KEATES IN A REF ROW
WREXHAM boss Dean Keates believes referee Neil Hair cost his side victory over struggling Leyton Orient at the Racecourse.
The Dragons led twice thanks to a double from Chris Holroyd but the visitors, without a win in their previous nine outings, grabbed a share of the spoils thanks to a late equaliser from defender Mark Ellis.
Keates, who had described last Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at AFC Fylde as the worst performance of the season, said: “That’s points dropped today because there were two mistakes and we’ve conceded two goals.
“But there was a response from Tuesday night and we scored after 45 seconds.
“We should have had two stonewall penalties and how the referee hasn’t given them I have no idea.
“Their keeper came for one ball and wiped Chris Holroyd out and then their lad went through the back of Jack Mackreth but, because their keeper was on the ground, the ref gave nothing. But we played on the front foot, we were not that far from where we need to be and the league is wide open at the moment.”
The home side made a dream start with a goal in the first minute when a neat build-up down the left gave Paul Rutherford space for a cross which was headed home by the predatory Holroyd.
The visitors hit back on 22 minutes when Macauley Bonne’s speculative cross-shot beat goalkeeper Chris Dunn and found its way into the bottom corner of the net to level the contest.
The longer the match went on the more frustrated the home side were at their inability to find a way through and they were fortunate not to fall behind midway through the second half when a rare Orient foray resulted in James Dayton’s powerful drive striking Dunn’s crossbar.
And Wrexham made the most of that let-off in the 71st minute when Rutherford got to the byline and crossed for Holroyd to double his tally with a crisp finish from close range.
But Orient refused to be beaten and dragged themselves level for a second time with just five minutes left on the clock, a thundering header from Ellis giving Dunn no chance.
Orient boss Steve Davis was pleased with the point, adding: “I thought we battled well. We fought back twice and I was delighted with their attitude. We want to play football but we have to do the dirty side of the game as well.
“Today there were signs of that and it felt like a win because we got something from the game after going behind not once but twice.”
HOL LOTTA FUN! Chris Holroyd is mobbed after putting Wrexham in front in the first minute,later cancelled out by Leyton Orient’s Macauley Bonne inset