Wrexham 0-0 Gateshead

06/04/2010, by Jeff Bowron

Chris SwailesGateshead produced an excellent defensive display to hold mid-table Wrexham to a goalless draw in North Wales and take another step towards safety.

It was the first time the Tynesiders had recorded consecutive clean sheets this season, having recently beaten Wrexham on Tyneside.

New central defensive pairing Chris Swailes and Paul Heckingbottom were excellent throughout limiting the Dragons to scraps.

There was little little in the form of goalmouth action for an Easter Monday 2,380 Racecourse Ground crowd with Gateshead rarely troubling Chris Maxwell in the home goal.

Paul Farman also had little to do as defences dominated in a swirling wind on a threadbare, end of season pitch.

Andy Mangan, last season's Conference Golden Boot winner, fired wide early in the proceedings while Daryl Clare had Gateshead's only first half effort on target.

An Aaron Brown run on the overlap on the half hour saw Mangan's shot deflected well wide with Kristian O'leary heading Mark Jones' resultant corner wide.

Swailes just failed to get on the end of a Craig Baxter free kick as a forgettable opening 45 minutes drew to a close.

Graeme Armstrong forced a comfortable save from Maxwell after the restart while Mangan shot straight at Farman at the other end.

Wayne Phillips replaced injured fellow wide man Andy Parkinson for the second half with the left sided Peter Winn later forced off after taking a blow in the ribs.

Neil Taylor's header then allowed Andrew Fleming to pick out Mangan but the striker's shot was straight at Farman.

A half hit Phil Turnbull shot was easy meat for Maxwell and then captain Andy Ferrell's volley was straight at the home custodian.

Wrexham went with three up top in the closing stages as former Manchester City star Gareth Taylor enetered the fray but Gateshead held firm to make it four points out of six over Easter.

Dragons sub Luke Holden was sent off for a second yellow, for diving, three minutes from time after Phillips had been just wide from 30 yards.

Maxwell then had to race out of his box to clear from Clare in a disappointing game neither side did enough to win.

Not surprisingly Gateshead supremo Ian Bogie was the happier of the two managers.

"We defended magnificently and the two central defenders, Heckingbottom and Swailes, were exceptional," said Bogie.

"Paul Farman had no real saves of note to make and we restricted Wrexham to long throws and picking up bits and pieces.

"We didn't create a lot ourselves but the conditions weren't conducive to good football and the pitch was the worst we've played on this season.

"We were dogged all over the pitch and everyone put in a shift. Four points over Easter is a good return and a point a game from our last four games should be enough to keep us in this division."

Wrexham boss Dean Saunders, whose side lost 1-0 on Tyneside recently, said:

"It was a tired performance after playing two days ago and Gateshead looked tired as well, "Said Saunders.

"They had to get a point and did. They sat back and defended well, and we couldn't create enough to force a goal."


Wrexham: Maxwell, Obeng, Westwood, Assoumani, Brown, Jones (Holden 59), Fleming, O'Leary, N.Taylor (G.Taylor 75), Mangan, Mitchley (Baynes 46). Subs (not used): Edwards, Smith.

Sent off: Holden two yellows (66, 87)


Gateshead: Farman, Baxter, Cave, Ferrell, Swailes, Heckingbottom, Parkinson (Phillips 46), Turnbull, Armstrong (Wake 73), Clare, Winn (Hurren 56). Subs (not used): Provett (gk), Jones.

Bookings: Hurren (58), Turnbull (71)


Referee: Richard Wigglesworth (Rotherham)

Att: 2,380