AIRBUS UK Broughton continued their pre-season preparations with an excellent 1-0 home win over local Conference side Wrexham FC, thanks to a second-half goal from Steve Jones.
Having narrowly missed out on promotion to the Football League a couple of months ago, they would provide another excellent test as the Wingmakers looked to sustain momentum between their European campaign and the new domestic one.
In very warm and humid conditions Airbus were put under early pressure by the visitors, but it came to nothing. It was the Wingmakers who had the first opportunity on 12 minutes when Ryan Wade beat Anthony Stephens to cross, Steve Jones’ close-range header drawing a point-blank save from Andy Coughlin in the Wrexham goal.
On 14 minutes Brett Ormerod forced Wingmakers goalkeeper James Coates to tip over after turning and firing in a shot from the edge of the area. Minutes later Ormerod struck another shot from outside the area, narrowly missing the target. On 21 minutes Wrexham’s Jonathan Royle headed over from a corner. Meanwhile Ryan Wade’s pace was causing Wrexham problems at the other end.
Good solo work from Bradley Reid created an opportunity for the Wrexham youngster to have a crack at goal, but he pulled his shot wide of the near post on half an hour. It had been an even game with neither side over-troubling the other defensively. It remained goalless at the break which was a fair reflection of the first-half.
There were few changes at the break and the Wingmakers began the second-half in positive fashion – Sam Hart getting forward to strike a shot just wide, followed by Lewis Short doing the same. Short was developing into the Wingmakers best threat down the left but was often forced onto his weaker foot.
The visitor’s first change before the hour saw ex-Airbus loanee Steve Tomassen replace Kyle Parle who had picked up a knock. Good work from Ryan Wade cut the ball back to Glenn Rule whose strike was palmed away by Coughlin.
The Wingmakers did not have to wait long to go ahead however as, on 63 minutes, Lewis Short pulled the ball back on the edge of the area for Steve Jones to strike low into the far corner. Airbus were deservedly 1-0 up but Wrexham took the opportunity to introduce a raft of strong substitutes including manager Andy Morrell, and other ex-Airbus loan players Nick Rushton and Leon Clowes.
Minutes after the goal Wingmakers sub’ Chris Simm saw a goal-bound shot accidentally blocked close to the goal-line by his own player Lewis Short, as Wrexham were living dangerously at the back. Shortly after a Simm header from a corner was also scrapped away unconvincingly by the visitors.
Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell managed to evade Ian Kearney but struck his shot just wide with 10 minutes to go. With the likes of Morrell, Adrian Cieslewicz and Andy Bishop on, it was a surprise that Wrexham weren’t asking more questions of the Wingmakers going forward. Young Zyaac Edwards was then introduced in place of Ryan Wade who had caused Wrexham problems all afternoon.
Nick Rushton’s weak near-post effort was well saved by Coates as the game entered the latter stages. Another Wingmakers academy youngster Josh Muldoon was then introduced to the action with the Wingmakers enjoying more possession in Wrexham’s final third. At the other end Robbie Evans’ tame attempt at goal was well-held by Coates with two minutes to go.
In the final minute an unmarked Morrell headed wide a chance he would normally be expected to bury. There was some late Wrexham pressure but they could not convert it into an equaliser and that was that.
Wrexham’s full-time status might have been expected to give them the edge as the game progressed, but the Wingmakers had delivered a greatly assured performance at both ends of the field and thoroughly deserved their surprise 1-0 win.
by Rory Sheehan