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  • Gateshead FC
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  • By Phil Spencer

    A second half comeback saw Gateshead throw away a two-goal lead as Wrexham battled to secure a 2-2 draw at the International Stadium.


    Tynesiders boss Neil Aspin’s main change included Manny Smith stepping in as captain for the first time in the absence of Liam Hogan.

    Paddy McLaughlin and Wes Atkinson also come into the starting 11 with the latter making his first start since signing on loan from Notts County.

    The Heed got off to an assertive start with George Smith providing a strong threat down the left with a cross finding Luke Hannant who half-volleyed over.

    Wrexham looked shaky down the flanks with George Smith and Wes York wreaking havoc down the left and creating numerous opening for the Tynesiders to take the lead.

    The Dragons had limited opportunities in the first half with the only real opportunity coming from a curling John Rooney effort from 25 yards which was comfortably parried by Dan Hanford.

    The deadlock was broken on 36 minutes with Gateshead exposing the flanks once more. Wes Atkinson found Jones in the middle who guided a perfectly placed header past Shwan Jalal in the Wrexham goal.

    The second half got off to a flyer with Danny Johnson latching onto a Sam Jones lofted ball- only to see his lobbed attempt bounce wide of the post.

    But he didn’t have to wait long to make amends capitalising on some poor ball-control by Jalal to tap into an empty net from 18 yards.

    Although Wrexham didn’t take long to mount a comeback when debutant Khallum Bailey-Nicholls his effort palmed away by Hanford, only to fall for Rooney who put the ball away.

    Ten minutes later it was 2-2 as Hamza Bencherif glanced a near post header past the keeper from a Rooney corner.

    York then went close to giving Gateshead the lead against his former club after his fizzed effort from 20 yards bounced off the post.

    The Heed had chances to get the winner with both Styche and Hannant having efforts but the Wrexham defence held firm to secure a much deserved point at the International Stadium.

     

    Gateshead: Hanford, G Smith, M Smith (c), York (Mafuta 82), Brundle, D Johnson (Styche 75), Jones, Atkinson (Wrightson 87), Penn, Hannant, McLaughlin

    Subs not used: S Johnson, Robson

    Wrexham: Jalal, Bencherif, Tilt, Rooney, Edwards, Carrington (c), Evans, Powell, Harrad (Bailey-Nicholls 55), McDonagh, L. Smith

    Subs not used: Nortey, Dunn, Marx, Harvey

    Referee: Tom Nield

    Bookings: Gateshead – none; Wrexham – L. Smith (54), Edwards (86)

    Attendance: 832 (201 Wrexham fans)

    MOTM: Sam Jones

     

    (Photography: Charlie Waugh & Neil Smith)

     

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