Wrexham’s game at home to Shrewsbury had to be switched to the home of Garden Village as the home pitch was unplayable so a switch of venues was a must. Wrexham welcomed back the Josh Tinney to the starting line up after missing last weeks game at Crewe due to international duty, also coming back in for a place on the was Liam Partyn who had missed a couple off weeks due to illness for a place upfront alongside Tinney, Club Captain Dan Sear returned to the squad following his failure to report for the trip to Crewe last week for a place on the bench as Dyfan Jones wore the captain’s armband for the second game in succession. Ben Valentine returned to the Wrexham team after a few weeks absence and was joined by Joey Jones after he picked up a knock in training this week which forced him to miss Friday’s training session. Matty Thomas also missed out due to injury.
Dyfan Jones lost the toss and Shrewsbury kicked the game off. The pitch was not up to great standard but the game was played after hard work to find a pitch to play the derby encounter. Matty Thomas adopted a 5-4-1 formation for this game and it was the perfect game for the formation to be tried out.
The game got off to a fast start with both teams raring to go and it was the visitors who pilled on the early pressure as Wrexham failed to clear there lines, but the ever present Nathan Williams was there to pick up the loose ball and calm the game down a bit with his calmness on the ball. Wrexham’s back line was holding up well to the Shrews frontman and there was no way through for the visitors.
The visitors grabbed a goal from the run off play which left Dyfan Jones alone at the back after a Shrewsbury corner was well dispatched by their keeper and leaving the Wrexham centre half battling up against 2 Shrewsbury strikers, the opponents where able to take a 1-0 lead after 15 minutes. Wrexham’s first chance of the game fell to Liam Partyn and he was able to coolly slot away the ball under the keeper to give Wrexham the equaliser after 20 minutes of play. Wrexham where now stepping it up a gear and the midfield consisting off Steve Garnett and Steve Elliot looked like premiership quality as they were both spraying the ball out wide to the wings for Arron Jones and Dave Jenkins to open their legs and get at the Shrewsbury defence.
Wrexham had chances from all around the area and there best to grab a deserved lead was from Josh Tinney who linked up well with Partyn to break away from his marker, but unfortunately for the returning warrior he was unable to convert the chance and send the ball wide of the goal. Shrewsbury had a great chance to score but the last ditch defending from captain Dyfan Jones was able to twart the chance after Jason Richards had gone down with a head injury in the box after getting caught by a stray boot off the Shrewsbury forward, surprisingly the referee played on despite Richards being down for a few minutes. As from the resulting depletion both Shrewsbury strikers had attempts at goal and both being denied by Wrexham number 1 Nathan Williams and Dyfan Jones getting back and clearing off the line to keep the scores at 1-1. Last chance of the half fell to Steve Garnett as the midfielder who is known to unleash thirty plus yard thunderbolts at goal struck the ball and the Wrexham lads where all ready to celebrate such a fine strike, saw the ball smash the crossbar and go over for a goal kick, sounding the half time whistle from the referee. 1-1 at half time.
Injured manager Matty Thomas rallied the lads up at half time and made a couple of substitutions with Josh Tinney making way for Ben Valentine to partner Liam Partyn up front and Dan Sear coming on to replace Jack Scott who complained of pains in his leg.
Partyn and Valentine kicked the second half off for the home side and it was now a possession game with Wrexham passing the ball nicely along the floor and Craig “Hibbo” Davies showing some nice play with some nifty skills that his idol Tony Hibbert would be proud off. Shrewsbury’s second goal came from a corner and it could have been avoided as the Wrexham defence didn’t pick up the free man at the back post which allowed the visitors to grab the lead via a tap in after a clearance from Dan Sear fell straight to the feet of the Shrewsbury number who somehow managed to side foot the ball past a line of Wrexham players and past Nathan Williams who was stranded in the goal. 2-1 to Shrewsbury after 55 minutes of play. Wrexham were forced in making a change that had to be done as Arron Jones who had been causing all kinds of problems for the opponents right back asked to be taking off for a reason still unknown, with all 3 subs now been made, Wrexham knew they had to see the game out and with tired legs out there, it wasn’t going to be easy. Wrexham’s equalising goal came at a great time as they were on top of the game and some outstanding work from the central midfielders Garnett and Elliot which forced the Wrexham team to push up the field and it was Steve Elliot who provided the chance as he won the header against the tall Shrewsbury defender allowed Liam Partyn.. YES Liam Partyn to unleash a left footed volley from out of nowhere and into the top corner off the goal, que mad celebrations from the team on and off the pitch.
Wrexham won a corner just minutes later and Player of the Season Steve Garnett delivered an inch perfect cross which was met by the head of fans all time leading goalscorer Jason Richards for the centre back to see his certain goal bound header cleared off the line. Scores remained 2-2.
It wasn’t long before Wrexham did take the lead and it was a deserved lead after battling and battling for that goal, it finally came and it was from Steve Elliot after weaving in and out of the defence, he cheekily lobbed the keeper from 15 yards out and the ball landed in the back of the net, cue more celebrations and each member of the Wrexham team going over to Teets to congratulate the goalscorer, TEETS WAS FINALLY BACK!!!!!!
Just when Wrexham thought the game couldn’t go any better young Dave Jenkins, who has been a top draw signing for the team and a real coup for Manager Matty Thomas to pull this one out of the bag, popped up from the middle of nowhere and with 15 minutes of the game remaining one on one with the keeper, Jenkins skipped past around the keeper and side footed the ball into the empty net. 4-2 to Wrexham, sure the 3 points was won now…..
For the final 10 minutes of the game Wrexham played with caution as they knew that the 3 points was there’s if they just held on.
Shrewsbury pulled a goal back and it was a very sloppy one to concede as the opponents pilled everyone forward and hit Wrexham on the attack and scored a simple tap in. 4-3 to Wrexham with 5 minutes to go.
As the game entered the 4 minutes of injury time added on, Shrewsbury pilled even more pressure on, with Steve Garnett playing virtually as another defender, he performed tackle after tackle and as the game entered the last minute of injury he produced a goal saving block on the line, seconds later Jason Richards and Nathan Williams both got the clearance away but only to the Shrewsbury striker who weaved away from the goal and in a moment of madness, Dave Jenkins upended him in the box, PENALTY SHREWSBURY.
The penalty was converted and all of Wrexham’s second half hard work had come to no avail.
The final whistle blew and the Wrexham players looked dejected and exhausted as they knew they should have won the game.
Wrexham 4-4 Shrewsbury
Man of the match today was captain Dyfan Jones for a solid performance in the heart of the Wrexham defence.