Maidenhead United 1 Wrexham AFC 2: Manny Smith at the double in away victory

Reporter:

Rich Williams

WREXHAM are up and running at the second time of asking.

Dean Keates’ side suffered an opening day defeat but responded by registering a first win of the season at Maidenhead United with a 2-1 success, as defender Manny Smith bagged a brace.

A lot is expected of Wrexham this term with Keates compiling a squad that boasts a lot of quality.

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Macclesfield at a packed Racecourse was not the start Wrexham wanted but two goals from Smith sealed victory in the first-ever clash against newly promoted Maidenhead at York Road.

Wrexham worked hard to get into the lead in the first half but just two minutes after Smith scored, the hosts were back on level terms.

Both sides pressed for the winner in the second half, Maidenhead looking to build on their opening day draw at Maidstone United.

But it was Wrexham who left with three points after Smith again struck, the impressive Marcus Kelly supplying his second assist of the evening.

It was a hard fought win but Wrexham again lacked a cutting edge for long parts.

But they battled to the end and will be buoyed by the success going into Saturday’s tough away game at Dover Athletic.​​

Keates, who is still looking to add a striker to his squad, made one change from the side that started the opening day defeat against Macclesfield.

With Chris Holroyd sidelined after dislocating his shoulder in the reversal, his place in attack was taken by Massanka.

That meant midfielder Leo Smith, not involved at the weekend, was named on the substitutes bench.

It was a competitive start to proceedings with both sides matching each for effort in a bid to gain the upper hand.

Wrexham began to settle and got into some promising positions, Scott Boden’s 13th minute effort blocked by a defender in the area.

But Maidenhead quickly countered and almost took the lead, Reds’ goalkeeper Chris Dunn making a superb save to keep out Harold Odametey’s drive with the follow-up blocked.

Wrexham came close to breaking the deadlock themselves in the 28th minute.

The lively Marcus Kelly played the ball into Boden whose shot from the edge of the area was turned around the post by goalkeeper Carl Pentney.

Back came Maidenhead and Odametey should have done better after getting the better of Sam Wedgbury to keep the ball in at the by-line but he blasted high and wide with goal at his mercy.

However, Wrexham went ahead after 40 minutes after Paul Rutherford was fouled by Max Kilman just outside the area.

Kelly whipped in the free-kick and Manny Smith rose highest to head home from close range.

But the lead only lasted two minutes as Maidenhead quickly levelled.

Sean Marks’ shot was blocked into the path of Dave Tarpey who slotted past Dunn.

Wrexham were unchanged for the start of the second half and the Reds survived a penalty appeal, Maidenhead claiming Marks had been pulled back by Shaun Pearson as he tried to meet a low cross.

Looking to get his side back on the front foot, Keates made his first change in the 52nd minute with Jack Mackreth replacing Rutherford.

James Comley’s 25 yard-drive was saved by Dunn as Maidenhead pressed but Wrexham countered and Boden’s shot was blocked for a corner which came to nothing.

The game switched from end to end as both sides went in search of a winner.

Massanka failed to hit the target for Wrexham while Tarpey ran into the area and had a shot deflected wide while the striker was also denied by Dunn as the hosts responded.

But it was Wrexham who reclaimed the lead on 77 minutes.

Kelly put in a cross to the back post and Smith sneaked it past Pentney.

Akil Wright was immediately sent on in place of Boden and with the game heading into added time, Wrexham were indebted to Dunn who made a stunning save to deny sub Sam Barratt.

James Hurst was sent on for Massanka for the final exchanges and nearly 400 travelling fans cheered a first win of the season when the final whistle sounded.

Email:

rich.williams@nwn.co.uk

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