WREXHAM are still searching for their second away league win of the season, but at least grabbed a point at a windswept Plainmoor last night.
It was the Dragons’ first away return since a victory at Chester City in the opening weeks of the season, but manager Denis Smith will no doubt feel his side should have extended their recent winning streak to three matches against lowly Torquay United, especially after taking charge during the first half.
The visitors, unchanged for the third match in a row, decided to start with a strong, gusting wind at their backs in an obvious attempt to put pressure on opponents whose previous league win had come way back in September.
And the ploy paid almost immediate dividends with Chris Llewellyn forcing an early save from Nathan Abbey after the striker had intercepted a wayward cross-field pass.
But from their next attack in the sixth minute the Dragons went ahead and the goal owed much to the vision of captain,Darren Ferguson, who delivered an early ball forward to Llewellyn, who controlled it well before feeding Kevin Smith.
The on-loan Sunderland striker, who opened his Wrexham account at Scunthorpe last weekend, took a touch before hitting a fierce shot which Abbey did well to parry, but the Wrexham man followed up and headed the rebound into an unguarded net.
Wrexham continued to look threatening on the break and Josh Johnson, who was doing his fair share of defensive work, delivered an inviting centre which Steve Woods almost turned into his own net under pressure from Smith.
When they had to defend, the Dragons looked solid and goalkeeper Mike Ingham was rarely tested except when he came to collect the odd centre left to him by the imposing Steve Evans and Shaun Pejic.
But there was little margin and Evans was fortunate that Lee Thorpe had strayed offside before he blatantly pulled the striker back in the penalty area just nine minutes before the break.
Torrential rain greeted the teams after the break, the deluge blowing into Wrexham faces as the wind freshened even more, and there were changes made, Lee McEvilly replacing an obviously injured Mark Jones while Thorpe made way for Chris McPhee.
The Wrexham switch saw Llewellyn drop back to midfield on the left, with Johnson deployed on the opposite flank, and McEvilly almost made an immediate impact, collecting the ball in the centre circle and charging forward before thumping a 25-yard shot wide of the United goal.
But it was the home side who struck a decisive blow in the 51st minute when Pejic somewhat needlessly fouled Jordan Robertson five yards outside the penalty area.
The teenager, who is on loan from Sheffield United, picked himself up and curled a superb free-kick into the top corner of the net, giving Inghamabsolutely no chance of getting to the ball. The equaliser galvanised United and their supporters, who had been conspicuous by their previous lack of enthusiasm, and the visitors’ task of quietening them down was not made any easier by the problems of overcoming the conditions.
What possession they got was ragged and they were not able to keep the ball long enough to get men forward in support of the ever-willing Smith, who went close to restoring the lead when he rounded Abbey in the 67th minute, but ran out of space to get his shot in.
Gulls substitute Kyle Critchell, on loan from Southampton, had only been on the field for a minute when he had a great chance to put United ahead following an uncharacteristic error by Evans, but the youngster ballooned his shot over the bar with only the keeper to beat.
At the other end, Ferguson found Llewellyn in space and his cross was met by a first-time volley from McEvilly, but unfortunately it struck Woods on the chest.
And in added time Juan Ugarte fired a 25-yard free kick just wide of Abbey's goal, but a winner then would have been rough justice on the home side.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Kevin Smith – scored a fine goal and led the line well.