FT: Wrexham 1 Imps 2

First half double secures success on Welsh soil...

Harry Anderson replaced Terry Hawkridge as the Imps took on Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground looking to build on the 3-0 success over Braintree Town which lifted City back into the top four of the National League table.

It was a pleasant early October in North Wales as referee Sam Allison led the teams out of the tunnel and once he and the two captains - ex-Wrexham man Luke Waterfall for City and ex-Imp Sean Newton for the hosts - did the honours play commenced with City kicking off.

The home team were the first to threaten, winning a corner three minutes in and when John Rooney whipped in a dangerous centre the ball deflected goalwards off a City head forcing Paul Farman to punch clear.

It was a lively start from Wrexham with Farman forced to tip over a cross from Rob Evans and when the corner was cleared to Jordan Evans, his deflected drive was blocked by the City stopper before the ball was hacked clear.

City's first attack came in the 14th minute with Anderson having a shot charged down before Macauley Bonne was denied by a fine Shwan Jalal save whilst Wrexham's response saw Jordan Evans cross for Tyler Harvey who prodded just wide.

Wrexham pressed again with Farman getting down well to his left to palm away a John Rooney effort before a neatly-worked free-kick from the hosts ended with Rob Evans firing well over.

The Imps were forced to make a change with only 21 minutes played, Bonne pulling up injured with Jack Muldoon coming on as his replacement. Muldoon was straight into the action, being upended by Newton right on the edge of the Wrexham box. The former City man saw yellow before Nathan Arnold drilled the resultant free-kick at the Wrexham wall.

There was drama on and off the pitch in the 27th minute when, after the ball popped forcing a replacement, referee Allison was forced to go to the sidelines as Wrexham boss Gary Mills chirped away at Nicky Cowley in the dugout area.

When play resumed a high foot on Matt Rhead saw the Imps win a free-kick and when Arnold curled in a deep delivery, there was LUKE WATERFALL to power a header past Jalal to silence the natives and put City one up.

Shortly afterwards Beevers went down holding his head as he prepared to take a throw-in and with the right-back off the pitch, ex-Imp Hamza Bencherif headed a Rooney corner wide for a goal-kick. Beevers returned after treatment.

Rhead had a header from an Arnold cross held well by Jalal as the Imps looked for a second and as Wrexham looked for a leveller, a 41st minute Rooney free-kick was headed wide by Curtis Tilt at the back post.

After a frantic period of play calmed down a bit, the Imps doubled their lead just as the Fourth Official was about to indicate a minimum of three additional minutes. HARRY ANDERSON was the one with a fine finish as the Peterborough loanee drilled low into the corner of the net after his initial effort was blocked on the edge of the box.


Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half with Wrexham restarting things.

Muldooon had an early effort blocked as the Imps went for the jugular from the off whilst at the other end Newton tried his luck from 30 plus yards but his speculative effort went well wide of the target.

After a 53rd minute Rhead shot on the turn went over the bar, Wrexham made a couple of changes with Callum Powell and Shaun Harrad coming on for John Rooney and Rob Evans.

Home striker Harvey picked up a yellow card after sliding in hard on Sean Raggett before substitute Harrad went down easy under a Waterfall challenge but referee Allison quite rightly waved play-on.

Harrad went down again under a Waterfall challenge, this time in the area, but again the official spotted nothing untoward and let play continue , much to the annoyance of the home supporters. Harrad was then booked, presumably for dissent, before Farman needed treatment to his right leg.

Some excellent play from the Imps saw them put together a number of passes before Anderson forced a throw-in and shortly afterwards with 20 minutes remaining, a foul on Muldoon gave City a free-kick 35 yards out but Waterfall strayed offside as Arnold floated the ball in.

Bradley Wood was the next City man to require treatment; the versatile number two having taken a knock whilst defending a cross into the box and as he returned following attention City won their first corner of the game which ended up with Waterfall penalised for a push.

Wood was clearly in some pain and was replaced by Alan Power in the 81st minute; the change coming after Anderson jinked his way forward only for his final effort to get blocked.

Shortly afterwards Wrexham grabbed themselves a lifeline when Bencherif set his sights from range; the former City man blasting low past Farman's fingertips to reduce the arrears.

Tom Champion replaced Matt Rhead in the 86th minute and the substitute's first taste of the action sees him foul Harvey 25 yards out. Power was booked before Harvey drilled the free-kick straight at the City wall.

At the other end a foul from behind on Muldoon earned Tilt a yellow card just before a minimum of six minutes were indicated. Arnold fired the free-kick over the bar and into the empty terrace.

Four minutes into added time Muldoon turned his man before forcing Jalal to make a good save. Referee Allison then brought play back to award the hosts a free-kick - a baffling decision but one that didn't prove costly as the man in the middle blew for time shortly afterwards.


1    Paul FARMAN
2    Bradley WOOD
9    Matt RHEAD
12    Harry ANDERSON
18    Lee BEEVERS
25    Sean RAGGETT
28    Nathan ARNOLD
29    Macauley BONNE
30    Alex WOODYARD   

7    Jack MULDOON (for BONNE 22)
8    Alan POWER (for WOOD 81)
11    Terry HAWKRIDGE
26    Tom CHAMPION (for RHEAD 86)
27    Jamie McCOMBE



1     Shwan JALAL
4    Hamza BENCHERIF
6    Curtis TILT
10    John ROONEY
11    Sean NEWTON
12    Kai EDWARDS
15    Rob EVANS
16    Jordan EVANS
29    Tyler HARVEY

7    Anthony BARRY
17    Callum POWELL (for ROONEY 54)
18    Shaun HARRAD (for R EVANS 54)
20    Gerry McDONAGH
23    Nortei NORTEY




REFEREE: Sam Allison
ASSISTANTS: Oliver Bickle & Michael Barlow

ATTENDANCE: 3,487 (137 City supporters)