Division Two: Swindon Town 3 Wrexham 1
WREXHAM face a tough bottom-ofthe-table clash against Northampton at The Racecourse on Saturday after being comfortably beaten by Swindon Town at the County Ground last night.
Three points against The Robins could have edged the struggling Second Division club out of the relegation zone and given them some much-needed breathing space ahead of the weekend fixture.
But defeat against Roy Evans's Swindon last night leaves Wrexham with only one win in nine games - the 2-0 victory at Cambridge United last Tuesday - and what is a must-win fixture against bottom club Northampton.
The biggest problem facing manager Denis Smith is that his side seem incapable of finding a killer instinct in front of goal.
Before the game sriker Craig Faulconbridge insisted the emphasis wasn't on the strikers alone to score goals but, on this dis-play, it is hard to see who else is going to hit the net.
The Red Dragons did manage to pull a goal back through Kevin Sharp and Faulconbridge went close but Wrexham's defence struggled to cope with Swindon's pacey French striker, Eric Sabin, and his creative attacking partner Danny Invincible.
Wrexham fell behind after only five minutes when Swindon midfielder Matthew Hewlett picked up a poor clearance by goalkeeper Kristian Rogers. Hewlett fed the ball through to Sabin and the quick Frenchman calmly lofted the ball over Rogers to net his second goal in four days.
Lee Trundle almost equalised for
The Red Dragons nine minutes later when he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and chipped it over Swindon 'keeper Bart Griemink. But the striker saw his left-foot volley loop just a few inches over the crossbar.
To their credit, Wrexham looked enterprising in midfield but - as against Stoke on Saturday and Hereford in the FA Cup six days earlier - failed to find any bite in front of goal.
They allowed Swindon to extend their lead after 28 minutes, giving themselves a mountain to climb before the half-time whistle had even blown.
It was Swindon's creativity rather than Wrexham's sloppiness which this time led to the goal.
David Duke and Wayne Carlisle combined well for the Wiltshire club, the latter drilling a ball across the box for Australian striker Invincible who blasted a low shot past Rogers.
Kevin Sharp pulled an incredible goal back for Wrexham after 56 minutes - direct from a corner. The ball swerved low across the box, Faulcon-bridge almost getting a touch, but somehow it dribbled into the back of the net as Swindon defender Andy Gurney failed to clear off the line.
Just as Wrexham looked as if they might stage an unlikely comeback, Swindon launched a counter-attack down the right-hand side and won a corner kick on the edge of the box. Carlisle whipped the ball in, Wrexham failed to clear off the line and Swindon defender Matthew Hey-wood slotted the ball past Rogers to put Town 3-1 up.
Faulconbridge should have won a penalty after 72 minutes, but bizarrely the referee deemed the former Coventry striker had not been unfairly chopped down in the area by Swindon wing-back Mark Robinson.
It was Wrexham's last real chance to snatch anything from the game. The Red Dragons pushed forward, with second-half substitute Michael Blackwood looking dangerous, but they simply couldn't find a way through the Swindon defence.