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Trundle snatches vital points; Wrexham 2 Notts County 1.

Byline: DAVE NORTH

LEE TRUNDLE gave Wrexham their first win in four games with a late winner against fellow strugglers Notts County at The Racecourse yesterday.

Trundle's thunderbolt left-footer came only three minutes from time as County looked like holding out for a precious point.

But Trundle now begins a threematch ban and misses the first of those games at home to Reading on Saturday, followed by Bury away on New Year's Day and Colchester United, also away.

But Wrexham are taking only one match at a time these days and manager Denis Smith was mightily relieved with victory.

He said, "We have not looked like scoring many goals and there are times when Lee Trundle can drive you up the wall. But he is a goalscorer, no matter what and he has got us the points today."

But Wrexham made the worst possible start - conceding a goal in only the second minute. There seemed no immediate danger as Danny Allsopp turned and almost mis-hit a shot that somehow squeezed through the legs of goalkeeper Kristian Rogers.

Rogers looked disconsolate and Wrexham fans were stunned by the young 'keeper's mistake. That made for a nervous start by the Red Dragons and for a while the Magpies tried to steal a march on them.

But on 12 minutes County's 'keeper, Stuart Garden, was also involved in a bizarre goal.

Waynne Phillips's pile-driver struck Ian Baraclough and looped over the helpless Garden for an equaliser. It wasn't the best of goals but in Wrexham's plight they'll take anything and everything that is going.

They lost skipper Brian Carey with a virus and his place in defence went to Dennis Lawrence, the 6ft 7in Trinidadian international who got in some telling headers, both defensively and in attack.

Andy Morrell slid a good chance wide after Trundle had done the spade work but Rogers's nervy start continued. His poor clearance gave Paul Bolland a chance and he wasn't a mile away with a good effort.

Both sides survived some nearmisses before the break but Wrexham had more of it territorially. Yet it was all up for grabs in the second half.

Trundle forced Garden into an early crucial save after Stephen Thomas had made a quick break-out. More good link play by Trundle and Thomas then prised County open again just before Wrexham lost the attacking push of the injured Kevin Sharp who was replaced by Shaun Holmes.

Garden did well to punch clear as Wrexham threw men forward and Holmes's drive was only just too high.

Wrexham then introduced another kid from the Caribbean, Hector Sam who came on for Robin Gibson and was soon in the action. Trundle tormented County with another run into the box and when Garden halfblocked his shot Sam, slightly off balance, put the rebound wide.

Morrell then blazed another chance over and Trundle tried to allay growing signs of anxiety for Wrexham, both on and off the pitch.

But the lively Liverpudlian had the final word with a magnificent winner and Wrexham fans at last went home full of Christmas cheer.

Match Facts

Wrexham (1) 2 Notts County (1) 1

Wrexham: Rogers, Whitley, Roberts, Lawrence, Sharp (Holmes 57), Gibson (Sam, 71), Phillips, Thomas, Blackwood, Trundle, Morrell (Evans 84); Subs not used: Walsh, Ferguson.

Goals: Phillips 12, Teundle 87.

Notts County: Garden, Fenton, Ireland, Richardson, Baraclough (Riley, 31), Holmes (Heffernan, 89), Owers, Bolland, Quinn, Allsopp, Hackworth (Nicholson 59), Subs not used: Deeney, Jorgenson Goal: Allsopp 2.

Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Chester-le Street)

Attendance: 3,707.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 27, 2001
Words:586
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