Fans Out In Force To Back Wrexham Promotion Hunt

Manager Sam Ricketts pictured during a post-match press conference. Pic: Wrexham AFC.

Fans Out In Force To Back Wrexham Promotion Hunt

Sam Ricketts and his Wrexham AFC team are attracting big attendances at their Racecourse home.

Crowds for their last two homes fixtures topped the 10,000 mark and the Dragons are pushing hard for success in Vanarama National League football.

“The fans are right behind us,” said defender Jake Lawlor, who made his debut for Wrexham in their goalless draw against Halifax Town.

“They were shouting, cheering, clapping and their passion makes you want to play for them.

“We are happy with the clean sheet, but it’s a shame we couldn’t take all three points.”

Lawlor, signed from Salford on loan, replaced injured Manny Smith and battled through 90 minutes alongside Shaun Pearson at the heart of defence.

This was Lawlor’s first match of any kind this season and he produced a solid performance to help goalkeeper Rob Lainton earn his sixth clean sheet in nine fixtures.

“Jake was excellent,” said manager Jake Ricketts. “The back four were all excellent. It was Jake’s first game of any kind this season. 

“There are loads of positives. The only thing is we didn’t score that winning goal. It was another good game and another good point.

“We’ve played worse and won this season – so we need to be pragmatic. We just didn’t have that edge in the final third.

“It was a really good game. Two decent sides and you can see why they’ve had a really good start to the season. They are really well organised.

“They had a game plan to nullify us and we just couldn’t quite manage to break it down. 

“We are progressing. We controlled the game much better, we moved the ball much better and kept possession better.

“Yes, there are times we can be more progressive with that – at the minute sometimes we pass the ball backwards when we can go forwards – but this is a step in the right direction.

“It will come. The more control we get in the game allows us to work on other aspects.”

Wrexham have dropped from first to third in the table, one point behind joint leaders Leyton Orient and Harrogate Town and defender James Jennings said: “The match was played at a fast tempo, we dominated for large spells and had lots of possession.

“But we could not find that killer pass and were not quite clinical enough. Halifax were well organised, they defended well and were hard to break down.

“There are quite a few positives and things for us to work on.”

Mike Fondop hit the bar early on, but neither side could break the deadlock.

The Dragons now travel to bottom of the table Braintree for their next National League game on Saturday (September 8), at Cressing Road, Essex.

Wrexham made four changes including a debut for Lawlor and a return for fit-again James Jennings.

Doug Tharme and Kevin Roberts made way in defence, while Paul Rutherford and Rekeil Pyke also returned in place of Nicky Deverdics and Stuart Beavon.

The Dragons were inches away from the perfect start – Mike Fondop’s brilliant, dipping left-foot shot from distance clattering the bar just minutes in

Halifax had the ball in the net on eight minutes, when Matty Brown headed in from a vicious Matty Kosylo corner, but the goal was ruled out for an infringement.

Fondop was in the thick of the action too and he did well to chest down Jordan Maguire-Drew’s cross on 28 minutes but he volleyed over left-footed.

A minute later, Wrexham’s top scorer rose highest to meet Maguire-Drew’s free-kick, but his looping header was saved and held.

Halifax were dangerous from set pieces and Nathan Clarke got up again from James Berrett’s corner on 36 minutes. Luke Summerfield cleared off the line.

Wrexham manager Sam Ricketts. Pic: Wrexham AFC.

Ricketts shuffled his front three when Stuart Beavon replaced Fondop and Rekeil Pyke moved into the central striking role midway through the second half.

Wrexham’s second change saw Luke Young on for the final 20 minutes in place of Rutherford, while Chris Holroyd replaced Maguire-Drew in the 81st minute.

The home team enjoyed more possession going forward, but their attacks were repulsed by a wall of defenders in lime green.

Beavon then could have won it for Wrexham in stoppage time, but he shot over when Chris Holroyd’s deflected effort fell to him in the area.

Wrexham dropped two places to third, but remain well placed in their bid to sustain a promotion challenge.

Wrexham (4-1-4-1): Lainton, Carrington, Lawlor, Pearson, Jennings, Wright, Maguire-Drew (Holroyd 81), Summerfield, Rutherford (Young 70), Pyke, Fondop (Beavon 64). Subs not used: Dibble, Walker

FC Halifax Town (4-2-3-1): Johnson, Hanson, Clarke, Brown, Skarz, Lenighan (Maher 75), Berrett, Preston, Southwell (King 90), Kosylo, Edwards. Subs not used: Rowley, Odelusi, McLeod.

Referee: Joe Hull (Cheshire)

Attendance: 5,377 (away 244)

Vanarama National League Table

# Team Pl HW HD HL AW AD AL W D L F A Diff Pts
1. Harrogate Town 9 3 1 0 2 3 0 5 4 0 19 8 11 19
2. Leyton Orient 9 3 2 0 2 2 0 5 4 0 15 6 9 19
3. Wrexham 9 2 3 0 3 0 1 5 3 1 13 4 9 18
4.  Halifax Town 9 4 0 0 1 2 2 5 2 2 13 6 7 17
5. AFC Fylde 9 3 1 1 1 3 0 4 4 1 13 6 7 16
6. Hartlepool United 9 2 2 1 2 2 0 4 4 1 11 8 3 16
7. Sutton United 9 2 2 0 2 2 1 4 4 1 11 8 3 16
8. Solihull Moors 9 3 1 0 2 0 3 5 1 3 11 13 -2 16
9. Salford City 9 3 1 0 1 2 2 4 3 2 14 10 4 15
10. Boreham Wood 9 3 2 0 1 1 2 4 3 2 8 8 0 15
11. Ebbsfleet United 9 1 0 3 3 2 0 4 2 3 11 8 3 14
12. Gateshead 9 3 1 1 1 1 2 4 2 3 12 10 2 14
13. Barnet 9 1 1 2 3 1 1 4 2 3 8 10 -2 14
14. Maidenhead United 9 2 1 2 1 1 2 3 2 4 13 14 -1 11
15. Barrow 9 3 0 1 0 2 3 3 2 4 11 12 -1 11
16. Bromley 9 2 2 1 0 2 2 2 4 3 13 11 2 10
17. Chesterfield 9 2 0 2 1 0 4 3 0 6 9 10 -1 9
18. Eastleigh 9 1 0 3 2 0 3 3 0 6 7 15 -8 9
19. Maidstone United 9 1 1 3 1 0 3 2 1 6 8 14 -6 7
20. Aldershot Town 8 2 1 1 0 0 4 2 1 5 5 13 -8 7
21. Havant & Waterlooville 8 0 3 1 1 0 3 1 3 4 10 18 -8 6
22. Dagenham & Redbridge 9 1 2 2 0 0 4 1 2 6 8 13 -5 5
23. Dover Athletic 9 1 1 3 0 1 3 1 2 6 10 20 -10 5
24. Braintree Town 9 0 1 3 0 2 3 0 3 6 6 14 -8 3

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