Wrexham claim first derby win of the season at the Swansway Stadium…
Wrexham had 22 players available for selection with the management team of Dyfan Jones and Steven Garnett deciding to field two different XI’s, one in each half. The first half saw former gaffer Matt Thomas line up on the left side of a four-man midfield, which included Jack Scott. Steven Garnett and Thomas Campbell. Player manager and captain Dyfan Jones lined up alongside Jason Richards, Craig Davies and the ever improving Nick Mannering. Lee Roberts and Gaz Davies hoped to continue their deadly partnership up top and Nathan Williams was given the task of keeping Chester out of the net.
The game began with Chester out of the starting blocks the quicker and were soon finding space on the edge of Wrexham’s 18-yard box, but their tall striker could only put the past the right post and into the stands. Wrexham soon switched on with Garnett controlling the midfield, he picked out a 40 yard pass to Thomas, who controlled well and found space with the overlapping Scott.
He played the ball over to Roberts, who was pushed in the back as entered in the penalty box but the referee was not impressed and waved play on!
The visitors had the better of possession in the opening 45 minutes and Tom Campbell linked up well with the two centre midfielders, who with a solid back line and plenty of space on the wings, pulled the strings for the rest of the period.
Two minutes left of the half and Roberts had another chance that saw him head past the home keeper from Thomas’ cross, only to smash against the crossbar and out for a goal kick. Wrexham finished the half on top, but with it all to play for in the second half.
Eleven changes were made at the break and also a switch in formation from a 4-4-2 to a more counter attacking 4-1-4-1. Joey Jones (no, not that one) was in goal with a back line of Callum Jones, Dan Sear, Arron Scott and Aaron Jones. Matt Smith was sitting in the CDM role and supported Steven Elliott, Ian Edwards, Liam Partyn and David Jenkins in the middle, with the lone striker being the one and only Josh Leach.
Wrexham kicked off and straight away found Jenkins, whose mazy run took him to the edge of the box but his resulting shot only found the side netting. Chester’s alarms bells were ringing after Elliott and Leach worked the ball well and found space for the latter to shot straight into the keeper’s arms. Wrexham’s back line dealt with every attack well collecting the ball and then bringing the midfield back into the game…..up steps Arron Scott.
The big centre half found himself stuck between two Chester attackers, but Arron’s well timed footwork and a burst of pace saw him get away from his opponents and with 30 yards of free space, he steps on the ball and tackles himself – cue the cheers from both dugouts and the crowd! Possession was back with Chester, who saw the resulting shot saved well by Joey.
With only 10 minutes to go and still no goals, nerves were starting to set in, the Reds contemplating a change, when Liam finds Steve Elliot, who skips past two players sends a ball over the top to Leach, who controls well, turns and shoots, the ball smashing the inside of the woodwork and settling nicely in the corner of the net!
Massive celebrations from the dugout and on the pitch as Wrexham had the lead! The last five minutes were seen out thanks to Sear, Scott and young Smith breaking up every play that come down the middle, and Callum Jones making a last ditch tackle to send the ball out of play stopped a Chester midfielder of being one on one with the keeper. Final score Chester SFC 0-1 Wrexham Fans FC.
The bragging rights returning with the Reds back to North Wales, but more importantly the two official fans’ teams, along with the fantastic support in the stands raised an amazing £815.00 for The Hospice of the Good Shepherd.