The Valiants progress to the knockout stages of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy despite defeat in North Wales.
A cagey beginning in North Wales but it was the Valiants who had the first effort on goal. Tom Conlon, returning to the side, stood over a free kick around 25 yards out. The midfielder beat the wall but his effort just curled wide of the near post on eight minutes.
A minute later our number nine came close to putting us ahead but Ryan Loft’s headed effort in the area was well held by Luke McNicholas.
Wrexham answered back on ten minutes through Luke Young. He collected a loose ball outside the penalty area and let fly on the half volley but the strike was well wide of the Vale goal.
The hosts tested Jayson Leutwiler in goal shortly afterwards but it was comfortable for the Canadian who claimed Jake Bickerstaff’s shot from outside the area brilliantly.
Jesse Debrah was clearly in the mood to add to his Bristol Street Motors Trophy goal tally after netting in the previous fixture as he drove into the area. But his gorgeous curling effort just dropped wide of the goal.
After a number of chances we took the lead on 31 minutes through our very own Welshman Josh Thomas. It all started with a beautiful ball from Rhys Walters from midfield. Rhys pieced the move together by finding Gavin Massey on the right wing who simply had too much pace for his fullback. Massey played a low ball in for Thomas who had the easiest of finishes to put us one up.
Two minutes before the break Wrexham had a great opportunity to level the scores. The ball was played in from the right to Bickerstaff but his first time effort flew over the crossbar.
The hosts improved in the second half and came close to equalising through Jordan Davies from a corner. The delivery found Davies on the centre spot but his header had little on it as it glanced wide of Leutwiler’s goal.
With Wrexham looking for that goal, they resorted to the bench and brought on striker Paul Mullin. Less than ten minutes after he had been introduced the forward had Wrexham level after tapping in the ball from close range following a low driven ball from the left.
With just under ten minutes left, the hosts upped the pressure and almost took the lead through Bickerstaff but Leutwiler denied him with a wonderful double save.
But from that corner Wrexham took the lead through substitute James McClean who nipped in front of Leuwtiler and headed in the go ahead goal.
A young Vale side ended the game which saw the hosts hang on to their narrow advantage.
Wrexham | Luke McNicholas, Jordan Davies, Luke Young, Liam McAlinden, Billy Waters (61’ James McClean), Bryce Hosannah, Will Boyle, Jake Bickerstaff, Max Cleworth, Aaron James (61’ James Jones), Dan Davies (61’ Paul Mullin)
Unused Subs | Liam Hall, George Evans, Owen Cushion, Harry Ashfield
Port Vale | Jayson Leutwiler, Nathan Smith, Ryan Loft (87’ Dan Mahaffy), Ethan Chislett (87’ Liam Brazier), Gavin Massey, Tom Conlon (63’ Tommy McDermott), Rhys Walters, Jesse Debrah (87’ Baylee Dipepa), Andrew Buah, Ben Lomax, Josh Thomas (87’ Logan Cousins)
Unused Subs | Connor Ripley, James Plant