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Terrace talk with Pete Davies

WREXHAM won, Bournemouth were sent down, and the season finished on a positive note.

WREXHAM won, Bournemouth were sent down, and the season finished on a positive note.

But beyond the scoreline and the headline-grabbing incidents, the last game of 2001-2 conjured up other, less obvious moments of interest and significance.

Each one told its own story. I've picked out five:

At various junctures during the match, rookie centre-half Dan Bennett claimed the ball at the back, looked up, strolled forwards and, quite assuredly, got the team moving upfield.

Clearly, Denis Smith and the Racecourse faithful have not had a lot of time to weigh up the capabilities of the ex-Singapore League player.

He's quick, composed and his body language suggests he wants to make it in British professional football pretty bad. Sign him up!

Seconds after the Bournemouth goal, Kristian Rogers bellowed at Dennis Lawrence, shrugged his shoulders and raised both arms in confusion and dismay, as if to say: What on Earth happened there? Nothing to do with me, mate.

It was Rogers against Bournemouth but it's usually Ferguson. In yesteryear it was often Russell.

This culture of blame-shifting isn't helpful. Players have got to stand up and be counted.

When Robin Gibson walked out onto the pitch at half-time to pick the 50/50 draw winner one of his last tasks as an employee of the club I felt a horrible tingle go up and down my spine.

Gibbo, the man who had big clubs galore sniffing round him in the spring of 1999, could he really be exiting North Wales?

When Smith says his decision to release David Walsh was the most controversial of the lot, I beg to differ.

Gibson had the world at his feet a couple of years ago, and his departure is a shattering blow to those fans who idolised his terrier-like instincts and big attitude.

Granted, his crossing was never the best, and he scored very few goals, but he possessed an over-sized heart and a genuine passion for the club.

At Hereford in November he was inspirational and received his own, very personal, standing ovation. I hope the Reds boss knows what he's doing.

Midway through the first half, 'Tall Man' Lawrence sprinted back towards the Kop end to clear up a threatening Bournemouth attack. He reached the ball quickly, shielded it in a reassuring manner, and then distributed it neatly.

The girl standing next to me turned to her mate and said: 'You know, I do love Dennis when he does things like that. He just looks so much in control I trust him so much.'

The giant Trinidadian is impressing people - and that's official.

Just on the stroke of half-time Shaun Holmes got onto the end of a wonderfully fluent Reds passing movement and shot just wide of the Cherries' goal with a sweetly-timed 20-yard strike.

The young Irishman is competent in defence and loves getting forward. He's also got one of the sweetest left pegs in the lower leagues.

He hasn't broken his goalscoring duck this season, but I'd put money on him doing so next year in the bottom division.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
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