Wrexham set for play-offs after falling short in late bid for automatic promotion
Wrexham are set for the play-offs in the National League after falling short in their bid for automatic promotion.
The Dragons needed to beat Dagenham & Redbridge and hope Stockport slipped up against Halifax Town – but the opposite happened, with Wrexham losing 3-0 and Stockport winning 2-0.
Wrexham come second in the league giving them an automatic home semi-final in the play offs.
Both Wrexham and Dagenham had chances in the early stages of the game when Paul Mullin tested Elliot Justham, and Christian Dibble made a good save to deny Brandon Comley.
Dagenham opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half when Junior Morias slotted home from close range.
Ollie Palmer had a chance to equalise but was denied by Justham before Will Wright forced Dibble into a save from a menacing free-kick.
Paul McCallum doubled the hosts’ lead in the 81st minute, firing home from Myles Weston’s cross, and Matt Robinson made absolutely sure of the points with a 90th-minute volley.
The play-offs will kick-off on Monday May 23, with the team ending the season in fifth place at home to the side who secured a sixth spot.
Then, 24 hours later, the club that ended the campaign in fourth position face-off against the 7th placed team. Both ties kick-off at 7.45pm.
The semi-finals will be played on Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29, at the home grounds of the second and third place finishers.
Winners of the semi-final ties then head to the London Stadium on Sunday June 5 to battle it out for a coveted place in the EFL.
The final league standings are:
Stockport – Winners
Wrexham – Home semi-final in the play-offs
Solihull Moors – Home semi-final in the play-offs
Halifax – In the play-offs
Notts County – In the play-offs
Grimsby – In the play-offs
Chesterfield – In the play-offs
Meanwhile, Paddy Madden’s 25th goal of the season helped Stockport seal the National League title and promotion back to the Football League with a 2-0 win over Halifax.
Dave Challinor’s men knew a point would be enough on the final day and a crowd of 10,307 filled Edgeley Park to try to inspire a second key home victory of the week.
Madden produced the solitary goal in Wednesday’s crucial triumph over Torquay, and the forward’s early strike was followed by a Will Collar effort in the second half as the Hatters booked a return to League Two.
Any nerves inside the ground before kick-off were quickly dispelled when the deadlock was broken in the 10th-minute.
Talisman Madden turned on the edge of the area and drilled into the bottom corner to spark wild celebrations with his 23rd strike in the National League this term.
It was almost two midway through the half but Madden hit the crossbar after Antoni Sarcevic’s corner and it remained 1-0 at the break.
The hosts looked for a second goal at the beginning of the second half and it arrived in the 54th minute.
Andy Cannon was denied by Sam Johnson but the Halifax stopper could only parry the strike as far as the onrushing Collar who drilled home on the half-volley to put the hosts on the verge of promotion.
With news filtering through of second-placed Wrexham also trailing at Dagenham, Stockport were home and dry and the party could start early.
Despite two brief stoppages in the latter stages, the full-time whistle was greeted with a pitch invasion as the Hatters’ fans celebrated returning to the Football League for the first time in 11 years.