IT was with a mixture of delight and relief that Wrexham manager Brian Little greeted the final whistle at the Deva Stadium yesterday, after watching his side pick up their first win in five games.
That victory came in the cross-border derby with Dragons’ rivals Chester City was less important to the Racecourse boss than the fact that the three points earned narrowed the gap between rock-bottom Wrexham and the clubs just above them.
An animated figure on the touchline throughout the 90 minutes, Little was not too impressed with the overall team performance but he praised goalscorers Paul Hall and Michael Proctor for the manner in which they took their goals.
“I thought we rode our luck at times because we didn’t play overly well and I thought we were our own worst enemies,” he said. “It was more of case of making little mistakes in the wrong areas but the result is fantastic.
“We have made a step in the right direction today but there is still a long way to go. I thought we had two good finishes, but outside of that I didn’t feel we played very well, so I’m relieved at the result.”
Wrexham were grateful to goalkeeper Gavin Ward – who left Chester in January to join the Dragons – for a series of fine saves and Little acknowledged the veteran’s contribution.
“Gavin did well today, which was nice for him coming back here,” he added. “He pulled off a couple of really good saves and was in the right position on some other opportunities, which perhaps they should have taken.”
Victory means Wrexham have lost just one of their last nine matches and the Racecourse boss said: “The spirit was great again and how we play is secondary to that. Now we need to try and play better to win games of football.
“Today was one of those games which, irrespective of where you are in the league, you want to try and win because it was a derby. The players sensed the atmosphere and it was only after the game that you consider things like points and league positions.
“There was a good crowd and our fans really got behind the players because they see we are trying. We might make a few mistakes and today we made more than I would have liked, but we got the result in the end.
“We’ve lost one game in nine so we have a bit of impetus, but winning games makes a massive difference. Had we drawn today it would have been a great result again. “
Meanwhile, Chester caretaker-manager Simon Davies said: “It was annoying, both goals came straight after we had put the ball into their net, but we have to defend better in situations like that.
“We had some strong words with the players at half-time, and they came out more positively in the second half. We will now assess the situation and prepare for the midweek game against Bradford City.
“Ritchie Partridge has trained, but he wasn’t ready for this game.”