Airbus 2-2 Wrexham FC

Reporter:

Tom Norris

Wrexham were made to work very hard by a well organised Airbus outfit.

Craig Harrison has certainly assembled a side capable of playing some neat and tidy football and it provided Dean Saunders’ men with a good workout.

An obvious worry for Saunders will be Wrexham’s lack of cutting edge and a static midfield which meant strikers Gareth Taylor and Marc Williams were made to feed on scraps.

The central duo of Christian Smith and Jamie Tolley only broke forward sporadically and the Airbus midfield Nified any threat from the wings.

At times, mainly due to the excellent work done by the Welsh Premier League side, Wrexham were over reliant on the size and presence of Taylor, pumping balls forward whenever possible rather than pass and move.

Indeed it was Airbus that started the game on the front foot, Richard Dorman, brother of Wales and Crystal Palace midfielder Andy, creating a shooting chance for Andy Moran, but his effort was easily gathered by Chris Maxwell.

Wrexham responded to that chance positively and should have worked former goalkeeper Kristian Rogers.

A long ball into the Airbus penalty area was missed by defender Matty Woodward and fell to Taylor, who tried to be too cute and lobbed the ball over the hosts’ goal.

A moment of controversy brought about the only goal of the first 45 minutes as a ball from the right saw Wrexham defender Johnny Hunt go to ground after coming together with Dorman, but instead of awarding a free-kick to Saunders’ side the referee awarded the hosts a penalty.

Moran made no mistake from the spot, rolling the ball into the right corner with Maxwell diving the wrong way.

Wrexham slowly started to come together with a well-drilled Airbus side and carved out a chance for Marc Williams, although he rushed his effort and curled it the wrong side of Rogers’ post from outside the area.

Jamie Tolley was the next Wrexham man to try his luck from outside the box, the most recent Saunders signing firing just wide of the upright after a Wes Baynes free-kick was only partially cleared.

The start of the second half was met by a raft of changes as Wrexham trialists Danny Racchi and former Arsenal and Fulham youth Michael Uwezu replaced Christian Smith and Baynes respectively, while Scott Shearer took over between the posts and Nick Rushton came on for Adrian Cieslewicz.

However, it was an Airbus change which made the first impression, teenager Jake Cassidy, who has attracted interest from Football League clubs, sending a rocket strike past Shearer’s post after escaping the challenge of Kai Edwards.

And Airbus had a further chance to extend their lead, Moran finding space in the Wrexham area to send a volley wide of the post.

It was that man Moran who again wasted a chance for the hosts when Danny Desormeaux’s flicked header found the striker, but his drive went over Shearer’s crossbar.

Wrexham should have been level moments later as Rushton delivered an inch perfect centre for Taylor, who headed wide of Rogers’ goal.

Taylor was to get his name on the scoresheet shortly after his miss as Wrexham won a penalty of their own after substitute Jack Rowlands was adjudged to have handled Racchi’s cross.

The former Wales striker found the bottom corner of the Airbus goal from the resulting spot kick, his effort narrowly evading Rogers’s outstretched hand.

Wrexham were able to profit from a third penalty of the game as Williams was felled by Mark Allen and Taylor fired past Rogers once more.

As more subs entered the field of play the game became more open and Airbus drew level thanks to Cassidy.

The 17-year-old ran onto a clever through ball, waltzed round Shearer and rolled into an empty net, the youngster bagging his seventh goal in six pre-season matches.

Airbus: Rogers; Clarke, Feliciello (Roberts 67), Woodward (J Rowlands 46), Allen (Sudlow 78); A Williams (Abraham 53), Dorman, Desormeaux (Challinor 78), Cook (McManus 66); Owen (Cassidy 46), Moran (T Rowlands 71).

Wrexham: Maxwell (Shearer 46); Obeng, Hunt, Edwards, Mawer; Smith (Racchi 46), Tolley (Morton 68), Baynes (Uwezu 46), Cieslewicz (Rushton 46); M Williams, Taylor.

Referee: N Pratt.

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