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REPORT | Dover Athletic 0 – 1 Wrexham AFC

Wrexham leave it late to get back to winning ways

4 December 2021

A late goal, direct from a Jordan Davies’ corner, proved the difference as Wrexham returned to winning ways with a narrow away win at Dover Athletic.

The Red Dragons had missed a string of big chances with the score goalless, while the hosts had rattled the woodwork three times in the second-half too.

But Davies’ corner went in – possibly via slight deflection on the line – to ensure Wrexham made their longest return trip back to North Wales with three points in the bag.

Manager Phil Parkinson made two changes from the defeat to Yeovil Town, with the first of those enforced after the appeal against Liam McAlinden’s red card was rejected.

James Jones returned to the starting line-up in his place, and also back in the team was striker Jake Hyde partnering Paul Mullin – who passed a late fitness test.

On a difficult surface, it was Wrexham who got into their stride quicker but without really testing Dover goalkeeper Josh Bexon.

Aaron Hayden volleyed at the Dover goalkeeper on 12 minutes from Ben Tozer’s cross and James Jones shot over on the quarter-hour but the half was played in a stop-start manner.

Bryce Hosannah then twisted and turned to get beyond Junior Tiensia on 25 minutes but his delicate chipped effort somehow stayed out.

It was only really the minutes before half-time in which Wrexham turned possession into clear-cut chances, but Paul Mullin’s shot from an angle was parried over by Bexon on 44 minutes.

A minute later, Tozer turned and swung a left boot at a loose ball following a corner, but Ryan Hanson headed off the line.

Dover improved in the early moments after the restart, forcing two corners, and Rob Lainton tipped Alfie Pavey’s 50th-minute header onto the bar – albeit the striker was offside.

Cosgrave’s shot was then blocked by Ben Tozer on 54 minutes, and from the ensuing set-piece, pinball in the box saw Dover eventually strike the far post – the ball somehow staying out.

They hit the woodwork again on 58 minutes, this time from Goodman’s header, although Lainton was untroubled as it clipped the top of the bar.

Hayden should have put Wrexham in front on 62 minutes, however – meeting Luke Young’s inswinging corner just a yard out but somehow firing over.

Jordan Ponticelli replaced James Jones on 66 minutes as Wrexham looked to force a breakthrough, but frustration was showing as Mullin blazed over from distance a minute later.

Bexon parried Jordan Davies’ corner straight to Harry Lennon on 74 minutes, but the defender could not make a clean contact on his right-footed volley and the keeper gratefully held the rebound.

Reece Hall-Johnson was next to miss a gilt-edged chance – blazing over on his left foot, after Ponticelli had released Davies to pull back on 81 minutes.

A minute later, Hayden flicked a long Tozer throw on, but Jake Hyde could not direct his effort under pressure and shot high and wide.

The pressure finally told on 84 minutes, however – Davies’ inswinging corner beating everybody at the near post and deflecting in – seemingly off a Dover defender.

Hyde could have doubled the lead in the 87th minute, when Ponticelli got in behind the defence and squared, but Bexon did well to close the shot down.

 

 

Line-ups

Dover Athletic: (4-1-3-2) Bexon, Tiensia, Twumasi, Goodman, Wood, Hanson, Woods (Arthur 89), Bramble, Cosgrave, Hanson, Williamson (Caton 79), Pavey

Subs not used: Carney, Andre, Moses

Wrexham AFC: (5-3-2): Lainton, Hall-Johnson, Hayden, Tozer, Lennon (D.Jones 79), Hosannah, J.Jones (Ponticelli 66), Davies, Young, Hyde, Mullin

Subs not used: Dibble, French, Green


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