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REPORT | Aldershot Town 0-5 Wrexham

Shots without a paddle as Reds wash away Hamps

9 November 2021

Who said you should never go back? Wrexham returned to the scene of that frustrating abandoned game and made full amends with a spectacular victory.

Phil Parkinson made four changes from the side which was unlucky to lose at Harrogate, while retaining a similar shape. Reece Hall-johnson made his first start since the opening day of the season, Dan Jarvis enjoyed a first league start of the campaign, while Harry Lennon and Bryce Hosannah returned to the back five. 

Wrexham started brightly, and enjoyed a couple of threatening moments in the opening five minutes. Hosannah burst past Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain and appeared to be fouled on the edge of the box, but the referee waved play on, and within a minute Luke Young swung in a terrific free kick from the right which Ben Tozer headed narrowly wide.

Aldershot started to gain a foothold in midfield at that point, and Wrexham were starting to reassert themselves when there was a 9-minute stoppage after Corie Andrews collided with Rob Lainton. The Wrexham keeper was flipped in the air by the challenge and landed on his face, requiring treatment to his recently broken nose. After a lengthy period of uncertainty, during which referee Sunny Gill appeared to signal that he had to leave the pitch, and he had to change both shirt and shorts in the goalmouth, with Christian Dibble putting his coat on and off as the signs from the pitch fluctuated, before it was decided Lainton could continue.

Wrexham continued to look bright after the resumption without initially carving out clear cut chances. Jordan Davies surged forwards well and lashed a shot over, but was fouled as he struck his shot. Scott Wagstaff received a yellow for his challenge, and Davies' resultant free kick was well struck but blocked by the jumping wall.

With six minutes left of the half a snappy break down the left earned a chance for Ben Tozer to hurl a long throw into the box. He took full advantage, securing his fourth assist of the season as Aaron Hayden leapt to plant a fine glancing header in off the post.

Four minutes later Wrexham doubled their lead from another set piece. This time, Hosannah capitalised on a poor touch by Oxlade-Chamberlain and was halted by a heavy challenge from the right back. Davies' free kick was cleared to James Jones, whose fierce shot was met by Hayden, who redirected it onto the bar. Luckily, the rebound fell to Lennon, who sidefooted the ball home from the edge of the box.

Within a minute it could have been 3-0. A cute ball round the corner by Jarvis sent Jordan Ponticelli one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but Walker saved well to his left. Jarvis did brilliantly to retrieve the ball on the left, cut inside and feed Jones, who pulled his shot wide.

After 10 minutes of added time the half came to a halt, with Wrexham holding the same 2-0 interval lead they'd enjoyed five weeks earlier.

Lainton didn't emerge for the second half, with Dibble replacing him for the second time in 7 games. The Shots opened the half positively, and a spell of pressure ended in a free kick which Andrews volleyed towards goal, his fierce strike hitting Corey Jordan and ricocheting wide.

Wrexham wisely calmed the storm with a lengthy spell of possession, which ended in the third goal. Jarvis opened up Aldershot's defence with a ball down the left to Hosannah, and his perfect pull-back was side-footed home by Hall-Johnson.

A remarkable passage of play two minutes later could have offered Aldershot a way back into the game, but instead ended with Wrexham four goals to the good. A free kick into the visitors' box was punched clear well by Dibble, and when the ball was played back in, Andrews drilled another powerful volley on goal. Dibble, who was partially unsighted, made an excellent parry low to his right, and then was able to save Mo Sylla's shot from the rebound.

Wrexham broke immediately, and scored a contender for goal of the season: Jones broke down the right, flicked the ball over a defender's head and swept in a glorious ball to the edge of the area where Ponticelli took a touch and curled an extravagant shot into the top right corner.

The Red Dragons weren't finished yet. Half way through the second half a Tozer throw was cleared but the centre-back's follow-up cross picked out Davies, who met it with a powerful header inside the post.

To their credit, Aldershot kept going and forced Dibble into another save when the unmarked Jordan nodded the ball down to Andrews, whose close range shot was deflected past the post by the keeper. With 11 minutes left, the home side came closest to a goal when a corner was met by a downward header by Lyons-Foster which smashed into the bar. 

The game petered out as Wrexham settled for five goals, with the home fans taunting their players with a chorus of "We want our money back!" The final whistle went 15 seconds early, as the referee showed pity on the home side. It was greeted by fierce booing and jubilant celebration as the contrasting fortunes of football were laid bare.

ALDERSHOT TOWN: L Walker, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Whittingham 46), Lyons-Foster, Jordan, Kinsella, Sylla (Willard 69), Glover, Wagstaff, Vennings, Ndjoli (Berkeley-Agyepong 61), Andrews, UNUSED SUBS: M Walker, Gorman.

WREXHAM: Lainton (Dibble 46), Hall-Johnson (Green 68), Hayden, Tozer, Lennon, Hosannah, Young, Jones, Davies, Jarvis, Ponticelli (Angus 79). UNUSED SUBS: Brisley, McAlinden.

YELLOW CARDS:
Aldershot - Wagstaff, Oxlade-Chamberlain, AAndrews.
Wrexham - 

RED CARDS:
Aldershot - None
Wrexham - None

Referee: Sunny Gill

Attendance: 1,639

Wrexham fans - 247


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