Nix eyes golden boot

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Barry Conlon closes in on Simon Spender Barry Conlon closes in on Simon Spender

Wrexham 1 City 1

Kyle Nix reckons he can finish the season as City's top marksman.

Nix is well on the way to reaching his own double-figure target after notching his sixth goal at Wrexham.

And having drawn level with Peter Thorne, he is even eyeing the chance of finishing on top of the pile in the scoring stakes.

The confident little midfielder, who was City's goalscorer in the 1-1 draw with Bury four days earlier, said: "If I keep getting the chances then you never know.

"I always like to get in the box and pick up the flick-ons from whoever's playing up front.

"I'm well on the way to my target of ten and my focus is to keep getting in there and popping in with a few more goals.

"You're up against quite a lot of big lads in midfield in this division so I might miss the odd header or get pushed off the ball but sometimes it's easier to get round them and I give other options to the team like scoring.

"The gaffer has given me a chance here which I appreciate massively and I'm determined to take it by not taking my foot off the gas."

So a good day for Nix but he is still to finish on a winning side after scoring.

City left north Wales, like Bury, with only muted satisfaction from an away point.

Games like the last two need more if the improbable play-off push is ever likely to materialise.

But Wrexham's line-up these days bears little resemblance to the side that has propped up the league most of the season.

"C'mon the strangers" roared one home fan as Brian Little unveiled his 11th new face since taking the Racecourse job two months ago.

Target man Drewe Broughton, signed on Friday, was the only change from the team that had shocked leaders MK Dons. So City were right to tread warily.

Yet Wrexham mustered only two shots in a sterile first half. One saw Broughton clip the bar; the other produced the opening goal.

Neil Roberts latched on to Broughton's flick and left the uncomfortable Paul Heckingbottom for dead as he charged towards the box. Roberts' shot was parried by Donovan Ricketts but still had the power to carry over the line.

Darren Williams appeared to get the final touch as Stuart Nicholson bundled him over the line in his rush to make sure. But the right back wasn't going to argue when Roberts claimed the goal.

Ricketts, being watched by a scout from QPR, had seen little action before then. City were kicking themselves to be trailing.

They had looked very comfortable without threatening much at the other end. Plenty of possessions and corners, yes; but no cutting edge.

Barry Conlon should have done better with a free header he planted straight at Gavin Ward but too often he found himself squeezed out by the three hulking home centre halves.

Stuart McCall had gone like for like with a five-man midfield. It worked to an extent as Eddie Johnson, on his return after two months out, Lee Bullock and Nix battled away in the middle but the wingers did not get to drag the Wrexham centre halves wide as the manager had hoped.

Omar Daley looked good in patches, which made his wasteful moments all the more aggravating; Joe Colbeck hardly got into the game.

McCall threw on Ben Starosta at half-time with orders to bomb up the right. And the new lad responded within four minutes by whipping in the cross which led to City's equaliser.

Nix combined with Daley to keep the danger alive and fashioned enough room to clip in a shot which deflected past Ward and looped inside the far post.

The game opened up dramatically as the tempo increased. And the temperature, too, shot up when Daley tangled with Roberts.

The Welshman theatrically writhed on the ground, claiming he had been stamped on, as players from both sides rushed into the melee. Even Ricketts raced from his goal to defend his pal, who was booked by inconsistent ref Andy Woolmer as well as the supposed victim.

The harsh yellow card for Daley was also his fifth, ruling him out of Saturday's trip to Macclesfield.

Daley nearly had his revenge when he drifted inside menacingly but was denied in the box by Phil Bolland's well-timed tackle.

Then his cross was nodded down by Conlon for Johnson, but Richard Hope just beat him to the loose ball. That was also the end of the unfortunate Johnson's afternoon as he left on a stretcher with a deep gash down his shin.

Paul Evans replaced him but it was Wrexham's changes which had more effect with the arrival of Michael Proctor injecting fresh impetus in the home attack.

He was a constant nuisance to the City backline and sparked a five-minute purple patch as chances fell to Steve Evans, Roberts and for Proctor himself.

Then Ricketts almost pressed the self-destruct button. Taking a backpass from Heckingbottom, the Jamaican trapped it and then got the ball stuck under his feet.

Chris Llewellyn, strongly rumoured to be playing his final game ahead of a move to Peterborough, seized on the keeper's dithering and stole the ball away. Luckily David Wetherall got there in the nick of time to avoid a farcical goal.

Ricketts got away with it but it won't have impressed the Champ-ionship eyes in the stand. And it certainly didn't please his manager.

It's not to hard to guess what was said in the dressing room afterwards.

"It's a gamble which we thought he'd stopped taking," said McCall. "He had cut it out - and it will be cut out between now and the end of the season."

City had another good chance late on when Heckingbottom released Daley but his cross-shot from a tight angle was superbly kept out by Ward.

Wrexham have not scored in the last 15 minutes of any game this season and Matt Clarke made sure it stayed that way in stoppage time after Proctor got clear of Wetherall, snaking a long leg round the striker to win the ball in the penalty area.

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