UNITED earned a point at home thanks to a second half goal by debutant Kieffer Moore after Gerry McDonagh had put the Dragons in front.
United put out a much changed team compared to the team that took on Guiseley at Nethermoor Park. Aman Verma, Dan Sparkes, and Joe Ward joined Kieffer Moore in the starting line-up. Winger David Fitzpatrick missed the game thanks to an injury picked up in training. The return of Aman Verma saw Giancarlo Gallifuoco return to his more familiar role at centre back.
Neither side really threatened in the opening moments of the game but in the 10th minute Wrexham took the lead. Gerry McDonagh found himself relatively free receiving a long ball that was sent from the halfway line. He took a touch and beat Moore from just inside United’s penalty box
There wasn’t much more to the goal than that. United went missing and were punished.
Nathan Blissett and Kieffer Moore were trying to get something going for the Gulls but weren’t quite clicking in the early stages. They did enough to suggest that better things were on the way.
The Gulls were fortunate not to go further behind in the 30th minute when Carrington let loose from thirty yards. The ball struck the post with Moore beaten – it was a hell of a shot.
United had the ball in the net in the 34th minute but Moore was denied by the offside flag.
Moore had two more opportunities just before the half-time break. He put a header wide from a Luke Young corner. It was a decent opportunity and although it was spurned, it was another sign that United were winning enough battles to be a threat in the second half.
Just before the break Moore was at it again when he wriggled away from a couple of defenders to send an effort against the bar.
United had cause for optimism as they contemplated the first half at the half-time break.
Nathan Blissett was to the fore just two minutes into the second half. A high ball into the box was met by Bliss’ at the far post. It was a great effort to get the ball back on target but excruciating to see it come back off the woodwork.
United were piling on the pressure and Wrexham were making chances of their own. It was a great second half, and United never stopped testing Wrexham with balls into the box. With height and pace in United’s armoury, the Yellow Army hoped that it would only be a matter of time before an equalizer was found.
In the 63rd minute Kevin Nicholson introduced Sam Chaney and Shawn McCoulsky who replaced Joe Ward and Nathan Blissett respectively. Then in the 75th minute Jamie Reid replaced Dan Sparkes. United were going for it and could sense that a breakthrough was close.
Moore scored in the 86th minute heading In a Luke Young corner that looked initially like it had come off Sean McGinty. No-one quite knew who had got the final touch and as a result the celebrations were a little muted. The important thing was that the Gulls were on level terms and looking to score a second in the dying moments of the game.
It was however, to be Wrexham who rued a missed opportunity, one that was taken away from them by the assistant referee’s flag. Rutherford thought he had clinched all three points for the Dragons when his shot from just outside the area found the far corner. Wrexham manager Dean Keates said in his post-match comments that the goal was disallowed because of an offside player being in the eye line of Brendan Moore. That player looks to have been Shaun Harrad.
United can look to build on this result. Certainly they exerted enough pressure on Wrexham to suggest that they will be a more potent attacking force in the coming games.
United look to build on this result when they take on Solihull Moors at Plainmoor on Tuesday night, kick-off 7:45pm.