Wrexham FC suffer 1-0 defeat at Luton Town

Reporter:

Richard Williams

WREXHAM FC looked a shadow of the side that had performed so well against Luton Town earlier in the season as they lost 1-0 at Kenilworth Road.

A 1-0 defeat at Kenilworth Road on Saturday means the Reds have now gone five matches without a victory.

Wrexham were second best in a one-sided first half so it came as no surprise that Luton’s pressure eventually told as they took a 1-0 lead after 36 minutes through former Reds loan striker Tom Craddock.

Luton had bossed proceedings and could have added to that one goal as they continually kept Wrexham on the back foot.

There was an improvement from Wrexham after the break but despite the fact they were pressing for an equaliser, they only created a couple of decent scoring chances.

Despite Andy Fleming striking the bar, Wrexham rarely threatened a goal despite that spirited second half display.

Saunders made one change from the side that started Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Altrincham.

Frank Sinclair, shown a straight red card for serious foul play in the stalemate, was starting a four match ban – increased by one game because it was the defender’s second dismissal of the season – so his place on the left on defence was taken by Mike Williams.

It was Luton who made the early running and a fourth minute drive by Keith Keane was saved by Sam Russell, while Mansour Assoumani did well to clear Claude Gnakpa’s cross into the danger zone following a well worked move.

Wrexham were struggling to impose themselves on the game and Christian Smith’s tame 16th minute shot which drifted wide of the target was all they had to show for their efforts.

It was one-way traffic and Jake Howells fired wide following a quickly taken corner, Ed Asafu-Adjaye’s teasing centre was gathered by Russell with experienced striker Kevin Gallen ready to pounce and the Reds keeper also gathered Tom Craddock’s weak effort.

Wes Baynes’ 25-yard drive on the half-hour mark at least brought a first save out of Luton keeper Mark Tyler after being picked out by Andy Mangan.

Luton had dominated proceedings and they eventually broke the deadlock after 36 minutes.

Craddock latched onto a long ball forward after Silvio Spann had lost possession and the striker beat Assoumani before finding the net with a left foot drive that Russell managed to get a hand to.

Back came Wrexham and Mangan’s first time drive was blocked by a defender from Luke Holden’s free-kick, and Luton were eventually able to clear the danger.

The first opportunity of the second half also fell to Luton on 52 minutes but Howells fired over the bar from the edge of the area after Keith Keane’s corner was only partially cleared.

Saunders made his first change two minutes later with Lamine Sakho replacing Holden, while Mangan shot straight at Tyler who had been given very little to do.

But Tyler almost set-up a second Luton goal when Craddock latched onto his long clearance, but Russell was quickly out of his line to thwart the striker.

Almost immediately, Russell did well to keep out Craddock’s shot from inside the area as Luton took advantage of Spann lying injured on the ground.

Wrexham’s best chance of the game came in the 68th minute when Andy Fleming’s 20 yard drive struck the underside of the crossbar before the loose ball was cleared.

Luton were still a threat going forward but Wrexham were at least making an attempt to get back into the game and were enjoying long spells of pressure without really threatening.

However, five minutes of injury time failed to produce a winner as Wrexham’s barren spell continued.

See full story in the Leader

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