It was a tale of two penalties at the Racecourse ground today as United came away from the match with a precious point.
Wrexham took the lead in the 46th minute after the referee judged that Izale McLeod had been fouled as Brendan Moore punched the ball clear. Luke Young was fouled inside Wrexham’s box in the 77th minute which set up Jamie Reid to equalize from the spot.
Kevin Nicholson made two changes to the side that faced Eastleigh on Tuesday. Giancarlo Gallifuoco returned to the starting eleven after loanee Jared Hodgkiss was recalled by his parent club Kidderminster Harriers. Striker Ruairi Keating received his first start with Brett Williams dropping to the bench.
United dominated the first half without finding the final pass or finish to open the scoring.
United were enjoying a lot of pressure and territory. Giancarlo Gallifuoco was finding time and space to get forward from right-back. In the 14th minute his cross caused some chaos inside Wrexham’s box. United looked dangerous, but they needed to make their chances count.
It was another run and pass by Gallifuoco in the 16th minute which set Ruairi Keating away. There was a question as to whether Wrexham defender White fouled Keating as he headed the ball back to his ‘keeper Chris Dunn. Keating once again broke Wrexham’s lines a few minutes later. Keating went scampering after a Shaun Harrad pass but Dunn beat the young striker to the ball.
Midfielder Luke Young was never afraid to shoot from distance. In the 32nd minute his shot was tipped wide by Dunn. United were on top, and free-kicks and corners were mounting up.
Ruairi Keating was making an impact in his first start for the Gulls. His pace and running were a menace to Wrexham’s back line. The Dragons were still finding it difficult to come to terms with United.
Harrad put a dangerous ball across Wrexham’s goal in the 39th minute. Unfortunately there was no-one there to take advantage.
Just before the half-time break United found themselves three –on-three on the counter attack. Unfortunately, Damon Lathrope couldn’t find the right pass to take advantage. It summed up the first half pretty well. United looked bright and competitive, but they lacked enough quality in the final third to punish Wrexham.
Wrexham scored straight away after the half-time break. Goalkeeper Brendan Moore was penalised when coming to punch a ball away. Izale McLeod went down under some contact, the players were incensed with the decision, but George Harry scored from the spot to give Wrexham the lead.
United didn’t let conceding get them down and they were straight on the attack after the restart.
Luke Young forced Dunn into a save once again in the 47th minute. He then put Daniel Sparkes in for United’s best opportunity of the second half. Unfortunately he couldn’t find the finish to beat Dunn.
Wrexham were slowly finding some rhythm, but before united had to deal with some pressure they forced another opportunity. In the 60th minute Dan Sparkes crossed from to the left to find Harrad. Unfortunately his shot went wide of Wrexham’s goal.
Player-manager Kevin Nicholson decided to make two substitutions to try and get back into the game. First, Shaun Harrad was replaced by Brett Williams, and then about ten minutes later Damon Lathrope made way for Jamie Reid.
Wrexham were creating more opportunities and were making game-changing substitutions of their own.
United were awarded a penalty in the 77th minute after midfielder Luke Young was brought inside Wrexham’s penalty box.
Jamie Reid stepped up to beat Dunn, although the Wrexham ‘keeper did get a touch on the ball before it found the net.
So, the match was level and Wrexham had gotten back into the match. The match went back and forth with Wrexham creating the best chance to take all three points.
Before spurning their best chance of the match, United had Brendan Moore to thank for pulling off a truly fantastic save after Massanka and Barry had combined.
United then had an effort cleared off the line! Wrexham were able to clear Sean McGinty's effort off the line, and then Dan Sparkes fired over the bar.
Izale McLeod spurned the best chance for Wrexham to take the win.
Our next fixture is away to Solihull Moors on Tuesday night, and that is followed by our home fixture against Chester FC on Saturday. We need the full weight of the Yellow Army behind us in our fight to stay in the National League.
You can buy tickets for Saturday’s match here.