Wrexham 1 Aldershot Town 2

It really IS the proverbial six pointer. Our dismal away form has to improve any time soon and our lads have certainly turned things around since the debacle in Dagenham.

And look at them now! Since that win where we made them look like world-beaters, they’ve spiralled down the league and are below us and have parted ways with their manager.

A look at the table then shows both sides sitting above the trapdoor. The Racecourse isn’t a fortress and Wrexham are indifferent form-wise. Most fans on our forum are saying that coming away with a point would be a decent return. I can’t truly argue with that so long as it’s not another nil-nil!

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It hasn’t been highlighted much that we have just about the best defence of the teams in the bottom half. We are still second lowest scorers and the attention has rightly been focused on that. It’s not pretty to watch but come the end of the season we might all be grateful for the grinding out of goal-less draws at Boreham Wood and Chorley – and we ought to have had another at Harrogate.

ONE TO WATCH

Their man-in-form at the moment is Omari Patrick. He is on loan from Bradford City and akin to Ethan Chislett he is a winger / forward.

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WE’RE ON OUR WAY!

Managed to reserve seats there and back which hopefully will mean a table to put everything on. Due in Wrexham at mid-day and even if getting off at the General Station, it is a short walk into the town centre and a plethora of public houses where I can’t wait to get my paws around a pint of Jennings!

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ALL YOU CAN EAT

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At participating McDonalds outlets, the Big Mac today is just 99p!

GONE FOR A BURTON!

Preston Shot on Lewis Walker…

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Wrexham 1 Aldershot Town 2

Aldershot (3-4-3): Walker; Tinkler, Hunt, Lyons-Foster; Tanner (Santos 90), Rance, Powell (Rowe 74), Kinsella; Panayiotou (Whittingham 84), Bettamer, Chislett. Subs: Anderson, Shields.

Attendance: 4,222 (163 from Aldershot).

My jinx, had there been one, is done.  My first Shots away win this season happened in north Wales as the team produced a gritty and dominant display.  A goal conceded with almost the last kick of the game took the edge off things a little but I guess we are used to making things difficult for ourselves sometimes.

163 away fans (and that’s probably about right) sang their hearts out from start to finish and this morning I have hardly any voice at all. And unfortunately memories if this game are very sketchy due to a blinding headache second half.

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Before the game I had to offload some of the refreshments, handing four bottles of Carlsberg Export to some Walsall fans on their way to Salford. Met up with other Shots fans on the train from Shrewsbury and walked into Wrexham town centre. In the Wetherspoons Ruddles was £1.59 I remember and there were bowls of chicken wings that appeared and appeared to belong to no-one in particular and I was invited to tuck in! The guy with the beard that wears the Bury shirt was there that we have seen at Chorley and Barrow.  I didn’t see Aberdeen Shot though on Twitter there is one fine photo of him at Chester station! I won’t publish that or Preston’s photo here at this time without their approval.

Then it was across the road to the Horse And Jockey where there was LowerBourneShot and the Postie and the fan from Solihull that I met in Ulverston prior to the Barrow game. Preston Shot and his daughters were there and suddenly it was 2.45pm so the short walk up to the Racecourse Ground.

On the train after the game, Rob Worrall told me that Henry had got the Shots match report out pretty sharpish and we digested other National League results which apart from Chesterfield winning, went our way. So I am using the Daily Post here, written by Rob Griffiths for you to read. Photos kindly provided by Hayley Jordan and, naturally, Timelord!

Wrexham’s plight took yet another step backwards as they went down to a first loss of 2020 in what was a listless and dour display against fellow strugglers Aldershot.

It is becoming a worrying trend of one step forward and one backward for the Dragons as any hint of New Year joy following a gritty win over Chorley ebbed away with a disappointing showing against the Shots.

Ethan Chislett fired the visitors into a second half lead with a stunning effort to beat Rob Lainton, before Mo Bettamer made amends for a horrendous earlier miss with a killer second for the Shots.

It could have been a bigger margin of defeat too as Chislett and Harrison Panayioutou conspired to see a third disallowed for the visitors while Bettamer will still be wondering how he failed to tap home from two yards out, Lainton also forced into a string of fine saves throughout.

