Sunday 26th February
Wrexham DSA FC 5-3 North Wales Police
On Sunday last, Wrexham DSA FC took on North Wales Police at a windswept Ysgol Clywedog in difficult conditions for both teams.
Wrexham started the game without four of their better players who were down in Cardiff for trials with the Welsh FA Learning Disability squad for a second time after progressing through the first stage.
Despite NWP having the wind behind them, Wrexham took an early lead against the boys in erm… white actually… with Dominic Hughes smashing a brilliant half volley back across the box and into the top left corner from the edge of the box. North Wales Police came back and began to settle into the game with some good spells of passing and possession. Despite their increased pressure on the Wrexham goal, NWP were unable to make it count, in large to the efforts of the superb Mark Leather the Wrexham goal who clawed away the goal bound ball on three or four occasions, his acrobatics defying his 54 years in a man of the match display.
The half-time whistle went with the teams somehow only separated by the one goal.
NWP started the second half where they finished the first but Wrexham stood firm. Wrexham got their second when a comedy mix up in the police defence let Jordan Jones in for an easy tap in. NWP pushed forward again and pulled a goal back after Mark Leather parried a shot which found its way on to the long leg of the law to make 2-1 Wrexham.
The third Wrexham goal came in bizarre fashion when Wayne Greenshields over hit a pass and it somehow ended up in the net from 70 yards after a mistake from the NWP goalkeeper who misjudged his kick. The red faced goalie will certainly be glad that there’s no video evidence of his blooper making its way back to the station.
NWP’s second was an extremely well worked goal after good work on the right cut open the Wrexham defence and let the police in for a cool finish past Leather to pull the gap back to one goal.
Alex Hall got Wrexham's fourth after good work from Jordan Jones, who put himself through one on one with the keeper only to be denied by a fine save that fell to the feet of Hall who calmly slotted home from 18 yards making it 4 -2 Wrexham.
NWP weren’t going down without a fight and responded instantly with a nice finish from close range after good work in midfield, but Wrexham weren't to be denied the win and sealed the victory when Phil Birch struck from 25 yards to leave the big keeper with no chance as the ball sailed over him high into the net.
Wrexham coach and match referee Andy Pierce said, “It’s been a good afternoon and a good game in difficult conditions. Obviously we’re delighted with the win but more than anything we’re really pleased with the manner in which the game was played. Some of our team come from a criminal justice background, and whilst everyone was competitive throughout, there was no ill discipline and nobody over stepped the mark, which is testimony to how far some of these lads have come.”
Wrexham manager Carl Austin said, “We’re very grateful to North Wales Police for today, as with our recent fundraising match versus Wrexham council, it’s great for us to build these community links. A special thanks to PCSO John Davies of NWP who put the police team together and along with Andy helped organise the day. We’re very hopeful of arranging a replay for later in the year when hopefully the weather is a little better.
PCSO John Davies said of the game, “We were really impressed with Wrexham DFC’s display. I’m a Wrexham AFC fan myself and follow the DSA’s results which is why I was keen to help get this game on. We also knew we were in for a tough game having seen some of their recent tournament success, and we were under no illusions about it being a walk in the park. Fair play to them, they play with great team spirit and work really hard as a unit. We’re fairly familiar with some of the players and it was great to see them in a different environment. The community work being done by Wrexham DSA FC is fantastic and the way they play and conduct themselves is superb, they’re a credit to Wrexham.”
Wrexham’s starting line up: Leather, Hall, Harper, Barrett-Bagnell, N.Hughes, Birch, Lewis D.Hughes, Roberts, A Hall, Jones
Substitutes; Storer, Greenshields, Bero