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Match Reports

Wrexham V Cheltenham

28 March 2016

Full-time: Wrexham 2, Robins 1

Cheltenham Town slipped to a dramatic injury time defeat at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground, losing to Wes York’s strike with virtually the last kick of the game.

If it was perhaps karmic following their unfortunate loss at the World of Smile Stadium back in August, it was also harsh on the Robins who had deserved a share of the spoils on the day.

Hudson met a deep free-kick in the final minute of stoppage time, heading it into the path of the substitute who smashed it home from 12 yards to snatch the points.

James Dayton had cancelled out Simon Heslop’s early goal with a stunning free-kick to square the game going into the break.

It was a magnificent way to register his first for the club, and in front of the live BT Sport cameras to boot.

Wrexham had created the better chances on the day and in the end, their pressure told to move to within three points of the play-offs to keep their promotion hopes alive. 

This is one of the division's toughest assignments, but it's easy to forget that this famous old club are attempting to return the Football League at the eighth attempt.

That fact alone underlines the scale of achievement by Gary Johnson and his side to be in this position with only five league matches of the campaign remaining.

Forest Green Rovers had stuttered at Bromley earlier in the day, losing two points to an injury time goal of their own but the Robins had emerged from the Easter weekend one point more.

The lead is now two going into the Grimsby Town match in Cheltenham on Friday, with Rovers hosting Wrexham the following day.

How are those fingernails?

Johnson kept faith with the side that saw off Boreham Wood, using Asa Hall out on the right to accommodate skipper Kyle Storer and Harry Pell in the middle.

But the midfielder limped out after only 24 minutes, replaced by James Rowe with a suspected calf injury.

Wrexham created the better chances in the opening 45 minutes and could have established a bigger lead had their finishing been better.

As it was Heslop scored the Welsh side’s only goal of the first half, taking aim from 25 yards and beating Jon Flatt low and to his left, although Javan Vidal looked to get a faint touch to divert it past the Wolves loanee.

It sandwiched two really wasteful efforts, both Robbie Evans and Connor Jennings lifting great chances well over the target from promising positions.

Cheltenham had struggled to get a foothold in the game, especially down the left which continued after the early substitution.

There was a chance for Cheltenham when Dayton sent in a wicked corner from the right midway through the first half, but Cameron Burgess’  downward header dropped the wrong side of the right post.

Then Dan Holman called Rhys Taylor, the Wrexham goalkeeper, into a routine save with an angled effort while the home side cleared their lines from the subsequent corner kick.

Again Wrexham opened up Cheltenham down the left, this time Kayden Jackson after half an hour to supply a great ball for Jennings who stretched to reach it but missed by a matter of inches.

Cheltenham finished the half the stronger of the two sides, and went into the break on terms courtesy of Dayton’s free-kick.

It was a magnificent moment after Pell had been hauled down 25 yards from goal, exchanging short touches with Storer before dispatching an unstoppable effort into the top left-hand corner.

Wright went close against his old club four minutes after the restart, jinking his way into the box down the left before lifting one over the target from a tight angle.

However Wrexham started the second half as the began the first, on top, and were unlucky not to have grabbed a second when Jackson sent in a low ball from the right that evaded everyone.

Then Vidal was guilty of more sloppy finishing when he scooped one over from 12 yards with the goal gaping after more good work by the impressive Mark Carrington down the left.

Flatt was called into a decent stop 13 minutes from time to deny Jackson, who shook of Burgess down the inside left before hitting his shot at the goalkeeper, racing out to narrow his options.
At the other end Holman went so close to snatching all the points two minutes from time, shooting on the turn from 12 yards but Taylor saved it and Sean Newton cleared his line.

As the game entered injury time Burgess missed the target by inches, meeting Storer’s cross from the right at the near post with a powerful header before York's late intervention stripped the Robins of a point.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-4-2): Flatt; Dickie, Parslow, Burgess, Cranston; Dayton (Morgan-Smith 73), Pell, Storer (c), Hall (Rowe 24); Wright (Barthram 88), Holman. Subs not used: Lovett (Gk), McLennan.

WREXHAM (3-5-2): Taylor; Hudson, Smith, Fyfield; Carrington, Vidal (York 67), Hislop, Evans, Newton; Jennings (c), Jackson. Subs not used: Fowler, Gray, Moke, Beck. 


ATTENDANCE: 4,463 (309 from Cheltenham)

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