Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell lamented the ‘horrendous’ decision that saw captain Dean Keates receive his marching orders, and denied his side victory during their 2-2 draw with Tamworth on Saturday.
‘I didn’t think it was a sending off, and it’s changed the game. He’s said he’s tackled the lad and gone in strong, and he’s sort of passed the ball. So after that he’s just looking after himself and the other lad’s come in at the same sort of speed. They’ve just collided and Keates’ gone in stronger than him. I think the ref’s made a horrendous decision, but it’s only a yellow so there’s nothing we can do about it.’
‘It just changes the game plan. You have to chuck it out of the window because of a terrible decision.’
Though Morrell believed the decision changed the game, he was full of praise for the effort his players showed to take the lead, only to then be pegged back five minutes from time.
‘It was a tough game. I thought we were alright today, but in the first 10-15 minutes we were outstanding and we could probably have been 2, 3, 4 up. But we get the goal and then sloppily let another one in straight afterwards which gives them a little bit of a lift.’
‘In the second half we were good and then the sending-off changes the game. We were under pressure, but managed to get the goal – it was a great move and a great goal – to get in the lead. Then we’re defending for our lives, and they’re putting big boys on and chucking it up but the lads’ effort and endeavour was fantastic.
The Wrexham player-manager expressed his disappointment at the manner in which Wrexham surrendered their lead with just five minutes remaining. Despite their numerical disadvantage Wrexham had controlled the game, only to see their lead extinguished by a set-piece.
‘It was a sloppy free-kick to give away and he’s hit it sweet as. I need to have a look at it, I don’t know whether it went through the wall or around the wall.’
‘There’s a few fingers being pointed in the dressing-room and rightly so, but we’ll have a look at it and then we’ll be able to point the finger at the right person.’
‘We could’ve lost it at the end, but we could’ve won it in the second half as well. I’m disappointed and I’m gutted for the lads because the effort they put it in was tremendous.’
‘We just had to deal with the pressure they put on us with long balls and breaking quickly, but we seemed to deal with it okay. Jossy’s (Mayebi) not really had that much to do, but you can’t let them have a free shot from 25 yards out. I’m pleased with the lads’ massive effort, especially when down to ten men. We created some chances but couldn’t quite get that win.’
With Wrexham still searching for their first clean-sheet in the league since the 29th September, Morrell was disappointed that his side failed to capitalize on taking the lead twice yesterday.
‘For the first goal, one of the smallest lads on their team has had a free header in the six-yard box, which simply shouldn’t happen. You should stop the cross to start with, and he shouldn’t have a free run in. We didn’t look like we were going to keep a clean-sheet today. We’ve got to defend right and want to keep a clean-sheet. You’re going to concede goals but I’d rather a team break us down with good play, rather than gifting teams goals as we did today.’
‘We could’ve lost it, they had that overhead kick in the last minute. You have to count your blessings sometimes and it might prove to be an important point come the end of the season. I think if memory serves me right it was this time last year that they (Tamworth) got a 2-2 against Fleetwood.
‘It happens. It might be that point which pushes you over the line. We’re unbeaten in two now and we’ve got to take that on again. It’s a tough league and if you don’t concentrate for the full game then you can get punished by anyone at anytime by any team. We just need to tighten up at the back because we’ve always got goals in us.’
A spate of postponements in the division meant that only five games were played and Wrexham missed the opportunity to move up to second in the table.
‘Every game that you don’t win is a missed opportunity’, Morrell said, ‘but it’s a point in the right direction to where we want to be.’
With the season now passing the half-way stage, Morrell believes that his side are well-placed in their pursuit of the Blue Square Premier title.
‘We’re three points off top. If someone had offered me that at the start of the season I’d probably have taken it. Can we put that run together which gets us up at the top? Top spot’s the one that we want. We went close last year, I think we’ll go close again this year.’
Morrell revealed that with the onset of the January transfer window he will be on the lookout for fresh talent, whilst a deal to bring former loanee Danny Devine to the club on a permanent basis is nearing completion.
You can read our match report of yesterdays game by clicking here.