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12:33 23rd September 2009


The Hatters woeful record at the Racecourse Ground continued as Wrexham enjoyed a comfortably victory as the Town went down to their second defeat of the campaign. Despite earning a victory in their last visit to North Wales which clinched the League 1 title the Town were blown away as the Dragons got back to form to clinch only their second win in seven fixtures. Both sides had chances to inside the first five minutes to take an early lead and only a fine block from George Pilkington denied home midfielder Mark Jones from testing Mark Tyler with a shot on three minutes. However three minutes later the hosts took the lead from the penalty spot when Alan White's poor backward ahead allowed home striker Marc Williams to bare down on goal only to be upended by Claude Gnakpa. Williams' striker partner Gareth Taylor dispatched the resulting spot-kick sending Tyler the wrong way to give the Dragons the lead and end their 334-minute barren spell without scoring. The Town tried to find an equaliser and had the ball in the back of the net on 17 minutes but Liam Hatch's header from Adam Newton's right wing cross was disallowed by referee Merchant. With the Hatters struggling to get a foothold in the game worse was to follow for the Town on 21 minutes when they fell further behind. Silvio Spann's right-wing free-kick found Taylor 12 yards out who punched a head goalwards that somehow eluded Tyler and gave the 36-year-old his and Wrexham's second goal of the night. It was much the same story in the second period as the Town struggled to create any meaningful chance to test home stopper Chris Maxwell. The Dragons could and should have been well out of side as they missed a string of chances to extend their lead. Three minutes into the half it should have been 3-0 when Jones saw his shot from 20 yards skim the outside Tyler's right-hand post. Two minutes later the Hatters almost snatched a goal back in controversial circumstances when they were guilty of keeping the ball in play as Neil Taylor lay stricken on the turf but Newton's cross failed to find Hatch. Two chances in a two minute spell for Wrexham almost made it three and with 14 minutes left Williams unbelievably missed with a header that he placed wide of the target that would have seen the hosts home and hosed. But the Dragons finally made their dominance pay four minutes from time when Jones poked home their third after he charged down Newton's poor back-pass aimed for Tyler to beat both the Town keeper and George Pilkington to the ball. Luton Town: Tyler, White, Pilkington, Newton, Hatch, Craddock, Hall, Jarvis, Gnakpa, Gallen (Charles 68), Murray (Blackett 58). Subs not used: Gore, Reynolds, Donnelly. Wrexham: Maxwell, Obeng, Assoumani, Jones, Williams, Gareth Taylor, Neil Taylor, Sinclair, Spann, Fleming, Smith. Subs not used: Williams, Taboubi, Fairhurst, Cieslewicz, Sakho. Referee: R Merchant (J Law) Attendance: 3,448 (including 303 from Luton). For a minute-by-minute analysis see below...   Result from the Racecourse Ground Wrexham 3 (Gareth Taylor 6 (pen), 21, Jones 86) Luton Town 0 Final score FULL-TIME  Wrexham 3-0 Luton Town. All the reaction and match action to come. Stay tuned. 90 mins + 5 - Almost four-nil but it's Tyler to the rescue as the he does well to block Obeng's shot. 90 mins - We've got four added minutes here at the Racecourse... 86 mins - GOAL  WREXHAM 3-0 Hatters - Dreadful back-pass from Newton and Williams hunts the ball down, beat Tyler and Pilkington to the ball. It looks like Pilks might get there first but Williams is just quick enough to poke home the hosts' third of the night. 85 mins - Another chance for Wrexham as Tyler does well to dive to his right to keep out Williams' shot from 20 yards. 79 mins -  Third and final change from Mick as Hatch is replaced by George Donnelly. 77 mins - Half chance for the Hatters as Chris Maxwell in the home goal finally gets his knees muddy by getting down to cut out Jarvis' inswinging free-kick. 76 mins - Wrexham are certainly letting the Town off the hook as another chance for the hosts goes begging and this was the pick of the misses. Taylor works the ball across the box to find strike-partner Williams but he tries to place his header in the top corner that whistles inches wide of Tyler's left-hand post. They're getting closer to that third. 75 mins - Nothing seems to be happening for the Hatters at the minute and Wrexham looks more than comfortable protecting this lead. 68 mins -  Second change from Mick as Ryan Charles comes on for his first action this season replacing Gallen. 67 mins - The Hatters haven't offered much in attack this half but then Hall and Craddock try and work and opening but the final touch is poor from Hall as he looked for the Town striker and can't latch onto the loose ball. Disappointing. 62 mins - I've just been handed tonight's attendance which is 3,448 including 303 from Luton. 