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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 May 2007, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Wrexham joy at relegation escape
Wrexham fans

Wrexham have pulled off a dramatic last day escape to avoid relegation from the Football League.

Thousands of fans celebrated at their Racecourse ground after beating League Two relegation rivals Boston United.

Joyous fans poured onto the pitch after their 3-1 victory kept league football in north Wales.

Wrexham thought they would need at least a draw, and were 1-0 down at half-time. But three second-half goals condemned Boston to the Conference.

Police and stewards stood no chance of stopping home supporters rushing onto the pitch at the final whistle.

Fans had tried to pour onto the pitch after Wrexham's second goal in the 86th minute, and a pitch invasion also seemed a certainty after the third a minute from the end.

Fans in the stands had gone from gloom to jubilation.

Celebrating fans stream onto the Racecourse at the final whistle
It's amazing how when you are in trouble people really turn out and support the club. Come on boys - we need you back next year
Former Wrexham manager Dixie McNeil

Simon Nicholls, from Oswestry, said: "They made a hash of it in the first-half - typical Wrexham. But I think that made them work for it."

His friend, Graham Macleod, from Frodsham, Cheshire, said: "I think we deserved to win in the end but it had been a bit dodgy before."

The celebrations began to the tune of Status Quo's Rockin' All Over the World but the music was soon drowned by the crowd's chants of "We are staying up".

Richard Hill, visiting from Manchester with daughter Jennifer, said: "Going behind seems to have done us the world of good. In the end perseverance told.

"My wife has had me sleeping in a separate room because I have been so nervous.

'Too much quality'

"When it's your football club, it's everything - like your family. Especially when it's your town, where you are born and bred."

Fans will hope the game is another turning point after a dreadful few years for the club. In 2004 Wrexham had 4m debts, went into administration, were deducted 10 points and then relegated to League Two.

Fans at Racecourse, Wrexham
The stands at the Racecourse were packed for the showdown

The situation improved in 2006 when they were taken over by a consortium and came out of administration, but relegation from the Football League would have raised new questions over their future.

Manager Brian Carey said the occasion had affected his team, who were "absolutely dreadful" in the first 45 minutes of a game he called "the biggest in the club's history".

"But I think we just had too much quality in the end," he said.

"It was the players who did this. They realised they were on their way down to the Conference."

Former Wrexham player and manager Dixie McNeil was delighted by the result, and said Boston had given Wrexham a real run for their money.

A 12,300 crowd turned up for the game, and McNeil, a BBC Wales football pundit, said: "It's amazing how when you are in trouble people really turn out and support the club.

"The turnout today has been fantastic. Come on boys - we need you back next year."

After the drama of the day, Wrexham finished 19th in the table, a comfortable four places above the last relegation spot. They also ended up with 51 points, five clear of Boston.

"Let's hope we go on to greater things now"


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