An 84th minute goal by Wrexham’s Danny Williams was one of the few highlights as the Red Dragons limped to a 1-0 win over shot-shy Port Vale.
Williams blasted home a 20 yard free-kick past ex-Carlisle keeper Johnny Brain after the Valiants captain Sam Collins had brought down Trinidadian Hector Sam.
A sun-drenched Bowl in
Wrexham started the brighter and passed the ball around confidently until the 15 minute mark when Vale started to work their way back into the game.
There were no real chances though until the 34th minute when a free-kick from new Vale signing Lee Matthews clipped the top of Matt Baker’s bar from 25 yards out.
Giant fellow Trinidadian Dennis Lawrence was a constant threat for Vale at set-pieces and it was in the 42nd minute that he had his best chance.
Vale picked up the pace after the break and man of the match Levi Reid worked tirelessly in midfield to try and find a goal for the
The 55th minute brought Vale’s best chance of the game, Wrexham substitute Craig Morgan clearing a Matthews header off the line.
From the resultant corner Morgan cleared off the line again, this time from a powerful Dean Smith header, Smith earlier having replaced the injured Austrian international Andreas Lipa.
Wrexham gradually hauled themselves back into the contest and in the 65th minute ex-Premiership star Chris Armstrong dragged a low shot wide after being put through by Darren Ferguson, son of Manchester United’s Alex.
The game looked odds-on for a penalty shoot-out as the minutes ticked away until Williams smashed home to give the Red Dragons the all-important breakthrough.
Vale’s only chance to grab an equaliser came and went in the last minute as a Smith shot was blocked following a goalmouth scramble.
Matt Baker, Jim Whitley (Andy Holt 46), Alex Smith, Steve Roberts, Brian Carey (Craig Morgan 46), Dennis Lawrence, Dean Bennett (Simon Spender 46), Danny Williams, Hector Sam, Darren Ferguson (Mark Jones 78), Craig Llewellyn (Chris Armstrong 46).
Unused subs : Levi Mackin + Shawn Pejic.
Port Vale :
Johnny Brain, Andreas Lipa (Dean Smith 32), Lee Matthews, Mick Cummins, Billy Paynter (Steve Brooker 67), Levi Reid, Ryan Brown (Craig James 58), Steve Rowland, Chris Birchill (Ian Armstrong 58), Robin Hulbert.
Unused sub : Mark Goodlad.
Referee : N Preskey.
Tim Graham (thetashkentterror)