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The biggest disappointment though for the Dragons was a lack of chances at the other end, Mitch Walker barely tested as the home side struggled to fashion any real foothold in attack, JJ Hooper’s late strike from Mark Harris’ cross proving to be nothing more than a consolation.

Manager Dean Keates made just the one change to his starting XI for the visit of fellow strugglers Aldershot, Paul Rutherford dropping to the bench to be replaced by Tyler Reid.

Bobby Grant in action for Wrexham against Aldershot

The Dragons were still missing skipper Shaun Pearson, the centre-half having pulled up in the warm-up on New Year’s Day at Chorley, while Luke Summerfield returned to the bench after shaking off an illness, Adam Barton the player omitted from the matchday squad from the line up that claimed the win at Victory Park.

It was a cagey affair in the opening exchanges, neither side able to create much by way of clear chances, indeed the best the Dragons could muster was a long ball over the top for Omari Patrick, the on loan Bradford City man just beaten to the ball by an on rushing Walker, before the Shots enjoyed three opportunities in quick succession.

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First a mistake by Devonte Redmond gave Dean Rance a sight of goal, his effort under pressure from Mark Carrington wide of the mark before the Dragons’ defender did well to close down a Craig Tanner shot as the visitors broke quickly, Bettamer and Harrison Panayiotou combining to set the wing-back clear to shoot, his effort tamely gathered by Rob Lainton following Carrington’s charge down.

Lainton was again called into action moments later; spearing himself to make a brave save with his face to deny Bettamer, Wrexham cut open far too easily.

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Wrexham were far too sluggish in the opening quarter of the match, too many passes going astray with the home side becoming over reliant on a long ball forward to relieve any pressure. Yet they did force Mitch Walker into two saves just before the half hour mark, first to gather a disappointing James Jennings free kick after Patrick was needlessly thrown to the floor by Kodi Lyons-Foster, before Luke Young let fly with an effort from distance that was held by the Shots’ stopper.

Lainton was by far the more busier of the two keepers and he was again called into action on 32 minutes to make a point blank reaction save and deny Bettamer, the forward having lost his marker to reach Robbie Tinkler’s deft cross.

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And the visitors should have gone in at the interval with a lead, a stunning ball over the top by Jack Powell sent Tanner clear; a combination of Carrington, the Shots’ forward being unable to get the ball out of his feet and Lainton denying the chance.

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Rance and Tanner saw chances spurned before the interval; the referee’s whistle bringing a series of boos from the Racecourse faithful. First Rance saw a drive deflect wide for a corner, while Tanner, who had been a nuisance all afternoon for the Dragons was not far away with a drive from distance.

Wrexham needed a marked improvement after the interval, yet they were still slow to show much, the best chance in the early exchanges coming after a surging run and cross by Patrick picked out Grant at the back post, the forward only able to guide his header wide of the mark.

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Lyons-Foster was narrowly off target with a speculative first time drive from a tight angle at the other end, before a horrific moment that will haunt Bettamer. Ethan Chislett did well to find Tanner, his run and cross, and decision to stay on his feet following a Young lunge, looked to have been rewarded as he laid the ball onto a plate two yards out and in front of an open goal for Bettamer who inexplicably missed the target with the goal at his mercy.

But Aldershot did not need long to find the breakthrough as less than two minutes later Chislett let fly with a stunning curling effort from the edge of the box that gave Lainton no chance.

And Lainton was picking the ball out of his net again just five minutes later, Bettamer making up for his horrendous miss as he lost his marker to meet Powell’s corner and head home.

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It should have been 3-0 soon after, Chislett running onto a Bettamer through ball to outpace the covering Dragons defence, his square ball to Panayiotou paid on a plate for the forward, albeit having strayed in front of his team-mate and into an offside position.

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Panayiotou tested Lainton with a powerful drive moments later, before Walker was called into action for the first time in the second half, collecting a charged down Patrick drive that trickled through.

Hooper gave the Dragons a late lifeline with an injury time consolation effort, hammering home Harris’ cross, but it was far too little and far too late for the home side.

A thoroughly deserved win for Aldershot with another double and back-to-back wins for the first time. While this new found form and confidence has pushed us seven points clear of the drop zone and just eight from an improbable playoff place, maybe we can be forgiven for thinking that we can expect nothing less than three points from our next game, at home to Chorley.

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