Fleetwood Town lost their second successive game on the road as top of the table, Wrexham, won their fifth consecutive match in front of a passionate home crowd.
Goals in each half from Jake Speight and former Blackpool striker, Andy Morrell, sealed Town’s fate and the club who have had a turbulent last few months off the pitch, showed focus and commitment on it, fully deserving their victory.
Micky Mellon went for the same squad of sixteen that were involved in the draw against York City on Friday, the first time that this had happened since April.
Former Dragon, Andy Mangan, missed his fourth successive game through injury, which came as some relief to several Welsh supporters who I spoke to before the match!
Scott Davies, Steve McNulty and Magno Vieira were the only survivors from last season’s action-packed but goal-less draw. Wrexham were also unchanged.
Town were put under immediate pressure and the predominantly Welsh support rose to their feet after just two minutes when Wrexham took the lead.
Curtis Obeng moved dangerously down the right and sent in a low cross which Jake Speight turned past Davies, the striker continuing where he had left off on Saturday after a hat-trick at Alfreton.
Town had no answer and spent much of the opening twenty minutes in their own half. Obeng caused more trouble in the seventh minute, his run from deep checked by Jamie McGuire who received words of warning from referee Evans.
Wrexham maintained the pressure with their lively front line causing constant problems and Obeng coming up from defence at every opportunity. Paul Edwards was too-easily dispossessed after 13 minutes but Jay Harris ought to have done better, his shot missing the target.
Town began to gain a foothold territorially, but opportunities to put the home defence under pressure were squandered.
Wrexham counter-attacked, Davies saving skipper McNulty’s blushes in the 23rd minute as he raced out to the edge of the area to deny Danny Wright.
Jamie Vardy, after an impressive Town debut on Friday, got to the byline down the left and released a low, hard drive which keeper, Chris Maxwell, took at the second attempt, receiving a blow from Jamie McGuire’s boot in the process.
Alex-Ray Harvey found Vardy on the half hour but the ex-FC Halifax Town player fired wide off his left foot. Town gained some momentum from this, Vieira bringing a brilliant diving save from Maxwell soon after 32 minutes as he shot across a crowded goalmouth.
Wrexham came back immediately and Davies held up a hand of apology to his team as a misdirected kick was almost exposed by Morrell, the striker failing to hit the target after the ball had come directly to him.
Richard Brodie, a constant target for the Wrexham fans, received his third booking of the season in the 36th minute as his enthusiastic approach was deemed to have gone too far.
The home side continued to look sharp in the final third of the pitch with Wright bringing a fine save from Davies in the 38th minute and McNulty cutting out another dangerous foray from Obeng.
As half time approached, Town conceded a free kick just outside the area, Brown the culprit, but, to add to Town’s misery, Vieira was booked for dissent. Wrexham’s Lee Fowler joined him in the referee’s notebook soon after, the last act of the half.
Jamie Milligan and Keith Briggs replaced Harvey and Brown in midfield after the interval.
Milligan’s early corner from the right caused a moment of anxiety for the home defence as Town started the half on the front foot. Vardy set up Vieira whose shot was blocked. Rob Atkinson nearly stole in at the near post after 52 minutes, only to direct a free kick narrowly wide.
Despite the advantage, their play lacked a cutting edge with Brodie twice losing possession as his side moved forward.
The boos rang out as the referee brought skipper, McNulty, across after another strong challenge from the tall Town striker, but these soon changed to cheers as Wrexham increased their lead just before the hour mark.
Play built up on the right and the ball found Morrell who sent a sweet shot past Davies for his fourth goal of the season. To compound Brodie’s unhappy afternoon, he was immediately replaced by George Donnelly in the 59th minute.
Morrell nearly added another six minutes later. Town failed to clear the danger, again from the right, and the ball reached Morrell who nodded a header narrowly wide. The striker’s contribution was underlined moments later as he left the field to rapturous applause, replaced by Adrian Cieslewicz.
The Dragons scented more blood and Town’s defence came under intense pressure as a red tide swept down the field towards them. Atkinson was booked as he tried to repel one of the many pacy attacks and Davies saved well from Speight.
The momentum dropped, allowing Town back into the attacking half, but approach play was comfortable dealt with by the home side. Briggs found space for a shot in the 82nd minute but it flew high and wide.
Mathias Pogba replaced Wright after 83 minutes as every Wrexham move was greeted with joy by the majority of the crowd of 4,283.
Soon after, full-back Danny Holmes was given an unusual amount of space but skewed his shot wide of Maxwell’s goal. Wrexham looked to have scored a third two minutes later as a cross came in from the right. Pogba netted but his joy was short-lived as the referee booked Speight for handball in the build-up.
The last few moments were quietly played out near Town’s defensive corner flag and, soon after, Wrexham completed a convincing victory as the referee blew his whistle for the final time.
Wrexham: Maxwell, Obeng, Creighton, Knight-Percival, Ashton, Harris, Fowler, Tolley, Speight, Wright (Pogba 83), Morrell (Cieslewicz 66); not used: Keates, Taylor, Clarke.
Fleetwood: Davies, Holmes, McNulty, Atkinson, Edwards, Scott Brown (Milligan 46), McGuire, Harvey (Briggs 46), Brodie (Donnelly 60), Vieira, Vardy; not used: St Louis-Hamilton, Goodall.
Ref: Karl Evans (Lancashire).