Burton Albion 2 Wrexham 1
Any hopes of catching Burton Albion have surely disappeared after the Brewers took all three points at the Pirelli Stadium.
Only Gavin Ward And Jefferson Louis survived from the eleven that played the corresponding fixture at the Racecourse in September, and with Andrew Crofts making his debut hopes were high on the away terrace, where one thousand two hundred fans had made the trip from North Wales.
In a busy start Burton Started the better of the two teams, but Wrexham quickly settled into their passing game. Crofts was spreading the ball nicely to the flanks, giving Brown and Flynn decent opportunities to test the full backs. On twenty minutes Louis forced a save from Poole who knocked his effort away for a corner.
But it wasn't long before Wrexham's excellent play was rewarded. Another quality Crofts ball was taken by Louis just inside the area, and he curled his effort into the top corner giving Poole no chance.
Wrexham continued to construct good attacks, with Fleming and Crofts prominent, and the quick tempo and crisp passing was causing Burton serious problems. On thirty three minutes Burton went close, when Taylor headed Simpson's shot off the line. Back came Wrexham who finished the half well. A well worked Brown corner was met sweetly by Flynn, whose goal bound effort was deflected away.
Into the second half, again Wrexham started tentatively and a good run from Gilroy forced a save from Ward. Burton were now looking menacing and after fifty six minutes got the equaliser. Louis was dispossessed in midfield, Pearson muscled his way past Taylor and his cross was well controlled by Butler. He turned his Marker and shot into the roof of the net from close range. Wrexham's neat passing game had deserted them, and Burton were unlucky not to go ahead on 72 minutes when Ward dropped a cross and from the ensuing melee Butlers shot was blocked near the goal line. Minutes later Butler had another opportunity when he controlled a far post cross, but his shot was excellently saved by Ward.
With twelve minutes to go Burton's efforts were rewarded, a punt out of defence caught Wrexham napping and Morris raced onto the ball lobbing it over the advancing Ward and into the empty net.
Dean Saunders brought on McCluskey and Suffo in an attempt to salvage the game, but on this occasion there was to be no late Wrexham goal. Deep into stoppage time Morris was given a straight red card for a bad tackle from behind on Westwood. It was a bad ending to a superb game of football. On the second half Burton could justifiably claim to have deserved all three points, but in reality Wrexham will look back on the first half when all their industry and endeavour could only yield a single goal.