WALES 1 FYR MACEDONIA 0
IT may not be enough to save Chris Coleman's job but Wales moved off the bottom of Scotland's World Cup qualifying group after Simon Church's second-half goal against Macedonia in Cardiff earned them their first win in five games.
Coleman's patchwork side - there had been 11 withdrawals from the squad - produced a creditable performance after a slow start to alleviate some of the pressure on the manager.
Aaron Ramsey made their first meaningful surge but his cross evaded Church, while Mirko Ivanoski chipped over after a surging run from a rapid Macedonia counter-attack. Ramsey, as could have been expected, was central to all Wales' best moments. A lovely pass from the Arsenal man found Neil Taylor but Tome Pacovski in the Macedonia goal held his shot.
Ramsey then teed up Andy King, who flicked an effort goalwards but it was palmed away by Pacovski. Wales should have been behind two minutes later when they failed to clear a Macedonia corner. Hoisted back into the box, the ball fell to Nikolce Noveski, who rounded Wayne Hennessey but could only scoop his strike well over the bar.
Wales responded but Church could not get his header on target from debutant Declan John's cross.
Craig Bellamy, in his final home game for his country, sprang to life with a rasping drive that Pacovski held at the second attempt,.
David Vaughan and John struck the woodwork in quick succession at the start of the second half before Wales finally finished one of their chances in the 67th minute, with Bellamy teeing up Church for an easy finish.
Macedonia had been on the back foot but would have levelled in the 71st minute but for a sharp Hennessey stop from Goran Pandev.
The hosts should have doubled their lead after Ramsey was brought down in the box by Noveski but the captain fired the penalty straight at Pacovski. However, Coleman's side held on to their slender lead despite some nervous final minutes.