Manager Phil Parkinson was an interested spectator as he watched Wrexham’s youth team romp to a 5-0 win over AFC Liverpool courtesy of a dominant first-half display at the Hollingsworth Group Stadium.
All the goals came in the opening 45 minutes with Jacob Milner netting a hat-trick while Caleb Hughes and Mikey Hayman also got their names on the scoresheet.
The tone was set inside the first four minutes when Hughes broke clear of the visiting defence before sending a low shot through the legs of goalkeeper Quin Bell. The Young Red Dragons’ lead was doubled seven minutes later when Milner cut in from the right to fire past the overworked AFC Liverpool custodian.
Mikey Hayman put the result beyond doubt after just 17 minutes with a goal of stunning quality. Receiving the ball on the halfway line, the centre-forward showed great body-strength to beat three defenders before unleashing a superb shot from fully 25 yards which flew into the top corner of the net. Joel Ogiugo then rattled the Wrexham woodwork with a wind-assisted cross which almost caught out Jack Pilkington, the ball rebounding to safety much to the relief of the young keeper in only his second start.
This proved to be a rare incursion into the Reds half and normal service was resumed just past the half-hour mark when Max Hayes and Hayman combined to provide Milner with the chance to make it 4-0 with a composed finish, the Cambridge-born forward completing his hat-trick with virtually the last kick of the half courtesy of a fine pass from Callum Edwards.
Coach Dan Nolan took the opportunity to make three changes during the interval, Cai Evans, Alfie Lussey and Jake Roberts replacing Harry Dean, Owen Cushion and Milner with James Rainbird pushing further forward as Roberts took over at left-back. With the rain lashing down and a gale blowing, the deteriorating conditions made it difficult to control the ball and it was no surprise that chances were at a premium. Hayman did force a stunning point-blank save from Bell before the final whistle came as a relief to both sides.
“It was a good first game back after the Christmas break,” reflected a delighted Nolan. “It was an impressive first half with some potent attacking play. The goals were good; we scored five but could easily have had seven or eight.
“Jacob got a great hat-trick and Mikey’s finish was excellent. We were sloppy after the break and didn’t have the same intensity or quality but still controlled the game throughout.”
Wrexham: Jack Pilkington, Max Hayes, James Rainbird, Rowan Davies, Harry Dean (Cai Evans 46), Owen Cushion (Alfie Lussey 46), Harry Ashfield, Callum Edwards, Mikey Hayman, Caleb Hughes, Jacob Milner (Jake Roberts 46).
Sub: Aaron James (not used)