JUAN UGARTE said he was thrilled to be scoring again as he took another leap forward in his comeback from injury.
The Spanish striker, who has not played for the Dragons since January after suffering a knee injury, struck twice as Wrexham reserves drew 2-2 with Carlisle at the Racecourse yesterday.
Ugarte gave Wrexham the lead on 20 minutes, sidefooting home a Josh Johnson cross from the edge of the area.
Then after the Dragons went 2-1 down in the second half, the Basque hitman equalised from the spot after Johnson had been brought down by Neale McDermott, son of Liverpool legend Terry.
Ugarte last scored for Wrexham’s first team when he hit a hat-trick in the 4-1 win at Stockport County on April 2005.
He has played just eight games in the last two seasons, but now says he is nearing full fitness and will be soon be ready to help the Dragons climb away from the Football League’s relegation trapdoor.
Wrexham’s next league game is a week on Saturday when they entertain Rotherham, but before that Ugarte faces another run-out in the reserves on Monday when the Dragons host Burnley in the Pontin’s League.
The striker said: “I’m really happy with how things are going. We did quite well today, especially in the first half-hour when we created a lot of chances.
“I’m fully fit now, but I’m not thinking two weeks away,” he added. “I’m just looking forward to the next game and getting another 90 minutes.
“I’ve been doing a lot of fitness work and the knee’s very good.”
Manager Brian Carey said Ugarte would thrive on the sort of service players like Matty Done and Chris Llewellyn were capable of providing.
Carey said: “Once you get him the ball to him in the box he’s dangerous – he’s a real threat.
“For the first goal he was back to his old self, and if we can get the right service to him in the area then the goals will come.
“He’s still short of games, but it’s good news that he’s coming back so well.
“If you look at games like the Bradford game, and overall this season we’ve been putting bals into the area, and Juan would thrive on some of that service.
“We’ve got a game coming up on Monday, and after a few more games he’ll be in suitable condition and he’ll have the match sharpness.”
Trinidadian pair Josh Johnson and Silvio Spann also impressed in yesterday’s game, while Matt Crowell continued his comeback from a knee injury and almost scored in the first-half goal.
Carey said: “Josh set up the first goal and he also got the penalty. There were quite a few of them that did well.
“Silvio did well, although he tired towards the end but we expected that. We were pleased with his contribution and he showed at times how effective he can be.”
Spann said he was nearly at full fitness and hoped to be involved for the Rotherham game.
“I actually didn’t think it was going to be that hot – I should be used to it!” joked the midfielder.
“But seriously, it was a good performance, although we dipped a bit in the second half.”
He added: “But generally we played well, and we didn’t lose, that’s the important thing.
“I’m 70% now in terms of match fitness. I think I need two more of these games, and hopefully I’ll be ready for the next first-team game.”