YOUTH | Wrexham 3 -1 Walsall

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sun 01 Oct 2017

Goals from Doug Tharme, Sam Pilkington and Cameron McGregor saw the young Reds turn around a one goal deficit against Walsall at Colliers Park to put the two single reverses of earlier in the week, against Tranmere and Wigan, behind them.

In a very even first half, an in-rushing Pilkington failed to connect with a low cross from the right, despite a desperate lunge, before the Saddlers took the lead on 24 minutes. Neat interplay down the visitors’ right saw Luke Little tee up Ben Kendrick and he made no mistake, firing in at the near post from an angle despite Dane Rigby’s best efforts.

Despite very little real action in the danger areas, the Reds managed to turn the game around with two goals in three minutes before the interlude; first, on 38 minutes, a set-piece by Jack Thorn was floated into the far post where Tharme arrived unmarked to head the ball back across goal and into the back of the Saddlers net.

Then, on 41 minutes, Pilkington diligently chased a long punt forward before managing to head the ball over Brendan Ganley, the Walsall keeper, from the edge of the area despite the custodian looking favourite to get to the ball first.

However, in-between those two goals, Rigby had to be alert to grab a skimmer from skipper Ben Friel as the Saddlers looked to use the slippery surface to their advantage.

The second half saw Wrexham in the ascendancy although it was Walsall who had the better of the openings early on as Friel blasted over from a good position after creating space for himself and Stefan Mason saw a shot saved by Rigby while an in-swinging corner kick appeared to thump the upright before eventually being hacked clear from on the line.

The Reds came back though and McGregor fired over from 25 yards after Steffan Bulkeley battled manfully to win the ball before the same combination pretty much ended the game as a contest on 67 minutes. Bulkeley drew two defenders before squaring for McGregor to blast home from around 10 yards out as Ganley raced out to try to block.

With a two goal advantage already, we went looking to extend the lead further as Pilkington had a clear sight on goal but the keeper tipped his shot around for a corner while McGregor had a late effort wiped out by the assistant referee who ruled he was in an offside position.

In between, Joe Cairns had seen a shot deflected wide for a flag kick but by this time the game was already over as a contest as the young Reds put those narrow defeats to Tranmere and Wigan firmly behind them.

Wrexham: Dane Rigby, Dan Stephens (Bobby Beaumont 79), Ryan Williams, Ben Barratt, Doug Tharme, Scott McHarrie (Dylan Allshorn 71), Jack Thorn, Brandon Burrows (Dafydd Thomas 79), Steffan Bulkeley, Cameron McGregor, Sam Pilkington.
Subs: Dan Goldston, Matty Sargent.

Report by Paul Davies


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