It would have taken something special to match Jordan Davies’ remarkable display at Halifax last season, but a last-gasp victory earned by Paul Mullin’s injury time winner fits the bill!
Mullin’s late strike earned a victory from behind, as Jordan Ponticelli came off the bench to provide the assist. Less than ten minutes earlier, Wrexham had been trailling before James Jones equalised with his first Wrexham goal.
Jones’ equaliser came in the 82nd minute after a determined run by Cameron Green. The substitute carried the ball to the corner flag down the left, lost it, but won it back again and Jordan Davies rolled in Jones who, from a tight angle, managed to slot the ball between the keeper and his near post.
Wrexham had switched to 4-3-3 to facilitate a late come-back, and got the winner when an excellent quick free kick by Davies was beautifully pulled down by Ponticelli to Mullin, who drove the ball into the bottom left corner from fifteen yards, and promptly received a yellow card for his exuberant celebration with the superb away following.
Phil Parkinson made two changes from the side which drew with Wealdstone on Saturday. Shaun Brisley returned to the back three in place of Harry Lennon while Dan Jarvis took the place of Ponticelli.
The opening half offered little in terms of goalscoring opportunities, as neither side was able to play accurate final passes into the box, and both defences stood firm.
Brisley was beaten by the lively Jack Vale, but Aaron Hayden stood up well to tackle Billy Waters in the box. Halifax could have enjoyed a slice of luck when Vale’s attempt to pass to Matt Warburton ricocheted goalwards off Ben Tozer’s knee, but the ball looped safely to Rob Lainton.
At the other end a nice spell of Wrexham possession ended in two half-chances as Davies’ effort was blocked and Luke Young’s 25-yarder was comfortably held by Sam Johnson.
Just after the half hour mark came the first time either goalkeeper was really extended. An excellent long ball by Jack Senior found Warburton, who quickly found Vale on the flank. His clever pull back to the edge of the box picked out Kian Spence, whose shot was parried by Lainton.
The only other moments of danger at either end came near the end of the half, and both were strikes from outside the area. Both carried genuine threat though: Davies slammed a terrific shot just wide of the right post from distance, conjuring up memories of his magnificent hat trick at The Shay last season; and almost immediately Waters tried an effort from 25 yards which whistled past the Wrexham goal.
The second half started at a much quicker tempo. Mullin was caught marginally offside as he ran onto a quick free kick from Davies, and Vale’s threatening dribble was foiled as he ran into trouble.
Around the hour, Wrexham enjoyed a period of domination and penetration. An excellent break saw Bryce Hosannah switch for Reece Hall-Johnson, who found Mullin on the edge of the box, but his shot was well held low to his right by Johnson.
Within a minute Mullin was the creator, driving a vicious ball across the face of goal which Jarvis couldn’t quite reach in front of an open goal
Jake Hyde replaced Jarvis, and was immediately involved, keeping a move alive after Hosannah’s over-hit cross and finding Hall-Johnson, whose pull-back for Hosannah resulted in a powerful shot which was well blocked.
Ironically, this spell of pressure – the best either side had enjoyed in the game – was abruptly halted as Halifax opened the scoring.
Brisley was tackled in his own half by Vale, and the ball was worked across Wrexham’s exposed defence via Waters and Warburton to Jordan Slew, who beat Lainton from close range.
Elliott Newby came on immediately, surprisingly for Vale, and was instantly threatening, latching onto a sliced Hosannah clearance, turning and hitting a shot narrowly wide of the far post.
However, it was Wrexham who would turn things round with their bold substitutions and late goals, although between Jones and Mullin’s strikes Halifax nearly clinched the win for themselves when Newby cut in from the right and hit the far post with a powerful shot, and Waters’ immediate cross found Warren, but Lainton was able to hold onto his header.
It was not to be Halifax’s day though, as Wrexham claimed a heartening win.
Halifax: Johnson, Warren, Debrah, Spence, Senior, Green, Maher, Slew (Gilmour 76), Warburton, Vale (Newby 68), Waters. UNUSED SUBS: Swaby-Neavin, Woods, Summerfield.
Wrexham: Lainton, Hall-Johnson, Hayden, Tozer, Brisley (Ponticelli 74), Hosannah (Green 74), J Jones, Young, Davies, Jarvis (Hyde 63), Mullin. UNUSED SUBS: Dibble, Cleworth.
Referee: Martin Woods
Halifax – Maher,Newby
Wrexham – Hosannah, Hayden, Mullin
Red cards: None
Attendance: 3,344 (Away support: 1,212)