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Bottom club Wrexham visited Gawthorpe on Saturday morning and played out a 0-0 draw in a game which entertained in the 1st half but underwhelmed after the break.

From my point of view, it was good to see a return to the starting line-up of Miles Fenton (pictured) following a season disrupted by illness. In positional changes, centre-half James Clarke was also in at right back, while left winger Dwight McNeil partnered Tommy Wood up top. There was no place for livewire Tinashe Chakwana, who I have to presume was ruled out with a knock.

1617 burnley miles fenton 00 300x500In an entertaining first half we were the stronger of the two sides. We created a number of openings throughout proceedings, but were guilty of not testing the keeper enough. All too often out attacks broke down with a poor decision, or were finished with an off target effort.

After 10 minutes Wood headed wide from a central position after fancy footwork by full back Ali Koiki on the left side. Dwight McNeil was then played in and fired a shot to the keepers right, but it was a good height and was parried away. It fell to Wood but his shot took a deflection and met Tunde Bayode in an offside position.

After 20 Wrexham had a rare chance and it was down to Connor King to make a flying finger tip save to push a curling effort around the post. It was the only real blip in a half of one way traffic though and before long Wood had again shot wide on the turn and we had been denied a penalty when a McNeil shot struck an arm, with the overlapping wing play of Koiki again the catalyst.

We even had time for an attempts at our patented 1st team corner routine, but Wood couldn’t make a clean connection after all of the stepovers and dummies from front post runners, and we ended the half level.

The 2nd half started much the same with all Burnley possession for 10 minutes, but we just didn’t challenge the keeper. Whether it was frustration or what I’m not sure but we just seemed to drop off at this point. Passing was less crisp and we began to make errors. Wrexham had a glorious chance as a cross drifted onto the bar beyond the reach of King. It bounced back straight to the feet of the right winger who should have hammered home, but King was alive to put his body on the line and block bravely at the near post.

We made changes to try and get things moving again, with RJ Pingling replacing Wood, then Kwasinkosi Mpofu coming on for Fenton and prompting a reshuffle. Nothing really changed though. Pingling had a break but couldn’t get the ball under his spell before he was dispossessed and in the last 5 we brought on Tyler Shrimpton for Tristen Jumeau.

McNeil had a late opportunity after a Pingling lay off but he scuffed wide and we had to accept the 0-0 draw.

Team:- Connor King, James Clarke, Ali Koiki, Scott Wilson, Oliver Younger, Miles Fenton (Waz Mpofu), Mark Howarth, Tunde Bayode, Tristen Jumeau (Tyler Shrimpton), Tommy Wood (RJ Pingling), Dwight McNeil. Subs not used:- Joe O’Shaugnessy, Leighton Egan.

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