Wrexham started their pre-season campaign with an entertaining, high-scoring 5-2 win against Nantwich Town at the Swansway Stadium.
Phil Parkinson showed off his squad depth by fielding two different elevens in the match, with young and experienced faces taking part in the new, light-blue away shirt.
Goals from Aaron Hayden, Trialist A, Kai Evans, Liam McAlinden and Paul Mullin treated the travelling Wrexham support, as football returned for Wrexham.
The starting eleven for the first half would see a familiar setup, as Parkinson setup with two attacking wing-backs, with a number 10 sitting behind the two strikers.
New signing Mark Howard would have his first taste in net for the Red Dragons, after becoming the second signing of the summer.
Back-to-back corners would produce the first goal of the affair, as Hayden, with the captain’s armband, leaped high to direct his header into the top corner with nine minutes on the clock.
Running out of room down the right-wing, Callum McFadzean caressed over the perfect ball to the unmarked Jake Hyde in the centre, who couldn’t direct his header on target to double the scoreline just shy of twenty minutes in.
Jon Moran was presented with Nantwich’s first real opportunity in the 34th minute, but in a tangle of his feet, he couldn’t offer any real connection on the ball in the centre of the Wrexham box and the ball continued on its way out of danger.
A minute later, Joel Grant would level the score for the home side. A quick in-step past Trialist A allowed him to thump an effort into Mark Howard’s near-post, as the ball rifled into the top corner.
Trialist A had looked threatening cutting inside from the right-wing. He was finally able to launch an arrow in the 38th minute, which fizzed into Louis Gray’s top corner, as a carbon copy of Grant’s goal minutes earlier.
An awkward header for Dan Davies in the 44th minute saw the ball drop kindly for Dan Cockerline on the edge of the Wrexham box, but his subsequent curled effort was weak and flew gently past Howard’s right post.
The first Wrexham eleven of the fixture took a 2-1 lead into the changing rooms at half-time, courtesy of a trademark Hayden header and a spiralling screamer from Trialist A.
The eleven picked for the second half of the match was as follows:
Trialist B (GK), James, Dan Jones, Tozer, McAlinden, Dave Jones, Young (C), Davies, Kai Evans, Mullin, Palmer
Kai Evans almost had the perfect start inside the first minute of the second half. The number 17 picked up the ball outside the box, before driving with the ball and slamming a powerful effort, only to see it thunder against the crossbar of the Nantwich goal.
McAlinden twists and turns down the left-wing led to a hooked ball to the back-post where centre back Ben Tozer was completely unmarked to power back a header to the opposite post, but the ball just evading the on-running Ollie Palmer with 53 minutes gone.
It was Mullin’s turn in the 55th minute to cause havoc down the left-wing, as his cut-back from the by-line found McAlinden. The wing-back’s side footed effort was diverted by the jumping Palmer, but the striker couldn’t direct the header goal bound.
Evans would eventually get his goal in the 58th minute, as he poached home a tap-in, following the ball trickling towards the line after Gray had saved Palmer’s initial effort. The goal was certainly down to the pressing of right wing-back Dan Jones, whose persistence caused the error in the backline leading to the goal.
The hour mark had struck and so too would Jordan Davies from a set piece, as his whipped left-footed effort was pushed away from the bottom corner by a sprawling Gray.
McAlinden’s persistent threat down the left side came to fruition, seeing the wing-back finish off a vicious cross from Palmer down the right-wing with 70 minutes played, taking the scoreline to 1-4.
A clash on the edge of the Wrexham box allowed the ball to bobble to Nantwich number nine Cockerline, who smashed a half volley past Trialist B in goal with 78 minutes on the clock.
Once again, Wrexham would react instantly and with 82 minutes on the clock, Paul Mullin hit a driven shot across goal to take the overall score to 5-2.
Mullin was through once again in the 85th minute. He waited for the keeper to make a move and chipped the ball over the diving Gray. However, the ball would bounce narrowly wide of the far-post.
The final whistle blew on 90 minutes and Wrexham would leave the Swansway Stadium as 5-2 victors, on the back of two impressive halves of football by the 22 men used.
Wrexham: (3-4-1-2): Howard (GK), Trialist A, Hayden (C), Cleworth, Dan Davies, O’Connor, J.Jones, Bickerstaff, Hyde, Angus
Second-half: Trialist B (GK), James, Dan Jones, Tozer, McAlinden, Dave Jones, Young (C), Davies, Kai Evans, Mullin, Palmer
Nantwich Town: (5-4-1): Gray (GK), Stair (C), Devine (Edwards 72’), Moran, Bourne, Hughes, Heath, Robbins (Castellano 61’), Cockerline, Cook, Grant
Unused Substitutions: Sherratt, Leitch-Smith, Trialist A, Sutton, Butler, Walters
Referee: Ollie Yates