Last weekend New Lawn played host to Forest Green Rovers vs Wrexham. Severn Sport sent our reporter Neil Martin to check it out.
Forest Green Rovers 0 Wrexham 1 – Neil Martin
Forest Green slipped to their first defeat of the new season at the New Lawn, after letting their frustrations get the better of them, as an organised and at times skilful Wrexham side deservedly took the points. Rovers had made a bright start, with some attractive and incisive passing moves but the Welshmen got more and more into the game during the latter part of the first half and took control in the second. To make matters worse, FGR’s discipline, so often a problem last season, was an issue towards the end of the game, as Lee Hughes was sent off for kicking out at the Wrexham keeper, just after Kurtis Guthrie was incredibly lucky not suffer the same fate after a terrible tackle.
Rovers rested Hughes to the bench and moved James Norwood into a central attacking role with Marcus Kelly replacing the injured Kamdjo. Wrexham, in their Dennis the Menace stripes, were looking to continue their excellent away form.
FGR made a fast start with Kelly and particularly Sinclair to the fore and a lovely team move ended with Norwood just pushing wide of the far post in the 10th minute. Parkin’s flicks to the on-rushing Norwood looked dangerous as Rovers knocked the ball around confidently.
Twenty minutes in, Wrexham created their first chance as Hunt missed his kick when well placed in the area. The visitors were now imposing their own attacking ideas on the game and Danny Coles had to be sharp to clear at the near post on the half hour. From the resulting corner Russell made a good save from Jenning’s header and Moult volleyed wide from a point blank position.
Moult and Jennings were linking well for Wrexham and Coles continued to impress, particularly covering for the labouring Stokes down FGR’s left.
However a lovely passing move through midfield with the impressive Rob Sinclair at its heart didn’t result in the goal chance it deserved. Moments later a Kelly free kick was tipped away from the top corner of the net by Bachmann. This was followed by a Parkin header being scrambled away at full stretch by the keeper as FGR finished the goalless half back in the ascendancy.
After a quiet start to the second half, Wrexham began to exert a control over the game that they were not to give up, as their pressure led to a free kick 25 yards out on 54 minutes. Louis Moult hit a great swinging drive into the top corner, over the wall and just under the bar, which drifted away from the desperately outstretched arm of Russell. It was a truly special goal from Wrexham’s number nine.
Almost immediately Parkin should have equalised but he scuffed his shot when well placed inside the area.
Wrexham looked to have been denied a clear penalty on 62 minutes when Stokes may have handled, just prior to Jennings being flattened by a challenge inside the six yard box.
Hughes and Guthrie came on for Kelly and Frear but sadly their only meaningful contributions were their late misdemeanours. Russell made a couple of smart saves from Jennings as Wrexham looked comfortable. Rovers were clearly running out of ideas and Norwood’s booking brought more frustration.
Jon Parkin had a couple of late half chances which he wasted but by then Rovers had run of steam and lost their unbeaten record.
FGR- Russell, Pipe, Stokes, Coles, Oliver, Kelly, Wedgbury, Frear, Sinclair, Parkin, Norwood
Wrexham – Bachmann, Carrington, Ashton, Smith, Hudson, Clarke, Moult, Evans, York, Jennings, Hunt
Attendance; 1401 (away 236)
Severn Sport FGR Man of the Match – Rob Sinclair