Tuesday, 16 December 2008 09:28

MATCH REPORT: Wrexham 2-1 Mansfield Town

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MATCH REPORT: Wrexham 2-1 Mansfield Town

Published Date: 15 December 2008

WREXHAM'S fantastic start against Mansfield failed to lead to an avalanche of goals at The Racecourse.

Two goals in the opening 11 minutes put Wrexham on the way to victory in their FA Trophy first round tie against managerless Mansfield.

It could and should have been more by half-time as Mansfield failed to threaten the Reds.

But failure to kill the game off always gave Mansfield a chance and when the visitors pulled a goal back midway through the second period, the job was not complete.

Despite Mansfield coming more into the game after the boost of a goal, Wrexham also had more chances to trouble the scoreline.

However, there was to be no denying Wrexham victory in their first-ever match in the competition, and they sealed their passage into the last 32.

Manager Dean Saunders knows Wrexham should have wrapped up the win in the first half and he said his side have got to be more ruthless in front of goal.

It should have been more than two goals scored but Saunders can be pleased that his side are creating so many scoring chances.

After dominating for large periods, Wrexham looked like they were going to keep a first clean sheet since beating Lewes 2-0 on November 1.

But conceding in the second half, and giving Mansfield hope of a comeback, was one of the negatives for the Reds in an otherwise solid afternoon's work.

The starting line-up showed six changes to the side beaten against Kettering.

Gavin Ward, Ashley Westwood, Mike Williams, Nathan Fairhurst, Andy Fleming and Patrick Suffo were brought into the side as Saunders decided to name his strongest possible team.

Anthony Williams, Christian Smith, Tom Kearney, Levi Mackin, and suspended duo Steve Evans and Jefferson Louis, were the players who made way.

And left-back Sam Williamson retained his place after winning his appeal against the red card received in the Kettering defeat.

It took Wrexham just three minutes to break the deadlock.

Marc Williams beat two defenders after accepting Williamson's throw-in and his cross from the by-line was slotted home by Jon Brown from close range.

Marc Williams then saw his downward header superbly tipped over the bar by keeper Jamie Annerson, but Wrexham made it 2-0 from the resulting 11th minute corner.

Woolfe delivered and Westwood headed past Annerson.

As the scoreline suggested, Wrexham were well on top and Fleming's effort was blocked for a corner after more good work by Marc Williams.

The closest Mansfield came to a goal was five minutes before the break but keeper Gavin Ward did well to palm away James Kay's dangerous cross into the six yard box after he beat Neil Taylor.

But Wrexham immediately hit back and Brown's first time shot from Suffo's knock down finished only narrowly wide of the target.

And Suffo's effort after good work by Brown was deflected over the bar for a corner by centre-back Alan O'Hare, but Wrexham had already built up a deserved two goal lead.

Marc Williams' drive fell wide after playing a neat one-two with Fairhurst, while new signing Steve Abbott replaced Suffo on 52 minutes.

Mike Williams brought a save out of Annerson after meeting Woolfe's free-kick, while Alex Jeannin's long range effort flew over the bar at the other end as Mansfield struggled to make any impact.

Reds' substitute Sam Aiston blasted over after being played in by Marc Williams, but Mansfield pulled a goal back after 69 minutes.

Referee Andy Halliday halted play because of injury to Neil Taylor and from James Kay's cross, Aaron O'Connor converted Emile Sinclair's pull-back.

There was a spring in Mansfield's step following the goal and Sinclair brought an excellent save out of Ward, but Wrexham immediately hit back and Marc Williams struck a post with his low drive.

Williams also brought a routine save out of Annerson while Mansfield squandered an excellent chance when scorer O'Connor fired over from six yards after taking Sinclair's pass.

Abbott brought an injury time save out of Annerson but Wrexham had just about done enough to seal their passage into round two.