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Forest Green: Late penalty earns Wrexham a draw

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 26, 2014

James Norwood

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It was perhaps fitting that two of the Skrill Premier's big under-achievers could not be separated on a largely forgettable evening.

New Wrexham manager Kevin Wilkin has made no secret of his desire to completely overhaul the squad at The Racecourse this summer, and on this evidence a major clear-out is badly needed.

There could be a similar turnover of players at the New Lawn, and there was a familiar sense of frustration when Johnny Hunt's 90th minute penalty cancelled out James Norwood's early strike.

Already guaranteed their lowest finish in five seasons in the Conference, Wrexham fell behind in the 14th minute when Bradley Jordan's superb defence-splitting pass located Norwood and the winger coolly rolled home his 18th goal of the season.

It ought to have been 2-0 when Anthony Barry swung over a corner from the right and an unmarked Eddie Oshodi headed wide.

Rovers were forced to replace the injured Sam Russell on 65 minutes with 19-year-old debutant Paul White, another reason for the visitors to increase their urgency levels.

Yet Forest Green thought they had put the game to bed when Luke Rodgers teed up strike partner Lee Hughes for a neat volleyed finish – only for the celebrations to be cut short by an offside flag.

White had to produce a decent tip over to keep out Theo Bailey-Jones' effort Neil Ashton's cross, and Dean Keates then connected sweetly with a volley that fizzed wide.

Forest Green looked to be seeing their task through, but in the final minute of normal time substitute Bradley Reid went down under keeper White's tentative challenge and referee Paul Rees pointed to the penalty spot.

Hunt's strike was as emphatic as they come, as he rammed the ball into the roof of the net for his 12th goal of the season.

See Monday's Pink Un for Peter Orchard's match overview, match reaction and pictures.

Forest Green: Russell (White 65); Oshodi, Oliver, Bennett, Hodgkiss; Jordan, Green, Barry (Taylor 70), Norwood; Hughes (Wright 86), Rodgers; Subs not used: Walker, Martin.

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