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Skipper facing FA probe

WREXHAM midfielder Darren Ferguson could be in deep trouble again following Saturday's 4- 1 defeat by fellow relegation strugglers Northampton Town.

WREXHAM midfielder Darren Ferguson could be in deep trouble again following Saturday's 4- 1 defeat by fellow relegation strugglers Northampton Town.

Team captain at the Sixfields Stadium in the absence of central defender Brian Carey, Ferguson was booked by referee Rob Styles for dissent when he disputed a 75th-minute penalty decision, which saw the home side take a 2-1 lead.

Within four minutes, the match official had red-carded Kevin Sharp for a foul and he then sent off substitute Dan Bennett in the 90th minute f o r denying a goal- scoring opportunity.

Ferguson went into the officials' dressing room after the match to speak to the referee and could now be reported.

Earlier this season, he was fined and suspended after falling foul of another referee, Mark Cowburn.

Yesterday, the 30-year-old Scot declined to add fuel to the flames but insisted Wrexham could yet win their battle to stay up. "It was a very disappointing result but we have to dig in and get four wins out of the last six matches," he said.

"None of us believe it's over and the gaffer, who is nothing if not a winner, will demand that we carry on fighting. We needed a win on Saturday but we are still in with a chance and we have three definitely winnable games to come at home.

"We don't feel that we are relegated and the lads still believe it's very much in our own hands."

Dragons' manager Denis Smith said he understood the frustration felt by players and fans alike.

"It's made life a bit difficult being beaten like that," he said. "With 15 minutes to go it was 1-1 and I was just going to put on another striker because I thought we were in control of the game.

"Dennis Lawrence said he played the ball for the first penalty but, while that doesn't really change the situation, it changed the game. We were still in it at that stage but then Kevin Sharp got sent off for his first foul.

"And the decision at the end to send off Bennett was strange, to say the least. What are you supposed to do with your hands when someone blasts the ball straight at you from two yards away? I can understand the penalty being given if the referee thought the ball was going in but if he thought it was deliberate handball, I'll play the lad in goal next week."

Smith admitted that Wrexham had conceded a soft equaliser, having taken a 21st-minute lead through Lee's Trundle's opportunist strike. "It's cost us because they scored from our free-kick at the other end.

"But in the second half, the game was going nowhere and from where I was we were the only team going to win it."

The decision to send off Sharp enraged coach Joey Jones, who was also dismissed from the touchline, but Smith said: "We've got to live with decisions and there's no use having temper tantrums or getting in a state.

"What I've got to do is try and do something about it.

"Joey got irate with the officials and I understand that but we can't do that, even if we want to. I feel like saying things but in certain situations that's when you have to bite your tongue. I can understand Joey's frustration because I was frustrated as well."

Smith refused to concede that Wrexham's failure to win a crucial match was the nail in their coffin. "I'll tell you on April 20," he added. "I don't know until then but I feel it will go to the last game of the season.

"If Northampton stay up and we go down on this result, we'll know then. They'll be dancing but they haven't stayed up yet."


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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