Wrexham's new goalkeeper Luke Simpson. Pic: Getty Images.

Cole’s Late Strike Puts Dragons In Seventh Heaven

Wrexham complete their 1,400 miles trek in eight days when they arrive home in North Wales this evening.

The Dragons have earned seven points from three Vanarama National League fixtures against Havant, Boreham Wood and Gateshead over the last week.

Cole Stockton’s 93rd minute equaliser at the International Stadium was celebrated by more than 500 travelling supporters and Wrexham remain top of the table.

Their next test is against Chesterfield at the Racecourse in Wrexham next Saturday.

Manager Bryan Hughes made one change to his starting lineup following the win at Boreham Wood – and revealed the reason Wrexham signed a new goalkeeper late this week.

Regular started Rob Lainton is injured, Christian Dibble started and new boy Luke Simpson was among the substitutes.

Wrexham goalkeeper Christian Dibble. Pic: Getty Images.

Former Oldham, Leicester and Watford goalkeeper Simpson, 24, was out of contract after leaving Tamworth in January and Hughes said: “I’m looking to cover all bases for this key part of the season. Having another goalkeeper in case of injury is going to be vital.”

Wrexham had most of the possession during the first half, but Gateshead went in at half-time leading 1-0.

Steven Rigg collected a return pass from Greg Olley and cut through the Wrexham defence after 40 minutes. Dibble was off his line quickly and blocked the striker’s first effort, but the ball looped up and Rigg was well placed to head into an empty net.

That was his third goal in two-games after going 19 without scoring.

Wrexham maintained high standards after the break and pressed forward, while the home team seemed happy to sit back and keep men behind the ball.

There was a chance for the visitors on 73 minutes when James Jennings slotted a ball through for Paul Rutherford down the left-hand channel. The winger chased through and was able to lift his effort over advancing goalkeeper Aynsley Pears, but the effort went over the bar.

Wrexham manager Bryan Hughes delighted to be linking up with Brian Flynn.

From the corner, Jake Lawlor headed back across goal and  and Brad Walker went for goal, but, again, the ball went over.

With 12 minutes left, a double change saw Chris Holroyd and Cole Stockton replace Tollitt and Carrington respectively

And in the third minute of added time Stockton managed to bundled  into goal after his first effort had come back off a post.

Seven points from three long away trips is an excellent return and Wrexham are two points clear at the top going into March.

Gateshead: Pears, Tinkler, Barrow, Kerr, Williamson, Thomson (Salkeld 84), Olley (Hunter 80), Rigg, Mellish, White, Forbes. Subs not used: Foden, Maloney, Devitt.

Wrexham: Dibble, Carrington (Stockton 78), Kennedy, Lawlor, Jennings, Walker, Wright (Deverdics 69), Young, Rutherford, Tollitt (Holroyd 78), Oswell. Subs not used: Simpson (gk), Tharme.

Referee: Paul Howard (London)

Attendance: 1,228 (away 525)

Wrexham’s remaining Vanarama League fixtures

• Sat Mar 2 Chesterfield H

• Sat Mar 9 Leyton Orient A (12.35pm)

• Tue Mar 12 Barrow H

• Sat Mar 16 Maidstone United H

• Sat Mar 23 Hartlepool United A

• Sat Mar 30 Ebbsfleet United A

• Sat Apr 6 Braintree Town H 

• Sat Apr 13 Barnet A

• Fri Apr 19 Sutton United H

• Mon Apr 22 FC Halifax Town A

• Sat Apr 27 Harrogate Town H

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