Wrexham 2-2 Tranmere: Report

Tranmere were left thinking what could have been as they let slip a one goal lead at Wrexham in The Conference.

Rovers were forced to come from behind but eventually drew 2-2 in the first meeting between these two bitter rivals for ten years.

But it could have been so much more had it not been for the visitors sitting back in the final 20 minutes, allowing their Welsh hosts the chance to equalise.

This was though an enthralling encounter, with a superb atmosphere off the pitch cheering both sides on.

Over 1,000 fans made the short journey across the Welsh border and witness their side extend an unbeaten run to nine games.

Gary Brabin was forced into one change from Saturday’s demolition of Bromley with Michael Ihiekwe missing out through injury.

Martin Riley came into replace him, whilst the manager resisted the temptation to bring Steven Jennings and James Norwood back into the starting line up after suspension.

Rovers started the game brightly, with Scott Hogan seeing an early header cleared off the line from an Adam Dawson corner.

Moments later Lois Maynard came close as he surged forward from midfield but could only scuff his shot narrowly wide from 20-yards.

Wrexham were growing into the game though and it took a superb save from Scott Davies to deny Connor Jennings’ fierce header.

However, from the resulting corner the hosts took the lead, and they had Tranmere to thank for some slack defending.

Dominic Vose swung the ball into the box and it was only half cleared to Robbie Evans, who drilled it into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

That momentarily put Rovers on the back foot as Maynard in particular dropped deeper in midfield.

The likes of Adam Mekki and Johnny Margetts made a few promising moves forward but lost the ball quite easily.

Despite all that, the chance to equalise did not to long to come and the visitors took it emphatically.

Dawson clipped a corner into the box and it was poorly dealt with by Cameron Belford in the Wrexham goal as he came to claim but lost possession.

The ball eventually fell to Maynard and he nearly took the back of the net off as he smashed home from 10-yards.

That put Rovers on the front foot and as Dawson began to get more involved in the game, the visitors looked more threatening.

One cross was shakily handled by Belford, whose confidence had clearly been rocked, as he punched clear when catching was just as easy an option.

And then Dawson had a go himself, turning and skewing off target from the edge of the box.

With the half drawing to a close, Ritchie Sutton had a further chance for Rovers but could only head wide from a corner.

Then at the other end, Jennings should have done more after a poor header gave him a shooting chance, but a heavy touch allowed Davies time to come off his line and block.

The second period started with both teams struggling to hold on to the ball as it pinged from back four to back four.

But when Rovers eventually got their foot on it, they crafted a superb opening that led to Andy Mangan netting for the fourth game running.

Rovers passed the ball across the midfield before spreading the play out wide to Sutton.

He whipped in a delicious cross towards the penalty spot, from where Mangan hit a sweet, controlled volley that dribbled out of reach of the ‘keeper and into the net.

Chances from then on were few and far between.

Wrexham rocked momentarily, and Margetts should have scored when rounding the ‘keeper, but he was tamely knocked off the ball.

Brabin brought on captain Jennings to help sure things off, whilst Norwood was brought on out wide as Rovers switched to a five-man midfield.

That only seemed to invite Wrexham forward though, and although Norwood fired one shot wide, it was all Wrexham from there on in.

Connor Jennings fired one wide before they finally created the killer chance.

Jennings was given far too much space out on the left and he crossed into the middle from where Joe Quigley fired into the bottom corner.

Matt Hill cleared one off the line late on as Rovers eventually clung on for a point.

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