Wrexham 0 Histon 0
DEAN Saunders admitted Wrexham’s hopes of gatecrashing the Blue Square Premier play- offs are effectively over after they were held on Tuesday night.
Saturday’s 2-0 home victory over Mansfield Town led the Racecourse boss to state that he was not giving up on a top-five finish.
But he had changed his tune following the stalemate with the fourth-placed Stutes.
“We needed a win tonight so it’s going to be very difficult now,” said Saunders, whose 10th-placed Dragons are away to seventh-placed Oxford Untied on Saturday and at home to 16th-placed Altrincham on Monday (both 3pm).
“The lads battled well tonight while they were excellent on Saturday so that’s three games unbeaten now and that’s something.
“I’m watching the players now to see who wants to be here next season. I’m sure they’ll tell me in the next five games whether they want to be here or not.”
One man who impressed Saunders against Histon was debutant Mansour Assoumani.
The Mali international defender stood out in a match that was high on commitment but low on goalscoring chances.
Wrexham, with Assoumani, Aurelien Collin and Jon Brown in for John Curtis, Ryan Flynn and Obi Anoruo, tested Danny Naisbitt before the break through Brown and captain Ashley Westwood.
Andrew Crofts went closer still after the restart when he forced Naisbitt into a fine one-handed save before the Histon stopper showed quick reactions to prevent an incredible goal by Dragons goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen, who, having spotted his opposite number off his line, launched a massive 80-yard kick which Naisbitt did well to tip over the bar.
The draw followed the win over Mansfield and Thursday’s 1-1 home draw with Barrow.
Two of the Wrexham’s hottest prospects have signed their first professional contracts.
Defender Kai Edwards and fellow 17-year-old Anoruo, the striker who won was on target against Mansfield and Barrow, have penned one-year deals.
Saunders said “I want lads like them to step up, after all we are playing in the Conference and if you are 18 or 19 and not able to play at this level, then it will be hard to make your mark as a professional.”