3-1 At Dragons Lair: Trinity Will Dare Not Despair You S4C
Wrexham, the flamboyant Dragons are slightly ahead against Gainsborough, the epitome of all things Lincolnshire. Having seen them today, as well as against Barrow and Boston United, they are certainly the sort of underdog you would not want to write-off. Busy, hardworking and quietly going about the business of rising above a lowly station, thanks to ambition and the audacity to dare to dream of Wembley and beyond. The charismatic chairman, the manager and, the united belief within the players, is something that truly engages. This is the true seeds to sew if you want a community club. Yes it was 3-1 at the Dragons Lair but Trinity will Dare, not Despair
For the benefit of Dragons and Trinity fans, visiting the site for the first time, first the score & scorers, secondly the teams & schemes, then an epic match report to reflect the deeds by both sides, in a titanic tussle, as yet half done. Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Wrexham 3–1 Gainsborough
(H/T 1 –1)
Ormerod 19 Stamp 27 Ciezlewicz 65 Ashton 92
Dragons 3069 Blues 340
The teams & Schemes
18 Walker 23 Westwood 6 Riley 3 Ashton
8 Harris 12 Keates 14 Clarke
10 Ormerod 9 Wright 15 Ogleby
60 Cieslewicz on for Ogleby, 78 Butcher on for Keates 82 Morrell on for Ormerod
Coughlin, Cieslewicz, Morrell, Hunt, Little.
2 Roma, 5 Hone, 4 Waterfall 3 Wilde,
7 Russell 8 Nelthorpe
11 Hawkridge 6 Leary 9 Yates
70 Barraclough on for Nelthorpe (switch to 4-4-2) 75 Clarke on for Leary, 88 Thompson on for Stamp
White , Young, Clarke, Thompson, Barraclough.
But to the game fellow football fans, to the game.
The Dragons were a raging tempest early doors, as Trinity struggled to earn the right to play against one of the BSP’s perennial big spenders. Westwood’s long ball exposed, but Wright shot wide under pressure from the advancing Butz. There was a clash of heads between two titanic warriors. The Westwood / Stamp contest you felt would be a big deciding factor in this tie. Stamp needed treatment but licked his lips as he got to his feet, the taste of dragon, clearly in the lonely knight’s nostrils. It seemed to inspire the polite, perhaps holier than thou, early play of Trinity team tactics. The yellows were now quick to the challenge and disrupted, the aptly named poetic passing play of Keates, as the ball spent much ado about nothing in the air, for the next five minutes at least.
But beauty tamed that particular beast, With both sides struggling to get the ball down, a sumptuous chip from Wright found Ashton, who overlapped and crossed, but Ogleby, under pressure from Hone, fired rather wastefully wide. An Ormerod drive was deflected by Waterfall – he and Hone awesome throughout, throwing life and limb on the line for the cause – and Russell put his laces through the corner to clear. Keates peeled back in, but Butz was there to claim confidently and calm the ranks. Trinity’s first foray, saw their own artist in Leary, bring Butz long punt under his spell but Ashton was wise to that one and cleared, before the master could muster a stroke.
Yates, a gifted wide-boy along with fellow winged assassin Hawkridge, had as yet been unable to get into the game. Yates did, twisting and turning to deliver a decent drive that Maxwell did well to parry. Ormerod had his pocket picked at the other end as rush-goalie Butz smothered at the edge of the box. But Trinity were starting to believe that there was something in this tie for them and won two throws down the left as the Dragon’s midfield reeled. That said it was end to end, with an urgency that would all but awakened the ghosts of the huge Kop terrace in its prime . Ormerod, slipped a sly one to Harris who centred a peach to Clarke who, in turn fed Ormerod who went down too easily for the referee to agree. Trinity cleared in style. The ball from Leary was glorious, all of thirty yards , but Westwood edged Stamp to clear.
