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Football: Wrexham draw a blank

WREXHAM endured a frustrating bank holiday Monday afternoon as their bid to record back-to-back Blue Square Premier victories was denied by a one-dimensional Barrow outfit who left the Racecourse with the point they clearly came for.

Dean Saunders’ side dominated for long spells and played plenty of pretty football, but despite a late onslaught, they created far too few chances.

While boss Saunders preferred to look at the positives, he did admit Dragons fans are still to see the best of his new-look team following the 0-0 draw.

He said: “I’m disappointed we didn’t win, but we played some really good football early on and missed too many chances again.

“It’s another clean sheet, though – that’s four in seven games and two on the trot, although we have got to play better.

“We have stopped the goals going in at one end and now we have to improve at the other end.

“Everyone’s a bit nervous, everyone wants to do well but it wasn’t quite enough.

“But it’s a point on the board and we’ll have a few more games like that before the end of the season.

“It’s a new team, we’ve got eight new players and I’m trying to find the right blend.

“We are two games undefeated and two clean sheets on the trot.”

Wes Baynes, Saturday’s two-goal hero of the 2-0 win at Forest Green Rovers, wasted Wrexham’s best opportunity before the break, toe-poking straight at Tim Deasy when clean through, before captain Ashley Westwood had a header cleared off the line after the restart.

Barrow co-manager and former Dragons defender Dave Bayliss was later sent to the stands for dissent and that proved to be the final highlight of a desperately disappointing match.

Wrexham, who are 12th having taken 10 points from a possible 21, are now without a game until a week on Saturday when they entertain Oxford United, as Saturday’s trip to Stevenage Borough and the Tuesday’s visit to AFC Wimbledon have been postponed because a number of players are away on international duty.

The Stevenage match will now be played on Tuesday, October 20 (7.45pm) while the first-ever clash with the Dons has been rearranged for Tuesday, November 10 (7.45pm).

Young striker Obi Anoruo has signed for Welsh Premier League Newtown on loan.

City’s woes continue

THE heroics of Stuart Coburn ensured Chester City’s wait for their first Blue Square Premier win of the season continued on bank holiday Monday.

The Altrincham goalkeeper gifted Ben Wilkinson a 53rd-minute equaliser after Colin Little broke the deadlock, but Coburn more than atoned for his error with a trio of top-quality saves from Lewis Alessandra, Nick Chadwick and Neil Ashton to deny the Blues the victory they so desperately need and which their second-half performance deserved.

The 1-1 draw at Moss Lane leaves Chester 28 points away from safety going into back-to-back home fixtures which manager Mick Wadsworth knows his side must win if they are to truly get on the long road to survival.

Wadsworth said: “I thought we were a bit hit and miss in the first half against Altrincham although we dealt with the stuff they threw at us, but we were the better team in the second half.

“My players got a bit of a rocket at half-time because I thought their performance could have been better and they responded in a very positive way.

“I’m aware that we’ve got a lot of young players and their chins are down at the minute, but we’ll get there.”

City welcome Histon to the Deva Stadium on Saturday (3pm) before entertaining impressive new boys Tamworth on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Wadsworth’s men go into the double-header having not won at home all year – with their last victory in front of their own fans coming on Boxing Day.

That horrible run continued on Saturday as a second-minute strike from former Wrexham forward Robert Duffy condemned the Blues to a 1-0 home loss to high-flying Mansfield Town.

One of Chester’s biggest problems is their lack of creativity – which makes Fabian Yantorno’s continued absence all the more frustrating.

Yantorno made his first appearance for the club in last Wednesday’s behind-closer-doors clash with Crewe Alexandra. He suffered a reaction to his long-standing knee injury, however, and yesterday flew back to his native Uruguay to try and bring an end to the problem.

But Wadsworth could be boosted on Saturday by the return of ball-playing midfielder Anthony Barry. Striker Gregg Blundell, having come off the bench against Mansfield and Altrincham, is pushing for a starting place.