AFC Telford 0 Wrexham 0 - Report and pictures
AFC Telford United played out an encouraging goalless draw against National League visitors Wrexham in their first New Bucks Head friendly of the summer.
Gavin Cowan’s side gave as good as they got against higher-ranked opposition and had the best chances before a flurry of changes on the hour.
The meeting was the first for Telford on their new £100,000 playing surface and Wrexham posed a considerably higher calibre of opposition after wins against Ellesmere Rangers, Market Drayton and last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Stafford Rangers.
There were signs of new measures in place to ensure social distancing at the New Bucks Head, including separate pre-match entries. A new wall is in place at the stadium to keep both sets of players apart.
New Wrexham signing Jordan Ponticelli flicked an early header wide while Telford’s Aaron Williams was smothered by Rob Lainton inside five minutes.
Cowan’s men had the better of it early on with some suspect visiting defending. James Hardy was denied by Lainton and then a block before Courtney Meppen-Walter headed over the resulting corner.
Ex-Wrexham forward Jason Oswell headed a decent Brendon Daniels delivery wide before Shane Sutton nodded the resulting corner the wrong side of the post.
Williams drilled a low strike just wide for Telford before Wrexham’s Adi Yussuf and Jake Bickerstaff were denied from close range by Russ Griffiths and committed Lee Vaughan defending.
For the first time in pre-season Cowan kept his Bucks side the same after half-time and Daniels was unhappy with his shanked half-volley from a tight angle five minutes after the restart.
Dean Keates’ National League side were struggling for any sort of rhythm - to the probable frustration of the one hardy supporter who had booked a £40 room in the Whitehouse Hotel with a window overlooking a spec of the pitch.
The Bucks were on top and Oswell was denied from a narrow angle by Lainton before Williams drilled a 25-yard strike inches wide.
A raft of substitutions on the hour meant a disjointed final half hour, edged by the visitors, without carving out anything clear cut.
Trialists Dominic McHale and Jordan Davies were given another run-out, with an unnamed trialist playing the final half hour at left wing-back.
Ex-Bucks youngster Elliott Durrell came closest to winning it with a rocket from outside the penalty area that whistled inches wide.
AFC Telford United (3-4-1-2):
Griffiths (Rawlins, 66); White (Lilly, 60), Sutton (Streete, 60), Meppen-Walter (Sweeney, 66); Vaughan (Bower, 66), Walker (Byrne, 60), Cowans, Daniels (trialist, 60); Hardy (McHale, 60); Oswell (Barnes-Homer, 67), Williams (Davies, 60).
Lainton (Dibble, 70); Hall-Johnson (Trialist A, 70), Vassell (Pearson, 70), Kelleher (Clowarth, 70), Reckord (Young, 70); Jarvis (Jeffrey, 60), Harris, Redmond (Davies, 70), Rutherford (Durrell, 60); Yussuf (Thomas, 60), Ponticelli (Bickerstaff, 34).