Wrexham AFC 2-2 Tranmere Rovers: Tranmere salvage point to stay in hunt for National League Playoffs

By Joel Lampkin

Tranmere Rovers gained a valuable point at The Racecourse Stadium to keep themselves amongst the National League leaders.

Richie Sutton opened the scoring for Rovers in the opening ten minutes following a tame start, although the lead did not last long.

Wrexham responded with style as the on-loan Scott Quigley slotted home after some neat footwork on the edge of the box.

The scorer for the home-side was a handful for the Tranmere defence and was hauled down in the box just minutes later by Sutton with the resulting penalty fired home by Chris Holyroyd.

Andy Cook salvaged a point however on the brink of half-time with a towering header with both sides failing to produce any clear cut chances in the second-half.

The result sees Tranmere remain in fifth spot just five points off first placed Macclesfield Town while Wrexham move up to third.

The atmosphere before the ninety minutes helped assert the belief of this being the most important game for the two sides this season, with much at stake on top of bragging rights as the 8,471 fans packed the stadium.

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Micky Mellon claps the thousands of away supporters who made the trip to the Racecourse Stadium (image: Tranmere Rovers)

Tranmere started the game in confidently as they attacked with intent but the intelligent pressing of Quiggley gave Steve McNulty and Sutton plenty to worry about early on.

An early substitution ended the brotherly reunion of the Jennings brothers, as Wrexham left-back James was substituted for former Rovers winger David Raven, whose contract was finalised on the morning of the fixture.

The Super Whites were fortunate to go 1-0 up as the unlikely source of Sutton poked home a poor clearance from the Wrexham defence, but the goal offered a false sense of relaxation.

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Richie Sutton poked home to give Rovers an early lead (image: Tranmere Rovers)

Wrexham increased their intensity as they continued to press before Quigley found space away from McNulty to slot past Rhys Taylor and equalise for The Dragons.

With renewed confidence the home side dominated much of the remaining first-half and they got their reward when Sutton was deemed to have brought down the home-side’s no.9 in the penalty area.

Holyroyd effortlessly slotted home from the spot on the 16th minute mark and sent the home support into a frenzy of celebration.

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Wrexham celebrate their second of the game (Image: Joel Lampkin)

Tranmere’s lack of concentration cost them dearly, with David Keates’ men defending well, while Cook was struggling to find any breathing space up top.

Rovers’ never lost hope as they searched for a late equaliser in the opening half; Josh Ginnelly was fouled down the right hand side by Raven in an area perfect for Adam Buxton to deliver a set piece.

The full-back whose grandfather passed away just one day before the fixture whipped the ball straight to Cook, who rose above the static Wrexham defence to head the ball into Chris Dunn’s top left hand corner.

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Buxton showed incredible strength to feature following the passing of his grandfather less than 24 hours earlier (image: Tranmere Rovers)

A goal that came at a crucial time in the match and settled the nerves of Tranmere who were lucky to be in the game at this point.

The second-half offered a much more stable match up as both sides shrugged off the mistakes of the first period with everything still to play for.

The introduction of Eddie Clarke injected a much needed element of pace and he laid Norwood through one-on-one but the striker fluffed his lines before Cook’s rebounded effort was cleared off the line.

The drama continued late on and the mini battle between McNulty and Quigley came to an end, as the Rovers captain crashed into the striker forcing him off the field to a round of applause in stoppage time.

Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers rose to the occasion at the Racecourse Ground with the meeting of the two a spectacle of what two solid teams and a passionate following can create.

Vote for your Man of the Match here:

Attendance:

8471

How they Lined up:

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