Airbus UK Broughton's fine unbeaten run this pre-season continued with a draw against near-neighbours Wrexham FC at the Airfield. The latter's reserve side will play their home fixtures here this season and to acknowledge the growing relationship between the two clubs, Wrexham manager Dean Saunders brought a strong squad for this visit. Included in the line-up were a few internationals, a number of first-team contenders and a handful of the Racecourse club's most promising youngsters.
In front of a large crowd the game got off to a good start with both teams passing the ball around well. The first significant action occured after quarter of an hour and it resulted in a goal for the Wingmakers. Matty Cook clearly had his shirt pulled in the area by Wrexham's Johnny Hunt and although Cook stayed on his feet, a penalty was awarded. Andy Moran stepped up to take the spot-kick and dispatched it to Chris Maxwell's right as the goalkeeper dived the wrong way.
With a 1-0 lead Airbus now looked the more confident side and threatened again when Carl Owen and Andy Moran went close with snap shots. Wrexham's best chances fell to veteran forward Gareth Taylor who hooked his attempt over, and new signing Jamie Tolley whose fierce strike went narrowly wide of the left post. The first-half ended with the Wingmakers still in the lead and generally unruffled.
The second-half began much as the first ended with Airbus dictating a lot of play and the visitors becoming frustrated at being unable to keep possession. Substitutions on both side's began to disrupt the flow of the game a little but Airbus kept their shape while continuing to look for openings. Wrexham had few opportunities and did not look like they would find away to get back into the game until another controversial penalty decision on 73 minutes. Jack Rowlands was harshly penalised for a hand-ball in the area from Wrexham trialist Danny Racchi's cross. Veteran former Welsh international marksman Gareth Taylor stepped up to find the bottom left corner. Though ex-Wrexham goalkeeper Kristian Rogers dived the right way he was powerless to prevent the equaliser for 1-1.
Just minutes later and the Wingmakers were behind when another penalty was given against them. Captain Mark Allen tripped Marc Williams in the box and Gareth Taylor stepped up again. He struck a similar shot to put the Dragons 2-1 up. The scoreline was not a fair reflection of the Wingmakers excellent performance but they were to get their reward in the 82nd minute.
Half-time substitute Jake Cassidy was played into the area and rounded Wrexham goalkeeper Scott Shearer to tap home an equaliser for Airbus making it 2-2. It took the teenager's pre-season goal tally to 7 in 6 and he again showed glimpses of his great potential throughout the second-half.
There were no clear-cut chances in the closing stages and the game ended in a 2-2 draw. The Wingmakers fully deserved to keep their unbeaten run going and could justly feel hard done by not to get the win. They were the better team for long stretches and Wrexham manager Dean Saunders and his team received a real test which shows just how far Airbus have come.
Teams (Substitutes in brackets):
Airbus: Kristian Rogers, Phil Clarke, Gio Feliciello (Rhys Roberts), Matty Woodward (Jack Rowlands) Mark Allen (Jack Challinor), Ashley Williams (Jack Abraham) Richie Dorman, Danny Desormeaux (Gareth Sudlow) Carl Owen (Jake Cassidy) Andy Moran (Tom Rowlands) Matty Cook (Paul McManus).
Wrexham: Chris Maxwell (Scott Shearer) Curtis Obeng, Kai Edwards, Cameron Mawer, Johnny Hunt, Wes Baynes (Michael Uwezu), Jamie Tolley (Jamie Morton) Christian Smith (Nick Rushton) Adrian Cieslewicz (Danny Racchi) Gareth Taylor, Marc Williams.
By Rory Sheehan