The Stamp closed, chested down and played in Russell, who threaded through, but alas it was a yard too smart for Hawkridge, who misread and the chance was gone. Another chopsticks three man exchange down the left saw Clarke cross, but Butz again claimed easily. Nelthrope, was doing a great job keeping Keates quiet, so artisan Ashton conjured things from full-back – deservedly he would earn man of the match, but let us not get too ahead of ourselves. On 19 minutes, by the grace of God, the Trinity was undone. Ormerod, central and 20 yards out hit a bullet, Butz parried, but, his statuesque defence allowed Wright to power into the far corner from 15 yards. Could Gainsborough, never behind throughout this cup run, respond?
They could, but earned and rode their luck, as the vibrant Dragons confidently roared. Keates free-kick saw rush-goalie Butz miss and leave himself stranded as Harris chipped back into the danger area. Westwood rose supreme but Waterfall cleared off the line. Wrexham were knocking it around nicely now, but Wright’s cross was poor to end a swashbuckling move. Ormerod dummied like a pro on ten times more a week, he was at his peek, yet woeful Ogleby inexcusably shot wide. Though the Racecourse Ground must suffer the nags amongst the thoroughbreds, throughout football, these are the let-offs that inspire. As did the slice from keeper Maxwell to give Trinity a corner, for set-pieces are the meat and drink of the Northolme faithful. It came to naught. Another glorious chance went begging for the Dragons, as Waterfall threw himself, full length, to block Wright, firing in from the left. From the corner Wright blasts over, after Westwood’s perfect headed flick.
Trinity exploited the profligacy to wind the Dragons and rob them of their eight minutes of pomp and splendour. Yates, scampered and centred sublimely for Stamp. The high priest of heading, rose, hung in the air that extra millisecond and nodded a 15 yarder well and truly home. All was square as the purity, if not the passion left the game. A high one by Harris on Nelthorpe, saw him lucky not to go. A Leary free-kick found Stamp who headed just wide. A thrusting run by Leary saw him surge into the box but Maxwell smothered his drive well. At the other end Clarke then had a shot blocked by Waterfall, but the penalty appeals were waved away.
Hawkridge was getting into the game and linking nicely. However his cross to Stamp was headed down the keeper’s throat. The Trinity midfield was certainly working hard, limiting the style and guile of Wrexham, allowing the wide duo a chance to make the neutral smile. Yates corner saw Maxwell fumble, Riley cleared, Yates gets it back in and Stamp’s header is saved well by Maxwell to redeem himself. A brilliant Hawkridge overhead pass saw Maxwell hammer into row Z as Stamp salivates, with next time on his lips. Hone does Ormerod rather crudely, but the referee continued to keep his cards in his pocket.
Wrexham get their second breath and it is backs to the wall stuff for the gallant Trinity defensive sextet. Ogleby fires well wide from distance. A terrific one-two between Walker and Ormerod down the right puts Harris away. His daisy cutter came up woefully short in every respect. Keates purred, conjuring with Riley and Clarke, with the latter’s low cross straight at Butz on the whistle, to end the first quarter of an equally poised and pulsating tie. To the fridge for another four-pack the second half awaits, but wait the ads are as English as the commentary, even if the half-time comments are harder to understand than a
Both managers kept the faith with Wrexham enjoying the early possession, Clarke’s cross was knocked down by Ogleby, alas Wright’s crisp drive was wide. Wright then cleverly fed Harris who hit a howitzer, that cannoned into the grateful gloves of Butz. Yates strode forth, weaving down the right to centre to Stamp. A matrix moment indeed as the header landed on the roof of the net. A five man move from left to right saw Yates over-hit a cross as Nelthorpe was forced wide to earn the throw. Leary and Keates were less than their artistic best as the former did the latter, but again the referee kept them in his pocket. Keates fizzed the free-kick high and wide when skill would have proved far more lethal than venom. Leary hit a valiant volley, all of thirty-five yards, that Maxwell clawed back from the top corner.
