DRAGONS TOO HOT FOR FLEET
AMAGNIFICENT first-half performance from Wrexham was the key to their comprehensive demolition of Ebbsfleet at the Racecourse yesterday – a display hailed by boss Sam Ricketts as the best of the season.
The Dragons rattled in four goals without reply in the opening 45 minutes against a side that had not lost on their travels since the opening day of the campaign to maintain the pressure on National League front-runners Harrogate Town.
Ricketts said: “I was delighted with the performance and the first half was the best we have played. All season I’ve been saying we have been playing in second and third gear but in the first half today we were outstanding.
“The game plan was to come out on the front foot and to impose ourselves and our front three were a real handful and would have given any team problems today. All three of them scored to make it a perfect 45 minutes.”
Another healthy Racecourse crowd of more than 4,700 had to wait only five minutes before the Dragons took the lead, Chris Holroyd given an alarming amount of time and space able to pick his spot from Paul Rutherford’s pass while the visiting defenders stood right off him. Seven minutes later it was 2-0 when Fleet defender Myles Weston was easily outpaced by Rekeil Pyke, who then put the ball on a plate for Stuart Beavon to double the lead.
The third goal came on 20 minutes as Beavon returned the favour with a neat pass that was turned in at the near post with a now trademark back-heel from Pyke, whose two previous goals of the campaign had come in similar fashion.
And Wrexham still had time to notch a fourth by the break – Beavon seeing a 45th-minute effort blocked before skipper Shaun Pearson made it 4-0 in the third minute of added time with a fine header from Luke Summerfield’s free kick.
There was no way back for United, although they pulled one back on 48 minutes courtesy of a firm header from Danny Kedwell, who was unmarked to meet Weston’s cross.
There was no sign of Fleet manager Daryl McMahon after the match so it was left to Ricketts to sum up the second half.
“Ebbsfleet are a good side and move the ball really well,” he said. “We knew they would come at us and I was disappointed with the goal, but as the game went on we regained some composure.”
STAR MAN: Shaun Pearson (Wrexham) ATT: 4,718 ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★ REFEREE: Daniel Middleton 8/10
NOT BAD FOR OPENERS: Chris Holroyd is mobbed by his Wrexham team-mates after opening the scoring