shot was blocked from a tight angle.

Tollitt found Rutherford on 82 minutes and raced on to the return ball in the area, but his first shot was blocked and, when the ball fell back to him, his rebound was parried clear.

He got his debut goal on 86 minutes though, firing in left-footed across goal into the top corner in front a packed Glyndwr University Stand.

Salford’s afternoon then went from bad to worse on 89 minutes when, after already being booked for a cynical foul, Thomas Walker was shown a second yellow card and sent off.

In the third minute of stoppage time, Holroyd got in behind the defence and fired in Wrexham’s fifth of the afternoon from a tight angle.

Salford had the final say, when Whitehead’s long-range strike deflected in to wrong-foot Lainton and spin in but it was barely a consolation for the visitors after a superb Wrexham win.

Wrexham AFC: (4-1-4-1): Lainton, Carrington, Lawlor, Pearson, Jennings, Walker, Grant (Holroyd 85), Summerfield, Wright, Rutherford (Deverdics 87), Beavon (Tollitt 65).
Subs: Dibble, Smith.

Salford City: (4-4-2): Neal, Wiseman (Rodney 76), Pond (Hogan 46), Piergianni, Touray, Walker, Whitehead, Mafuta (Gaffney 65), Lloyd, Rooney, Green.
Subs: Crombe, Nolan.

Referee: James Oldham (Derbyshire)
Attendance: 8,283
Away: 276

Sending Off -
Salford City:
(Walker 89, second yellow card)

Wrexham: -
Salford City:
Pond (45, foul), Piergianni (48, UGC), Mafuta (64, foul), Touray (72, foul), Walker (75, foul)

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