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Match Reports

Report: Wrexham 1-0 Notts

McGoldrick equaliser ruled out on frustrating afternoon

17 February 2024

Match Reports

Report: Wrexham 1-0 Notts

McGoldrick equaliser ruled out on frustrating afternoon

17 February 2024

David McGoldrick had an equaliser controversially disallowed as we slipped to a narrow defeat at Wrexham.

The forward appeared to have cancelled out Steven Fletcher's first-half opener after chesting the ball down inside the area and finding the finish.

But the referee adjudged him to have handled it - and that proved to be decisive as we were unable to find another way through.

Stuart Maynard made one change to the side that beat Newport in midweek as Aaron Nemane replaced Lewis Macari at right back.

That meant Luca Ashby-Hammond was again shielding a back four which was completed by, from left to right, Kyle Cameron, Aden Baldwin and Jaden Warner.

Scott Robertson and John Bostock kept their midfield roles, providing the cover for the trio of Macaulay Langstaff, Dan Crowley and Jodi Jones to supply centre forward McGoldrick.

Charlie Colkett was named on the bench, his first involvement in the squad since his recent arrival on loan from Crewe Alexandra, alongside Aidan Stone, Connell Rawlinson, Adam Chicksen, Lewis Macari, Jim O’Brien and Sam Austin.

We could have been ahead inside the first minute as Crowley reacted sharply to a loose ball in midfield and sent a delightful cross to the back post. Langstaff stooped to meet it with his head and Arthur Okonkwo did brilliantly to keep it out with his legs.

The ball was almost exclusively in our possession throughout the early exchanges and, after we’d forced the hosts to clear the ball wide and then over their own goal in quick succession, Bostock met a corner with a header which flew wide.

But our early pressure counted for nothing as, on 20 minutes, Fletcher won the battle for the ball from a right-wing cross and fired it into the top corner as it bounced for him six yards out.

McGoldrick must have thought he’d bagged the equaliser minutes after the restart as he brilliantly shifted the ball on to his left foot 20 yards out and curled a low effort towards the bottom corner. Somehow, Okwonkwo got down to his right to push the ball behind.

Ten minutes later, Jones cut in from the right and whistled a long-range effort wide of the post – moments before the winger saw his dangerous cross flick off the top of a defender’s head, against the post and behind with Okwonko stranded.

We could consider ourselves unfortunate to go into the break behind but found ourselves on the back foot early in the second half, James Jones sending a good headed opportunity wide before a team-mate headed a corner down into the turf and saw the ball hit the top of the bar on its way behind.

A good chance for an equaliser presented itself just before the hour as the ball bobbled around Wrexham’s box following Jones’ low cross, only for Robertson’s snapshot to be saved by Okonkwo.

Wrexham’s response came from James McLean, who chested the ball down 25 yards out before kissing the top of the bar with a looping half-volley.

But our influence on the half was growing and, shortly after Crowley had robbed his man in midfield and seen his shot diverted wide by a defender, we had the ball in the net as McGoldrick controlled Crowley’s cross before firing it home from close range. Celebrations were cut short as the referee adjudged the forward to have brought the ball down with his arm.

We remained on the front foot from there on in and Maynard shuffled his pack by sending Chicksen, Macari, Austin and debutant Colkett into the fray.

But our final chance of the game passed us by on 87 minutes as Jones could only find the wall from a dangerously-positioned free-kick following good work by Nemane.

STARTING XI: Ashby-Hammond; Cameron (Chicksen 79'), Baldwin, Warner (Macari 80'), Nemane; Robertson, Bostock; Langstaff, Crowley, Jones; McGoldrick

SUBS: Stone, Rawlinson, O'Brien

BOOKINGS: McGoldrick 47', Robertson 56'

ATTENDANCE: 12,532 (1,147)

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