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Wrexham 1 Harriers 2

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Date: 13-04-13gif Venue: Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadiumgif att: 4013gif away fans: 604
Harriers leapfrog Mansfield once more

gif Report by Steve Williams
The Harriers battled to a 2-1 win at the Racecourse Ground to capitalise on Mansfield's earlier loss at Braintree, a defeat that bought a massive cheer from the six hundred plus Harriers fans, and regained the top spot.  The win saw Steve Burr's men claim their nineteenth point, from a possible twenty four, against the other four teams in the top five.

It wasn't a very bright start for the Harriers though with the Dragons claiming two early corners.  Although they failed in properly testing Danny Lewis' goal it was an early sign of nerves amongst the Harriers players.

Soon after Lee Vaughan flew down the Harriers right and caused havoc for the Wrexham defenders before whipping a ball in which Anthony Malbon couldn't quite convert goal wards.

The lively start died down soon after as both sides looked to try and gain some possession and a foothold in the game.  Wrexham started with a changed XI with the play offs in manager Andy Morrell's mind and he was forced to introduce a second seventeen year old to his side eleven minutes in after Nick Rushton went off injured.  Brad Reid came on in his place.

As the Carpet Men started to gain momentum in the game James Vincent, who had a blinder of a game, won a free kick on the edge of the Wrexham box after a crude challenge on Vincent by man mountain Dave Artell.  Michael Gash offered his services for the set piece but his shot came back out of the box off strike partner Anthony Malbon.  Fortunately the ball fell to the feet of Vincent and he hit a shot low and hard through a crowded box and past Wrexham 'keeper Chris Maxwell to open the scoring.

The Harriers fans erupted into songs about winning the league and baiting the Welsh fans in the stand next to them.

The Harriers then took a firm grip on the game with some delightful passing that was leaving the home side chasing shadows.  When we hadn't got the ball every player made sure that they were in their opponents faces to win the ball back.

Eventually the Dragons tried to push and get an equaliser.  Danny Wright crossed the ball in and Lewis got a hand to it to clear the immediate danger but the Wrexham attackers failed to convert the ball and it went wide to Lewis' relief.

Wrexham continued to push but were meeting a stern Harriers defence every time.  Around the half hour mark Wrexham were awarded a free kick in a promising area.  Declan Walker powered a shot low towards the Harriers goal but Vaughan threw his body in front of the shot.  Pinball in the box followed and the ball eventually went out of play by Josh Gowling.

Soon after the Wrexham attackers got in full flow and produced a lovely move which ended at the feet of Reid.  He then poorly hit his shot wide as Lewis was looking at a first half clean sheet.

Before the half's end there was time for a final chance for the Carpet Men.  Great Brazilian style build up play from the likes of Malbon, Demetriou and Jackman created a fantastic chance for Gash in the centre, but his shot just went wide.
  HT: 0 - 1
The second half started similarly to the first with Wrexham putting pressure on Lewis'   Good work from Wright on the edge of the box saw him set Johnny Hunt up but he blazed his shot over.

Despite this early scare the Harriers players settled down quickly once more and had their first chance of the new half via Mickey Demetriou.  He charged forward and received the ball, cut onto his right, weaker foot and shot from distance.  It went narrowly over Maxwell's upright.

The Harriers then had Danny Lewis to thank for the score remaining at 1-0.  Dele Adebola, once a target of Steve Burr and thankfully sent packing, received the ball and held it up well before sliding a through ball in the path of Wright.  His shot was well saved by Lewis as he got down to his right.

The follow up corner was also close as Neil Ashton saw his free header go over.

The Wrexham pressure kept coming for the Harriers though.  Brad Reid found a gap between the defence and midfield and had a teasing run just halted by Chey Dunkley after a brilliant tackle.

Immediately after though Wrexham had their goal.

An initial shot wasn't cleared and it deflected off Cheyenne Dunkley.  The ball popped out of the box and Wright hit the ball well and scored with a shot Lewis, or any goalkeeper for that matter, wouldn't have reached.

Motivation levels immediately rose for the Harriers and Marvin Johnson advanced with the ball down the right before cutting back in on his left and whipping a ball to Demetriou at the back stick.  His header across was almost converted, but just scuppered away by the Wrexham defence.

With just under twenty minutes to go the Harriers pressure paid off and they regained the lead in the game and in the title race.  Mickey Demetriou pumped a brilliantly placed ball over the top of everyone, for Michael Gash to run onto.  The league's top scorer looked up, saw the advancing 'keeper and then lobbed him to send the 604 Harriers fans into sheer delight and excitement.

There was a slight hint of offside about the goal but you'd have needed a mathematician to decide and not a mere linesman.

Calm form the team was needed now as Steve Burr and the fans wanted this game seen out and the lead kept.  This wasn't the case straight away though as Walker pumped a cross in towards the head of Wright.  Fortunately the resultant header was straight at Lewis.

The Reds mission was slowly but surely being achieved as time passed and Wrexham's chances started to falter.  Burr introduced Ryan Rowe and Callum Gittings to try and steady the ship, and despite the nerves for Harriers fans everywhere, Lewis' gloves were going cold.

The final chances of the match fell to the table-toppers as, perhaps, the lead should have been extended.  Firstly Johnson got to the Wrexham byeline before pulling the ball back for Gash, but it was just smothered away by the Dragon's defence.  Then Gittings squandered a great chance deep into the five minutes added time.  Rowe received the ball in an advanced position and passed to Callum who just got it horribly wrong a saw his shot go wide.

The last couple of seconds were seen out after late substitute Martin Devaney won a corner and the promised land was in sight once again.

It is now definitely going to the last game of the season, even if Mansfield win at Edgar Street midweek.  The Aggborough faithful can only hope that our rivals Hereford and today's beaten team can claw some points off Paul Cox's team in last week of the normal season.

Who would've thought? Maybe the footballing Gods do exist and they are bringing fate into it.  Just maybe.
  FT: 1 - 2

 Goal for Wrexham: D Wright 62
 Goals for Harriers: Vincent 19, Gash 71


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gif Lee Vaughan



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Wrexham  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Maxwell     Lewis  
Walker     L Vaughan  
Ashton   Demetriou  
Clowes     Storer  
Artell     Dunkley  
Clarke     Gowling  
Hunt gif     Jackman gif  
Evans     Vincent gif  
D Wright gif     Gash gif  
Adebola gif     Malbon gif  
Rushton gif     Johnson gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
S Wright     N Vaughan  
Colbeck gif     Briggs  
Ogleby     Rowe gif  
Reid gif   Devaney gif  
Ormerod gif     Gittings gif

REFEREE:
Mr G Horwood
Bedfordshire





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