A 78th minute Mark Harris goal for 10-man Wrexham sees FC Halifax Town slip to their first defeat of the season following a tight game of few clear-cut chances but the battling performance promises more for the season ahead.
Pete Wild made 2 changes to the starting line up that faced Dagenham & Redbridge at the weekend with Liam Noble replacing the injured Niall Maher in midfield and Jeff King taking Liam McAlinden’s place on the left side in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
The hosts started brightly with Devante Redmond and Jazzi Barnum-Bobb linking well on the Wrexham right side. Sam Johnson gathered well from Mark Harris and then turned over a header from his own skipper Matty Brown. He was in action minutes later saving low to his right to deny Harris again.
Town slowly began to find their way into game with Cameron King at the heart of the play. He linked up with Brown and Jamie Allen to find Liam Nolan, but his shot was off target. Wrexham responded with Redmond shooting wide from 25 yards. The Shaymen had their first shot on target in the 26th minute when Cameron King linked with Jamie Allen, but his scuffed shot was turned away by Christian Dibble in the home goal.
Referee Simon Mather incurred the wrath of the home crowd when he correctly waved away penalty appeals for an alleged handball by Nathan Clarke and they were frustrated again moments later when influential midfielder Luke Summerfield scuffed his shot well off target from just outside the penalty area.
Another Cameron King shot, after good hold up play in the penalty area by Tobi Sho-Silva was deflected to keeper Dibble. Town’s first corner of the half came to nothing and a yellow card for Josh Staunton for a foul brought the half to a close.
The 2nd half followed in a similar vein. Sam Johnson was alert to clear a short back bass and pulled off a wonderful save to his right after a defensive mix up presented JJ Hooper with a shooting opportunity.
Liam McAlinden replaced Jeff King and he was immediately in the action, but his shot comfortably cleared the crossbar after the opportunity was created by more excellent play from Cameron King.
Wrexham were reduced to 10 men on 68 minutes when centre half Jake Lawlor was shown a straight red card for a professional foul. Jerome Binnom-Williams won the ball in his own half and his long ball forward was latched onto by Sho-Silva who headed for goal. The striker was bundled over by Lawlor 20 yards from goal, but Cameron King failed to hit the target from the resulting free kick.
The Wrexham goal arrived 10 minutes later. Nathan Clarke and JJ Hooper tangled for the ball with the Referee playing an advantage that allowed the hosts to move the ball to Mark Harris who lifted the ball over the advancing Johnson.
Town pressed for the equaliser with McAlinden and King both having low crosses fumbled by Dibble, but the equaliser wouldn’t come and Town taste defeat for the first time this season and now head South on Saturday to face Aldershot.
Wrexham: 21 Christian Dibble, 2 Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, 3 James Jennings, 5 Shaun Pearson ©, 6 Jake Lawlor, 7 Luke Summerfield, 8 Luke Young, 10 Devonte Redmond (Paul Rutherford 77), 29 Mark Harris, 30 JJ Hooper (12 Jason Oswell 89), 35 Leighton McIntosh (13 Mark McIntosh 70)
Subs: 31 Dawid Szczepaniak, 15 Adam Barton
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Michael Duckworth, 3 Jerome Binnom-Williams, 4 Nathan Clarke, 5 Matty Brown, 6, Liam Nolan, 7 Jamie Allen, 10 Cameron King, 11 Tobi Sho-Silva (Sanmi Odelusi 81), 14 Josh Staunton, 20 Jeff King (15 Liam McAlinden 60)
Subs: 12 Will Appleyard, 8 Jack Earing, 16 Jacob Hanson
Goals: Mark Harris 78
Yellow Cards: Staunton 44, Sho-Silva 56, Barnum-Bubb 57, Young 66, Pearson 90
Red Cards: Lawlor 68 mins
Full Time: Wrexham 1 FC Halifax Town 0
Shots on Target:
Wrexham 6 Town 2
Shots off target
Wrexham 2 Town 6
Wrexham 7 Town 4
Wrexham 3 Town 2
Wrexham 1 Town 0
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