Wrexham 3-1 FC Halifax Town

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FC Halifax Town are still waiting for their first win of the season after they were beaten 3-1 at Wrexham.

First-half goals from Javan Vidal and Dominic Vose, before Jordan Burrow’s fifth of the season, gave Wrexham a deserved half-time lead, which was added to after the break by Wes York.

Town held a good record at the Racecourse since returning to the fifth tier, but could have few complaints about their fifth defeat of the campaign.

Again, it wasn’t through lack of effort but Wrexham possessed the greater quality; a win against Barrow on Bank Holiday Monday is by no means a certainty but is surely what is needed to spark Town’s season into life.

Graham Hutchison and Josh Macdonald replaced the injured Matt Brown and the departed Andy Bishop for Town, who also featured new signing CJ Hamilton, on loan from Sheffield United along with fellow midfielder David Brooks, on the bench.

The last two visits to the Racecourse Ground have featured all the excitement of a rush-hour traffic jam on the M25.

But there was a different feel about Wrexham, even before kick-off, with a sense of anticipation in the air that’s been lacking over the last couple of seasons, no doubt helped by their four wins from their first five games.

A cracking early atmosphere was only cranked up further thanks to Vidal’s superb opener eight minutes in as he volleyed right-footed across Matt Glennon into the far corner.

Not bad for just his second ever goal in English football.

The last goal in this fixture came back in Town’s last win in North Wales when Gary Jones’ effort sealed a 1-0 victory in the Football League Trophy in December 2000.

The was also the last season Halifax failed to win any of their first five league games, with The Shaymen having to wait until their ninth game for a 2-1 win at Torquay.

The hosts were good value for their early lead, looking inventive and purposeful going forward and restricting Halifax to a fair few hoofs up-field to relieve the pressure in the first 20 minutes or so.

By the time the impressive Vose had added a second with a neat side-foot finish after weaving his way towards the edge of the box, it looked like a long afternoon stretched ahead of The Shaymen.

That had come after Vose had a shot saved by Glennon before Adriano Moke then fired just wide moments later.

But Town halved the deficit when Sean Tuton dug out a terrific cross from the right and Burrow, who else, headed in from close range at the far post.

Vose continued to threaten though as he dribbled past Kevin Roberts before chipping at goal, with James Gray heading wide on the stretch after Glennon’s parry away.

Connor Jennings was next to be denied by Glennon from 10 yards out after the marauding Sean Newton had been given far too much space and time to pick him out with a low cross.

Vose was the best player on the park by some distance though, and repeatedly emphasised why with some direct runs from the left, the latest of which saw his goalbound shot deflected behind.

Indeed, the only person who could stop him was Vose himself, as he trod on the ball after wriggling his way into the penalty area from the left flank.

On the other side, York did the same but produced only a tame shot that Glennon grasped at the second attempt.

It wasn’t difficult to see why Wrexham had amassed 12 points from a possible 15 before the game, with Town struggling to contain Gary Mills’ side at times.

Halifax had looked dangerous on the break, with Tuton his usual enthusiastic and bustling self, and combining well with Burrow when given the chance.

But with the attacking talent at Mills’ disposal, it was perhaps understandable that Halifax adopted a safety-first approach.

A third Wrexham goal before half-time would have left a mountain the size of Snowden to climb, which may have prompted the double-change at the interval that again saw Connor Hughes on for the second 45 as well as a debut for Sam Walker.

But that third goal did arrive when York’s low, long-range shot seemed to take a deflection as it rolled across goal and nestled into the bottom corner.

The Wrexham roar was back in full voice now, with a premature chant about returning to the Football League thrown in, although on this evidence, they’re certainly a contender.

York appeared inspired by his goal and had the beating of Scott McManus a couple more times, after which he fired in a dangerous low cross that was begging for a finish before shooting over the bar with the inside of his right foot.

Hamilton was also handed his debut on the left-wing as Town searched in vain for a route back into the contest, but Cameron Belford in the Wrexham goal remained untested.

All that was missing was a final goal to cap the win from Town old boy Adam Smith, who came on as a late substitute and embarked on a couple of incisive runs before being crowded out.

Wrexham: Belford, Vidal, Newton, Smith, Fyfield, Vose (Smith 83), Gray (Gray 80), Jennings, Moke (Carrington 90), Evans, York. Subs not used: Hudson, Fowler.

Scorers: Vidal (8), Vose (24), York (55)

Shots on target: 8

Shots off target: 8

Corners: 7

Halifax: Glennon, K Roberts, Bolton, Hutchison (Walker 46), McManus, Tuton, Hibbs (Hamilton 69), James, Bencherif, Macdonald (Hughes 46), Burrow. Subs not used: Trennery, Hattersley.

Scorer: Burrow (26)

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 2

Attendance: 5,662

Town man of the match: Sean Tuton