Wrexham AFC: Sam Wedgbury's chat with match officials may have spared him derby red card

Reporter:

Rich Williams

REMINDING referee Thomas Bramall that the cross border derby is a passionate affair might have saved Sam Wedgbury from another red card.

Wrexham beat Chester 1-0 at The Deva Stadium in another highly charged clash between the arch rivals on Wednesday.

Captain Shaun Pearson gave Wrexham a 44th minute lead but Chester claimed Wedgbury should have been sent off at the start of the second half following a late challenge on Paul Turnbull.

But Bramhall, who dismissed Wedgbury in September’s 1-0 victory at Tranmere Rovers after brandishing two yellow cards in quick succession, decided against a similar punishment and the midfielder escaped with a booking.

When asked whether he knew the same official was taking charge of the Chester game, Wedgbury said: “I seen that and had a little word with him before, saying ‘remember it is a derby’.”

But Wedgbury admits his challenge was “stupid” and he was relieved not to take an early bath.

“It was stupid but I slipped more than anything,” said Wedgbury.

“I didn’t mean to go through the lad or anything, I just thought I could win the ball and to be fair the linesman said it was just a caution.

“I probably did well to stay on but it is a derby at the end of the day and you are going to go in full-blooded, that is just what happens.

“I have tackled a lot worse and not been booked.”

Wrexham were put under a lot of pressure in the second period but the Reds defended superbly and held on to secure a first victory in five outings at The Deva since the Blues were reformed.

“We are pretty good at that,” said former Forest Green Rovers man Wedgbury. “Obviously they hit the bar and hit the post, on another day that one goes in.

“That is what we are about, nobody will ever question our commitment and our desire.

“That is one thing we are good at, we have got good experienced lads who know how to win at this level.

“Our first year at Forest Green, that is what we used to do; go away, not have much of the ball second half and just grind a clean sheet out.”

Pearson and fellow centre-back Manny Smith got the plaudits but Wedgbury insists all the Reds players contributed to keeping out Chester.

“Shaun and Manny were immense, but the whole of the back four were,” said Wedgbury.

“There were 11 players out there and at times we all did our bit.

“But Shaun was superb, he and Manny have got a really good partnership.”

Wrexham weren’t at their best but Wedgbury wasn’t complaining as victory enabled the Reds to go joint top of the National League.

“I have been told that we haven’t won here since they reformed so it is a positive three points,” said Wedgbury.

“It took us joint top of the league and that is what it is about, winning games.

“Sometimes you are not going to play well and win, and we will play a lot better and lose, so it is positive.

“It evens itself over the season but at the end of the day you can’t fault our character and our work-rate. We didn’t give up but second half, we needed a bit more control.”

It was the first derby between the sides since the decision to scrap the controversial 'bubble’ restrictions for away supporters which were introduced in 2013, and Wrexham sold their allocation of 1,200 tickets.

Wrexham fans were kept in the ground for a short while after the final whistle but the Reds’ players and staff stayed on the pitch to celebrate with  supporters who earned glowing praise from Wedgbury.

“The fans were immense,” added Wedgbury. “Obviously we would have sold more tickets if they had given them us.

“But at the end, that is what we are about as a club.

”We are a massive club at this level and performance aside, we have given them something to smile about because we haven’t won here in a good few years.”

Email:

rich.williams@nwn.co.uk

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