Dale de­fence douse Red Dragons’ fire to se­cure FA Cup re­play

Manchester Evening News - - CITY - By RICHARD PART­ING­TON

IN­JURY-HIT Rochdale lived to fight an­other day in the Emirates FA Cup after earn­ing a first-round re­play at Na­tional League out­fit Wrex­ham.

Dale boss Brian Bar­ryMur­phy was miss­ing ex­pe­ri­enced de­fend­ers Jim Mc­Nulty and Paul McShane for the clash against the Red Dragons but his young back­line kept the home side at bay to se­cure a re­play at the Crown Oil Arena.

Wrex­ham had the bet­ter of the tie with Ben Tol­litt miss­ing a chance from close range and then see­ing his ef­fort strike the cross­bar in the first half.

Bryan Hughes’ men came out of the blocks ram­pant in the sec­ond half, but couldn’t find a way past the Dale de­fence and goal­keeper Robert Sanchez, who re­turned from in­jury to play a key role in pre­serv­ing their clean sheet.

Akil Wright al­most won the game late on, but his shot struck the wood­work once more.

Both sides also had penalty shouts waved away as Dale held on to se­cure a re­sult that will make them favourites to ad­vance in the re­play.

“I’m de­lighted that we are still in the draw,” said BBM.

“They gave us plenty of prob­lems, but they were prob­lems we man­aged to find solutions to, be it goal­keep­ing saves, de­fend­ers play­ing re­ally well – it’s a part of our game that we’ve been keen to see for quite a long time and to see it in ev­i­dence in quite an im­por­tant fix­ture is tes­ta­ment to the play­ers and their de­vel­op­ment, how much they are grow­ing as a unit and it’s very pleas­ing for me.”

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