WREXHAM began their pre-season programme with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Vauxhall Motors at Rivacre Park last night.
Goals from Andy Mangan and trialist midfielder Jamie Tolley put Wrexham in control at the break and a penalty from Gareth Taylor – expected to sign a new contract – in the second half, and Christian Smith strike secured the win.
More chances came Wrexham’s way in a game they dominated and they could have won by a bigger margin.
Manager Dean Saunders, who used a total of 22 players, was treating the game as a training exercise but there were plenty of positives to take from the first friendly of the summer.
Just two of Saunders’ seven new signings – centre-back Chris Blackburn and midfielder Dean Keates – were not included in the squad, although neither had serious injury concerns.
Blackburn was given extra recovery time following his play-off excursions with former club Aldershot in May, while Keates was recovering from a minor groin strain sustained in training.
But midfielder David Brown, winger Nat Knight Percival and striker Andy Morrell – back at The Racecourse for a second spell – were included in the side for the first 45 minutes along with trialists Cameron Mawer and Tolley.
Adrian Cieslewicz’s fourth minute drive was saved by keeper Scott Tynan but Wrexham were enjoying plenty of the ball and took a 1-0 lead just five minutes later.
Tolley’s shot was blocked by a defender and Andy Mangan was on hand to slot past Tynan.
Wrexham, well on top, continued to play neat passing football despite the deluge of rain and forced a series of corners.
Following another excellent move, the next scoring opportunity came in the 25th minute when Knight-Percival delivered a cross from the left wing and Cieslewicz’s effort was tipped over the bar by Tynan.
With Wrexham making good use of the flanks, Cieslewicz did well on the right and Knight-Percival almost got on the end of his teasing cross, while Motors finally tested Reds keeper Chris Maxwell when he did well to tip away Paul Brown’s powerful header.
Knight-Percival also headed wide from Johnny Hunt’s cross before Wrexham made it 2-0 one minute before the break.
Frank Sinclair won a midfield header and Tolley placed his 20-yard shot past Tynan into the bottom corner.
Saunders changed all 11 players for the second half with new signings, left-back Neil Ashton and winger Kevin Gall, taking their place in the side alongside ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Oldfield – aged 19 and currently unattached.
Oldfield made a smart save to deny scorer Brown but Wrexham responded through Christian Smith whose low drive took a deflection and was brilliantly tipped around the post by Tynan.
Despite Motors seeing more of the ball and creating half chances after the break, Wrexham were dangerous going forward and the better openings came the visitors’ way.
A chip from the edge of the area by Gareth Taylor beat Tynan but found the roof of the net while Marc Williams teed up Andy Fleming – watched by Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy who hopes to sign the midfielder – but his diving header fell wide.
And the third goal arrived in the 76th minute when Williams was brought down in the area and Taylor dispatched the resulting penalty.
The scoring was completed three minutes from time when Smith found the net with a left-foot shot from just outside the area.
VAUXHALL MOTORS (4-4-2): Tynan; Noone, Hannigan, Taylor, Dames; Brown, Wilson Mboa, Asgari; Field, Noon.
WREXHAM first half (4-4-2): Maxwell; Walker, Mawer, Sinclair, Hunt; Cieslewicz, Brown, Tolley, Knight-Percival; Morrell, Mangan.
WREXHAM second half (4-4-2): Oldfield; Obeng, Clowes, Edwards, Ashton; Gall, Fleming, Smith, Baynes; Williams, Taylor.
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