Stamford 1-1 Wrexham – FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round – 15/10/2016

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Stamford earned the right to a replay with National League side, Wrexham, thanks to a 1-1 draw in front of a record crowd of 1,264 at the Zeeco Stadium. The Northern Premier League Division One South team levelled proceedings thanks to Lee Beeson’s 58th minute penalty, after Shaun Harrad gave the visitors a sixth minute lead. Stamford can count themselves unlucky to not be through to the First Round having been the better side on the day, as well as wasting two one-on-one opportunities in the second half. The two teams will now battle again at The Racecourse Ground on Tuesday evening.

Wrexham, who are now in a period of transition following Gary Mills’ managerial departure in midweek, started off in the best possible manner with an early opener. A deep cross from the left wing towards the back post was headed back into the six yard box for Harrad, who applied a fine finish on the half-volley past a helpless Sam Donkin in the Stamford goal.

Both sides were more than up for the battle in the first half, but shots on goal were few and far between. Wrexham started off the game the more lively outfit, but Stamford more than held their own in the lead up to the interval as they looked to get in behind the Wrexham defence. Rooney forced Donkin into a save down low from the edge of the area for Wrexham, whereas Beeson and Jevani Brown went close for Stamford but Harrad’s opener ensured the National League side lead at the break.

Brown could have tied things up for Stamford twice early in the second half, his first effort whistled narrowly wide before he spurned a one-on-one opportunity as Shwan Jalal advanced to deny the forward. Stamford introduced Ryan Robbins as a substitute at half-time, and that decision from the hosts paid dividends as he won a spot kick off the back of a mazy run in the Wrexham box. Beeson stepped up to send Jalal the wrong way just shy of the hour mark to set up the possibility of a potential upset.

Robbins was then presented with a golden opportunity to put Stamford into the lead with nineteen minutes to go, but Jalal was again at the rescue for the Welsh side. Robbins was provided with his own one-on-one chance up against Jalal, but the shotstopper showed brilliant anticipation yet again to smother the substitute’s effort. Robbins also struck an effort within inches of the Wrexham goal, but the minnows failed to find the breakthrough before the end of the contest.

Stamford can hold their heads high going into the replay after being the better team on the day, and they may well relish the chance to beat an out of form Wrexham on their own patch on Tuesday night.

Stamford: Donkin, Gordon, Challinor, Batchelor (Robbins 46), Salt, Miller, Beeson, Hill, Brown (Brown-Hill 81), Duffy, Luto (King 88)

Wrexham: Jalal, Newton, Bencherif, Riley, Edwards, Evans (Burrows 72), Barry, Carrington, Harvey (Powell 72), Rooney, Harrad

Attendance: 1264

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