59 mins - Yet another good chance goes begging for Wrexham as they look to put the game completely beyond the Town. This time it's Obeng with a diving header at the back post following Jones' low, flat cross from the left-flank. Moments later Assoumani attempts a spectacular bicycle kick from 15 yards that goes just wide of Tyler's left-hand post. 58 mins -  Change for the Hatters with Murray - still feeling the affects of that earlier challenge - withdrawn with Shane Blackett coming on and slotting in at left-back. 57 mins - Another great opportunity spurned by the Dragons at Obeng robs Murray of the ball down the right flank and it's three on three with Taylor - on a hat-trick completely unmarked at the back-post. Thankfully for the Town Obeng mis-hits the cross and the ball spins harmlessly out of play. 51 mins - Town momentarily down to 10 as Murray is off the field receiving treatment from Harry Scott-Stackman on the far side. 50 mins - Almost a controversial passage of play as Neil Taylor is left on the turf seemigly injured and with the space left free for Newton to exploit with Taylor's absence the winger couldn't pick out Hatch who was lurking in the penalty area but the ball from the winger lacked accuracy and the hosts were able to clear the danger. 48 mins - Crickey that was so close to 3-0 Wrexham as Jones shaves the outside of post with a drive from 20 yards after the Town had failed to deal with Obeng's long throw. Almost everyone inside the ground thought that was in. 46 mins - We're off for the second period as the Town kick-off. An early goal is a must. COYH! HALF-TIME Wrexham 2-0 Luton Town. The Hatters have got it all to do in the second half as they go in at the break behind thanks to two Gareth Taylor goals. Wrexham probably just about deserve to have the lead in the opening 45 minutes. Check back in 15 minutes for more updates as they happen. 45 + 4 mins - Wasteful play by Obeng for the hosts as he decides to go for glory by attempting to beat Tyler from 25 yards with an ambitious effort after Marc Williams had done well to skip past White down the left flank. 45 mins - It has been pretty stop-start this evening and we've had plenty of stoppages for a variety of reasons and we've got four additional minutes to play. 44 mins - The new linesman, once fourth official, reminds me of former England cricketer Gladstone Small. He's already flagged Wrexham offside four times inside the last two minutes! 43 mins - Great chance for the Hatters to get one back before the break but Pilkington meets Jarvis's dangerous right-wing free-kick. It was just behind the defender as he strained to get a head onto it and the ball goes over the Chris Maxwell's crossbar. 40 mins - The ref seems to have had enough! He's come to the dugouts to speak to Mick and Dean Saunders and he looks like he's going to be replaced by one of the assistant referees and the fourth official takes the flag. 35 mins - Terrible mistake from Freddie Murray allows Obeng to win a corner down the Town left and as the corner is whipped in dangerously from the right Murray does well to make amends with timely and brave interception to prevent Assoumani from turning home the loose from two yards. Brave stuff. 33 mins -  A good break from the hosts and goalscorer Taylor is having a great game. He holds it up 40 yards from goal and plays a lovely pass down the left flank looking for Neil Taylor whose cross is only half cleared and from a corner Tyler has to punch away the danger. 30 mins - A groggy Rossi Jarvis returns to the action after being grounded on the far side of the pitch following a crunching Wrexham challenge. Then he has to run the full width of the pitch to take a set piece which is easily cleared by the home defence. 29 mins - Hatch has got himself in the book for talking back to the referee following an altercation on the far side. Craddock tells him to calm down otherwise he could get himself into deeper trouble. 25 mins - Very frustrating to watch at the minute as an exasperated Mick Harford barks orders out to his troops from the touchline. Trouble is it's 2-0 and as the Town go in search of a way back into the game they're leaving themselves exposed at the back. Can we nab one before the break? Let's hope so. 21 mins - GOAL  WREXHAM 2-0 Hatters - It goes from bad to worse for the Town as Taylor makes it 2-0 diving to head home following a right-wing free-kick. It looked a soft header from 12 yards - so soft it may have taken a deflection of someone in the melee of players around Tyler to divert the ball home. It's a long way back from this... 17 mins - The ball is the Wrexham net but it wont count as Hatch's header is strangely ruled out by referee Merchant. A move from left to right from the Hatters involving Gallen, Hall, Jarvis and Gnakpa results in Adam Newton crossing for Hatch but his header is chalked off and it stays 1-0. 15 mins - That penalty by Gareth Taylor was the Dragons' first in 334 minutes of football which is a kick in the teeth for the Town. Hatch has won his fair share of headers. 12 mins - It was strange beginning to game as the Town looked to take the game to their hosts but a moment of misconcentration from White has ultimately cost the Hatters a goal. 7 mins - It all happened so quickly I was unable to tell you about the Hatters chances before the pen. Wrexham had looked shaky at the back and on four minutes Hatch drove a shot into the side netting and Tom Craddock nipped passed is marker Curtis Obeng but couldn't make the most of the opportunity. 6 mins - GOAL  WREXHAM 1-0 Hatters - Gareth Taylor, the Wrexham skipper tonight has sent Mark Tyler the wrong way, striking the ball to the right as the Town keeper dives in the opposite direction. The spot kick was awarded after Claude Gnakpa had hauled down Marc Williams after Alan White's header fell short of it's intended target back to Tyler - not that start Mick had in mind... 5 mins - PENALTY TO WREXHAM 3 mins - Two half chances fall to the hosts as firstly defender Mansour Assoumani finds himself inside the penalty area but can't find a way through before Mark Jones fires a shot that is well blocked by skipper for the evening George Pilkington. 