This tie had an end to endless energy you just did not want to see extinguished, as Welsh Dragon fire found the ST George cross banner of Imp county an equal and willing foe. Hone and Waterfall were stretched to their limits as the clever Ormerod was only just denied a kill-shot. Yates was in his element on the flank, another pin-point cross to Stamp was cleared in the nick of time by Harris. Keates conjured a patient 12 pass build up that Harris fluffed, to end it in totally the wrong sort of style. On the hour, Morrel summoned a gem. Sir lucky seven Ciezlewicz, replaced Ogleby as 4-4-2 took to the fray. He was an instant dervish down the right, unplayable even for hearty left-back Wilde. His first touch, a deft chip, fed Harris, but his ball was poor.
Walker then interrupted Yates with a foul, but the handbags were quickly calmed cardlessly. The delayed free-kick changed the game. Yates floated ball saw Riley finally get the better of Stamp at the far post, Instead of a corner the resultant goal-kick saw the Dragons breathe fire up the other end. Ciezlewicz tore down the right flank, jinked then hit an unstoppable drive just inside the near post. Worthy of winning any game, it was now two-one to the favourites, with sixty-five minutes on the clock. Trinity still believed and would not bow. Another great passing passage saw them find Yates, via Hawkridge, Roma and Leary. His trusty cross found Hawkridge who fed the Stamp. Westwood blocked, Leary centred but Riley put out for a corner. The Trinity drum boomed for blood. Yates delivery was good, Stamp got to it, but the ball was on the roof of the net again.
Wrexham fancied the next one too. A thrilling thirty-yard run from Clarke saw him play back to Keates, who peeled to the head of super-sub Ciezlewicz. It fizzed a foot over. Housham put on Barraclough for Nelthorpe and matched the Dragons 4-4-2. A tricky in-swinging Ciezlewicz corner was cleared by Hone. Keates won a vital tackle and fed Ciezlewicz again, he skinned his man only to see Hone head away again. Too bullish thought Housham and took Leary off for Shane Clarke, making for three ex-Imps on the Trinity side and one on the Dragons’ until Butcher replaced him 3 minutes later.
Ciezlewicz was still running riot however and found Ormerod who was shielded out by Shane Clarke. Again a wrong decision with a corner given this time. Ciezlewicz’s corner finds Harris on the edge of the box but his drive is heroically rebuffed from the line by Waterfall. Another cross from Ciezlewicz sees Wright impede Hone to avert any danger. Could the blues hold on you wondered? Perhaps though Morrell and brought himself on for Ormerod. Old wise legs against tired legs he proposed. It certainly upped the tempo and quality further. Wright fed Morrell, who sent a disguised ball to Ciezlewicz who beats his man and rifles a foot wide of the far post.
Harris thumps a twenty-five yarder, but Butz saves confidently to his right. More fabulous feet from Ciezlewicz sees a centre to Wright, but Waterfall is there to deny his goalbound header. On 88 Housham brings on Thompson for Stamp and returns to 4-5-1 mindful of a handy 1-2 deficit with the home leg to come. The minutes tick down in a midfield battle of attrition. The official holds up 4 minutes, which galvanises the Dragons again. On 91 minutes and 52 seconds Trinity’s task gets harder, though by no means impossible. Butcher takes the corner, Morrell is denied by Butz at point blank, but man of the match Ashton hammers into the roof of the net with aplomb.
Some might say 3-1 is harsh on Trinity, but this one is by no means over. The next goal is vital as Housham rightly said post match. Morrell, too, is mindful of the dogged Trinity spirit and the spectre of Stamp. He agrees that Trinity are still in with a shout in what would appear to be a sell-out 4,000 next week. So get queuing early because this Trinity side has something inspirational about them. Where spirit is on the wane in the wider world, their performance on a big stage, against a side with four figure weekly wages, is all about David beating Goliath. That is something worth seeing in the people’s game. And in the words of an optimist, manager Steve Housham it all to play for next week. Indeed at £10 / £5 concessions that is too good a proposition to miss.
Posted on February 16, 2013, in A View From The Stacey West by Neil Gentleman-Hobbs & Match Reports, Writers - Neil Gentleman-Hobbs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.