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KP strikes late to lift the Dragons; DARLINGTON................0 WREXHAM................1 SIMON COOKE reporting.

Byline: SIMON COOKE

WREXHAM boss Dean Saunders was left to toast a case of dj vu after Nathaniel Knight-Percival grabbed a late winner to down Darlington.

Knight-Percival combined with Curtis Obeng to grab the Reds' consolation in the 2-1 defeat at Grimsby midweek and the duo were at it again at the Northern Echo Arena.

The late winner - the decisive strike came three minutes from time - made it three goals in as many games for former Histon winger Knight-Percival.

The three points were all the more pleasing for theDragons as it was just their second win on the road this season, against a side undefeated in their last eight.

And after watching Knight-Percival steal the plaudits Saunders was quick to heap praise on the 23-year-old, while also suggesting he might have had a few more already this term.

"It was always going to be a difficult game against Darlington; they don't concede many goals. And we scored a great goal and it was the same two players who combined," said Saunders. "Curtis Obeng and Knight-Percival were the same two who got us a goal at Grimsby. Knight-Percival's got three goals in three games now.

"That's why I signed him. He'll get 10 goals a season from the left-hand side; he's brilliant in the air, but he could be on 15 goals by now because he's missed 12 chances.

"But he keeps getting in the right positions and if you do that the goals will come and at the minute he's on a bit of a goal spree."

The Dragons led a charmed life with Darlington strikers Liam Hatch and Daniel Powell denied in quick succession after 23 minutes by the impressive Chris Maxwell in the Wrexham goal.

The lively Hatch was given another chance five minutes into the second half to put the home side ahead but his effort was comfortably dealt with by Maxwell.

With the Quakers looking to seize the advantage, they turned to the spectacular three minutes later as striker Chris Senior put his overhead kick just wide of the post.

But having soaked up pressure throughout the game, Wrexham began to turn the screw late on and after a series of chances, Knight-Percival secured an unlikely win. Obeng received the ball out wide from Andy Mangan and crossed into the box for the midfielder to head home inside the penalty area.

And while delighted with snatching all three points, Saunders admitted he thought the winner was never going to come in a frantic finale.

"It's a great win for us but I didn't thinkwewere going to do it because we had three brilliant chances near the end," he said.

"Dean Keates hit one over the bar from six yards, Jamie Tolley did the same and then Knight-Percival headed one over the bar from two yards.

"Plus, Gareth Taylor ended up on the floor with the goalkeeper and should've scored.

"So I didn't thinkwewere going to do it because we wasted loads of chances, but I told the lads after the game that we showed that you should always keeping going."

The win capped off an eventful five days on the road for the Dragons, who climb to just three points from the play-off places following yesterday's win.

"We should have won at Grimsby on Tuesday," added Saunders. "We missed two open goals in the first 10 minutes and then the game went the other way.Darlingtonhadtheir chances today but our goalkeeper and the two centre-backs, Marvin Andrews and Frank Sinclair, played well."

CAPTION(S):

AWAY DAY BLUES: Wrexham's Andy Mangan bears down on goal at Darlington yesterday
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 3, 2010
Words:601
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