Sam Ricketts believes his Wrexham side paid the price for showing Forest Green Rovers 'too much respect' in their 3-2 defeat at the Racecourse.

The Reds' final game of pre-season ended in disappointment as an 86th minute strike from George Williams proved decisive for Rovers after Wrexham had levelled twice.

The League Two side enjoyed lengthy spells of possession in the first half, before an improved second half showing from the hosts produced a more even contest.

Ricketts said: "There were some good bits and some not so good bits, that I certainly wasn't very happy with in the first half where, we didn't really believe in ourselves.

"I think we showed Forest Green a bit too much respect. When you go to press, you need to press the ball and not stop three or four yards away because doesn't end up affecting the play at all.

"Forest Green are a good footballing side and they try to move you around a little bit, but we definitely showed them too much respect at times.

"In the second half we changed a few little things and got ourselves back into the game. It wasn't an end-to-end game and it won't be how it's going to be next week or in the Conference in general.

"If it was a league game, we'd probably have approached it with a more tactical element, but instead it's another pre-season and we've used for a few things that we wanted to work on.

"Little bits have come off for us, but not enough for me to be sat here after the game pleased.

"I'm disappointed, especially after we got ourselves back into the game at two-all. But it was our toughest game of pre-season, playing against a team with a style that we probably won't come up against this year."

The game offered Reds fans their first glimpse of new loan signing Freddie Hinds, with the 19-year-old Coventry forward starting in a Reds front three alongside Chris Holroyd and Mike Fondop.

A sedate opening to the game saw the visitors dominate possession but create little in the attacking third of the pitch.

Rovers then exerted some pressure, with Red defender James Jennings forced into a covering clearance after George Williams outpaced Shaun Pearson.

The resulting corner was floated dangerously over the Wrexham six-yard box, with Reds centre back Manny Smith on hand with a commanding defensive header to avert the danger.

Wrexham quickly sought to utilise the aerial presence of Fondop and his flick-on from a long punt upfield narrowly eluded the on-running Hinds.

Rovers wing back Joseph Mills was then clumsily brought down by Reds defender Kevin Roberts on the right hand side of the box, with Lloyd James' ensuing free-kick headed away at the far post.

With half an hour played neither side had mustered a shot on target, as Carl Winchester went closest to opening the scoring for Rovers with a curling right-footed effort that sailed just over Rob Lainton's crossbar.

In reply, Reds attacker Chris Holroyd ran on to a loose ball in midfield and and tried his luck from range but saw his effort canon off the back of Hinds.

Solid hold-up play from Fondop on the edge of the Rovers box yielded a free-kick when he was clumsily upended by Rovers centre half Farrend Rawson.

Luke Summerfield stepped up and looked for the top corner but his effort was too high to trouble Rovers keeper Robert Sanchez.

The breakthrough came four minutes before the break when Rovers midfielder Haydn Hollis' raking cross-field ball was superbly gathered by Mills who took a touch to set himself before drilling a low left-footed effort into the far corner beyond Lainton.

The goal seemed to rouse the hosts who suddenly found more cohesion in their attacking build-up play, with Jennings whipping a low cross into the Rovers six yard box which was claimed by Sanchez as Holroyd slid in to meet it.

Wholesale changes at the break saw Rovers boss Mark Cooper make five changes, but it was the introduction of Reds midfielder Paul Rutherford that paid instant dividends.

After replacing Holroyd in the wide left position, Rutherford injected pace and energy into the Reds' play and teed up Kevin Roberts whose rasping effort was pushed over the bar by substitute keeper James Montgomery.

From the resulting corner a deflection saw the ball strike the crossbar with Fodop stooping to head home the equaliser with his fifth goal of pre-season.

Despite fielding a much-changed line-up for the second half, there was no loss in Rovers' attacking fluency.

Several breakaways down the left flank produced decent goalscoring chances just after the hour mark, with replacement wing-back Chris Laird swinging in an inviting cross which eluded the head of striker Christian Doidge by inches.

The Reds failed to heed earlier warnings and were punished on 67 minutes when Gavin Gunning's measured ball reached Laird in space and his near post delivery was prodded home by fellow sub Theo Archibald to restore Rovers' lead.

Undeterred, Wrexham responded with plenty of attacking impetus and got their reward from the penalty spot on 82 minutes after skipper Shaun Pearson was hauled down by Rovers man Aron Davies.

Luke Summerfield calmly stepped up to despatch the spot-kick, with a neat finish into the corner of the net to level.

Rovers would have the final say, however, when Dayle Grubb's free-kick from 25 yards out beat Lainton and struck the upright with the ball falling for George Williams, whose crisp half-volley found the net to seal victory.

Wrexham substitute Stuart Beavon won his side a last minute free-kick, from which Smith narrowly failed to connect with Summerfield's delivery.

The Reds now turn their attentions to next weekend's National League opener at Dover Athletic.