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Wrexham 1, Brighton 2

TOWERING Dennis Lawrence will hold up his huge hands tomorrow and admit they cost Wrexham three points against Brighton.

TOWERING Dennis Lawrence will hold up his huge hands tomorrow and admit they cost Wrexham three points against Brighton.

The 6ft 7in Trinidad and Tobago international inexplicably conceded two late penalties in the 2-1 defeat by the Seagulls at The Racecourse on Friday night.

Goalkeeper Kristian Rogers saved the second one, but that was in the dying seconds and by then last season's Third Division champions had overturned Wrexham's 1-0 lead with two goals from hot-shot Bobby Zamora.

Lawrence's double lapse dramatically turned the game and his manager Brian Flynn posed a valid question immediately after Wrexham's first home defeat of the season.

He asked: "What do you say about that? We got the goal our play deserved, but then lacked concentration in the middle of defence. We got caught by a free-kick we actually practice in training and then came the incidents involving Dennis. Whether they were deliberate hand ball, who know - but penalties were given."

Lawrence's spot of bother began 15 minutes from time when his arm seem to telescope on to the ball as Wrexham defended a corner. Referee Graham Laws, of Whitley Bay, was well positioned and immediately pointed to the spot.

Zamora, who had earlier cancelled out Stephen Thomas's goal, confidently beat Rogers to make it 2-1.

And as if that wasn't bad enough Lawrence then incredibly handled the ball again and Brighton were awarded a second penalty in the final minute.

The groans that rang around the stadium, however, turned to cheers as Rogers kept out Zamora's kick.

That gave Wrexham brief hope of salvaging a point, but time was against them.

It was frustrating but Flynn was far from downcast. He positively drooled over the build-up and execution of Thomas's thunderbolt strike on 66 minutes. Thomas, a Wales Under-21 international, started and finished the move that also involved Craig Faulcon-bridge, Lee Trundle and the deftest of back-heels by Darren Ferguson.

Wrexham had worked their socks off for that lead and no one tried harder than Trundle who won the battle of the hot-shots against Zamora hands down, if Lawrence will excuse the expression.

Trundle and Faulcon-bridge are forging a productive partnership, but they're already asking how long can Wrexham hang on to them.

Flynn said: "Thomas's goal was top quality and you look at the side and have to say a lot of players played well. But it's frustrating when you get knocked back so quickly after scoring."

Thomas got an ankle knock and was replaced by Carlos Edwards 12 minutes from time and Flynn later revealed that skipper Brian Carey may now need surgery for a hernia.

Carey's injury could conceivably keep him out of Tuesday's trip to Chesterfield.

That would open the defensive door for Steve Roberts, who is a little unlucky to have been left out after deputising so well for Carey during his suspension.

Flynn may also be forced to include new loan signing, Willie Miller. The 31-year-old full back has joined

Wrexham on loan for three months from Dundee.

Cash-strapped Wrexham have agreed special terms with Dundee to take on Miller who was previously with Hibernian.

Wrexham: Rogers, Warren (Morrell, 84), Carey, Lawrence, Holmes, Thomas (Edwards, 78), Russell, Ferguson, Blackwood, Faulconbridge, Trundle. Subs not used: Chalk, Roberts, Morris. Brighton: Kuipers, Watson, Mayo, Morgan, Pitcher (Rogers, 88), Hart (Steele, 57), Oatway, Carpenter, Jones (Brooker, 57), Wicks, Zamora. Subs not used: Crosby, Lehmann.

Scorers: Wrexham: Thomas (66). Brighton: Zamora (68) (75, pen)


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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