1 min - We're ready as Wrexham kick-off...Those familar to the Racecourse Ground, away fans are now allocated in the Main Stand with home fans behind the goal where visiting fans used to sit. The only terracing behind one of the goals is not in use. 20:03 - We're past kick-off time but we're nearly ready now. The minute's silence brilliant observed by everyone inside the Racecourse and we're set for 90 minutes. Come on you Hatters! 19:58 - It's now a minute's silence and 266 black balloons will now be released to remember each and every one of those that died in the tragedy. 19:57 - Samantha Williams sings the Welsh National Anthem - Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. 19:56 - The two sides are out on the pitch. Wrexham are in their traditional red shirts the Town are in white with every single player sporting a black armband and flanked by a mascot. 22 mascots. 19:55 - The silence around the ground is impeccable as two young children read the Gresford Ballad. 19:51 - The stadium announcer has praised the Hatters and the travelling contingent and Mick Harford and Dean Saunders emerge from the tunnel to lay two wreaths in the centre circle. 19:50 - Vicar John Barden Davies says a prayer of remembrance. 19:45 - The reason the kick-off has been put back 15 minutes is to recognise the the Miners changing their shifts. Wrexham's evening fixtures always used to kick-off at that time to allow those fans to get to the game. 19:39 - As we've already mentioned tonight marks the 75th anniversary of the Gresford Colliery Disaster and as we build up to the game there are various events will be taking place on the pitch. The Gresford band start proceedings by playing the Gresford Hymm. 19:20 - TEAM NEWS: Hatters manager Mick Harford makes one change to the Town side that beat Barrow 1-0 last time out. Striker Liam Hatch starts his first game for the Hatters in place of midfielder Keith Keane. That all means Kevin Gallen retains his place in the side and will sit in a midfield trio of Asa Hall and Rossi Jarvis. It's as you were at the back and between the sticks. There is a change on the bench though for Town with Ryan Charles included among the substitutes. Wrexham manager Dean Saunders makes five changes to his side that lost 2-0 at Cambridge United at the weekend. In come Marc Williams, Frank Sinclair, Silvio Spann, Andy Fleming and Christian Smith. The Dragons' boss played 3-5-2 at the Abbey Stadium on Saturday but I'm reliably informed that tonight it's 4-4-2. We'll see. Luton Town: Tyler, White, Pilkington, Newton, Hatch, Craddock, Hall, Jarvis, Gnakpa, Gallen, Murray. Substitutes: Gore, Blackett, Charles, Reynolds, Donnelly. Wrexham: Maxwell, Obeng, Assoumani, Jones, Williams, Gareth Taylor, Neil Taylor, Sinclair, Spann, Fleming, Smith. Substitutes: Williams, Taboubi, Fairhurst, Cieslewicz, Sakho. Referee: R Merchant. Good evening once again loyal readers of our text updates service as the Hatters are finally back in action. It's good to have football back! And we're live at the Racecourse Ground, the home of former Football League boys Wrexham. It's the Town's first visit to North Wales since a 2-1 win on St George's Day 2005 when a 2-1 win clinched the League 1 title. The Dragons ended up being relegated that season but, as we all know, times have changed and this fixture will be the first played outside the league. It's a special evening for Wrexham as they are marking the 75th anniversary of the Gresford Collery disaster where 266 locals - many Wrexham fans - lost their lives. It's been a day of rememberance in this part of Wales and the Hatters are honoured to be involved on a day of real poignancy here. On tonight we'll have all the usual updates keeping you bang up-to-date with all the action - and in a number of ways. There's none of those boring ball-by-ball "defensive thrown-in taken by Luton left-back" updates as we continue to bring you an updated and detailed text commentary. This is a great way to keep in touch and has been popular to those supporters not able to get to a computer or a radio as the service is also available and is updated live on our WAP site. For those who can tune in, then Hatters Player subcribers should look no further than the live commentary. Brought to you by the legend that is Simon "Statto" Pitts, The new voice of the Hatters has been in cracking form on the mic and he'll be live at the Racecourse! And after the action has finished Hatters Player subscribers will get to watch all the post-match interviews from all the men that matter tonight. But for those without Hatters Player fear not: we'll have plenty of content to keep you interested as we'll have Mick's post-match thoughts as well as match action from Gareth Owen to follow after the final whistle. And if you want more and feel like interacting with us and fellow Town fans, don't forget we're also on twitter and Facebook so feel free to get involved! Join the updates and get in touch! The lads are looking for three points and to get back into the top five! Come on you Hatters!
    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.