Wrexham’s encouraging pre-season winning streak was brought to an end today by a Blackpool team who showed their class with a 2-1 victory at the Racecourse Ground.
A goal from Journeyman striker Kevin Phillips came from the penalty spot on 14 minutes before Wrexham new boy Martin Riley’s clinical header from a corner brought the Reds level on 32 minutes. The Tangerines pulled ahead just before the break when Scott Robertson scrambled home from close range, despite Joslain Mayebi’s best efforts.
The match started well for Wrexham as they aimed to pressurise Blackpool on the ball, in an attempt to stifle their more creative players. The Tangerines however enjoyed most of the possession of the early exchanges with the Reds chasing the ball around the midfield. The first clear cut chances fell to Blackpool with the Wrexham defence looking shaky at times.
Wrexham struggled to find space in the final third, with striker Danny Wright being caught offside on a few occasions and Veteran striker Brett Ormerod being mostly anonymous throughout his time on the pitch. The opening exchanges did however show Adrian Cieslewicz in a good light. His pacey runs were a source of creativity for Wrexham and his ability to track back and take account of his defensive responsibilities is a part of his game which is developing, and will assist the Reds in their assault on the Blue Square Premier this season.
The first clear cut chance fell to Blackpool when Kevin Phillips was brought down by Neil Ashton in the box. The tackle wasn’t malicious, however the referee had no choice but to award the penalty, which Phillips himself blasted home with great aplomb.
Wrexham played some very good football themselves throughout the game, and it was easy to see how this team coasted past Scottish Cup winners Kilmarnock in an earlier friendly. The legendary Glen Little was a constant source of creativity until his injury, which thankfully doesn’t look too serious, caused him to be substituted.
The Town equalised on 32 minutes with a great header from a corner by Martin Riley, who looked assured in defence with his partner Mark Creighton. After this it was Wrexham’s turn to turn up the heat, Johnny Hunt appeared to be hauled to the ground by Ex-Manchester United youngster Craig Cathcart, however the referee appeared to turn a blind eye. Danny Wright was also played through, only for his shot to be dragged disappointingly wide of the right hand post.
Just before half time, Blackpool pulled ahead again when Scott Robertson finally converted a series of rebounded shots. Wrexham went in at the break 2-1 down.
The second half began, and Blackpool had completely reshaped their line up. This half was a similar story to the first, Wrexham bravely hounding Blackpool for the ball, and occasionally hitting on the counter attack. Robert Ogleby impressed in the second half linking up well with Gaffer Andy Morrell. His pre-season form has been a source of great encouragement for the Wrexham fans.
The young Welshman had a good chance when a good piece of play between him and Morrell ended in a curling shot from the edge of the area, which wasn’t too far away.
Despite a great effort, Wrexham were beaten by a fine Blackpool team. However the Reds will take confidence from this game into their next match against Coventry City.
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