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DRAGONS DRAW A BLANK AS HATTERS HOLD OUT; welsh football.

WREXHAM ................... 0 LUTON TOWN ...........0 AFIRST clean sheet at home since September was scant reward for Wrexham, it's goals that win league titles.

But the Dragons never looked like scoring against a resolute Luton who came for a draw.

Add in a woeful pitch and terrible weather and you get the idea that no one's quite full of the Wembley spirit just yet.

This includes player-boss Andy Morrell, who said: "It's a big week for us. We've not started great, but no great disasters. I think there was only one team trying to win it, but we didn't have the guile to score.

"We had the majority of play, but we couldn't break down their two banks of four.

"It was difficult and we didn't move the ball quick enough.

"We had to move them from side to side to make those gaps. It was too slow."

The changes had to be made for the Dragons as the injured pair of Neil Ashton and Dave Artell dropped out, replaced by Jay Harris after a four-match ban and fit-again Martin Riley. Johnny Hunt reverted to left-back.

Despite an experimental Luton side - new boss John Still is looking at his options ahead of next season - it was a cagey opening by the Dragons which was summed up by Chris Westwood being beaten for pace by Alex Wall whose cut-back was nearly put into his own net by Riley.

The resulting David Martin corner was met by Steve McNulty who glanced a header towards goal, but Hunt made a fantastic acrobatic goal-line clearance to deny him.

Dragons chances were few and far between, but Danny Wright wriggled free to employ Mark Tyler after 17 minutes and it was the sign of better things to come.

Dele Adebola came more into the game and beat McNulty for pace, but his shot was deflected away for a corner, which the powerful frontman connected with but couldn't get his header past Jonathan Smith for the game's second goal-line clearance.

Joe Clarke fed Brett Ormerod brilliantly down the left, but his shot was blocked by McNulty before a lovely passing move involving Kevin Thornton and Adebola played in the former Blackpool man again, but Tyler was equal to his effort.

Riley's towering header from the corner was going in, but was somehow repelled on the line by Lathaniel Rowe-Turner for the half's third clearance off the line.

And when trouble came it was of the Dragons own creation as Westwood's attempted pass was charged down by Wall, with Clarke having to be on hand to bail the centre-half out of trouble by clearing the cross.

It was a cagey opening to the second period with Luton at least showing more a little more adventure.

But when Adebola nodded down to Thornton it took two players to block the effort, before Stephen Wright had to get in the way of a Martin effort at the other end.

The big defender headed over from a well-worked free kick before an even better chance fell to his namesake Danny who could only nod wide almost on the line after great play by Harris.

Clarke's strong run set up Adebola, but his turn and shot was easily held by Tyler as the pitch and the weather combined to make it a poor second-half spectacle.

On came Glenn Little and Adrian Cieslewicz to liven it up and when they combined, the former's shot was deflected away from the waiting Stephen Wright.

Thornton hit over from a wellworked free-kick before Adebola went much closer when his header into the ground looped up and was well-saved by Tyler.

Riley had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside and sub Dan Walker could have won it when he powered through, but couldn't squeeze the ball past Maxwell. Wrexham (4-3-3): Maxwell, S Wright, Westwood (c), Riley, Hunt, Clarke (Cieslewicz 79), Harris, Thornton, D Wright, Adebola, Ormerod (Little 73). Subs: Walker, Morrell, Ogleby.

Luton Town: (4-4-2): Tyler, Ainge, McNulty (c), Goodman, Rowe-Turner, Martin, Mendy, Smith, Howells, Rendell (Taiwo 62), Wall (Walker 62). Subs: Shaw, Thomas, Brill. Booked: Rendell, Mendy, Ainge Referee: Ross Joyce Attendance: 3,907

CAPTION(S):

Joe Clarke winces as he is challenged by a Luton player
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 17, 2013
Words:707
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