The Cod Army's celebrations stayed on ice last night after Wrexham, for whom a possible 100 points in the Blue Square Conference will not secure automatic promotion, gained the consolation of depriving Fleetwood Town of the three points they needed to seal their elevation to the Football League.
The Fylde coast side have folded twice – in 1976 and 1996 – but the local businessman Andy Pilley, who became chairman in 2003 and took them full-time two years ago, has acquired two of Wrexham's best players, Andy Mangan and Lee Fowler, in the course of bankrolling a push to near-certain league status.
Fleetwood exuded the confidence of a side who had won their last 15 games and their pace threatened to undo Wrexham in the first half. Jamie Vardy's 32 goals in 36 games since he joined from FC Halifax after the season had started are one of the reasons why the club have advanced, though he couldn't convert the game's first clear chance, inside 12 minutes. He also blasted over when sent in for the first half's best opportunity.
Wrexham didn't help themselves by loosely offering up possession. The transfer of Mangan last summer also looked a regrettable decision, as he emerged as the first half's standout player. It was backs-to-the-wall for the visitors.
But they held on and revealed a threat when Danny Rose was forced to clear Nat Knight-Percival's header off the line. They started the second half the stronger too, and went ahead when Danny Wright crossed for Jake Speight to drive in a deflected shot on 53 minutes.
Fleetwood equalised a mere five minutes later, when Gareth Seddon got a faint but decisive touch on a Jamie Milligan free-kick.
Wrexham's Joe Clarke was sent off on 75 minutes, for dissent following a booking for handball, but it was the side without riches who left the field in regret, after Mathias Pogba's close-range effort struck the Fleetwood bar.
Fleetwood Town Davies; Beeley, McNulty, Pond; McGuire, Milligan (Briggs, 49); Vardy, Rose (Till, 50), Mangan; Seddon (Brodie, 69). Substitutes not used Charnock, Stevenson.
Wrexham Mayebi; Alfei, Creighton, Knight-Percival, Ashton; Clarke, Keates; Pogba, Little (Tolley, 79), Speight (Westwood, 78); Wright (Ogleby, 71). Substitutes not used Maxwell, Cieslewicz.
Referee A Davies.
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