Aaron Hayden picked up where he left off last season, as he bagged a headed brace to help Wrexham seal a hard-fought 3-2 win away at Woking FC.
The away fixture against Woking last season was perhaps the staple-point of Wrexham falling short to Stockport County for the National League title, as the Red Dragons lost 2-1 in April.
With an away win a necessity this season too, the Cards would be no easy side to win three points against, as they have been tipped to push for the Play-Off places this season.
The first twenty minutes belonged to Kyran Lofthouse, as the Woking forward was getting into dangerous areas and constantly being a threat on the ball in the Wrexham half.
However, with only 18 minutes gone, his loose touch and subsequent late challenge on Luke Young would change the tie of the first half.
The referee did not hesitate to show Lofthouse a red card, as his studs caught Young on the shin.
Wrexham would now ideally be able to get a better foothold in the game.
This thinking didn’t materialise, as the Red Dragons huffed and puffed, but threats from Woking ceased.
One chance is all a team needs, though, and Hayden vitalised Wrexham’s enhanced position, as he found himself completely free at the Woking back-post for the opening goal.
A quick one-two allowed Paul Mullin to whip in an inverted cross from the left-wing, before Hayden squeezed in his header into the near-post, leaving a sprawling Craig Ross in net bemused with the final outcome.
The first half drifted out after the goal, with tussles and shoves at set-pieces chewing down the clock.
After half time, Woking came firing out of the blocks, as Padraig Amond’s cannon cross was carefully controlled in by the onrushing James Daly.
Although getting a slight grip on the game, Wrexham knew the 10 men would tire and waited for their opportunity.
Phil Parkinson would however wait no longer than the 59th minute to change the course of the game. Wrexham’s manager brought on Elliot Lee to give the Cards an extra playmaker to deal with.
As is common with the former West Ham man, he would pick up the ball in pockets and create chances, which was exactly what the Red Dragons needed.
But the lead came once again from Hayden, who beat Ross to a cross to slide home a header into an empty net with 68 minutes gone.
Lee’s brilliance would be capped off with a goal, as his cross from inside the box would find the end of Luke Wilkinson’s boot, before being kicked over the line by Ollie Palmer, with 10 minutes of normal time left.
Playing 70 minutes with one man fewer is no easy feat, and Woking’s perseverance was unquestionable. This resulted in the home side winning a penalty in the 84th minute, as Wrexham were cut open by a counter-attack
Young did appear to win the ball after challenging Reece Grego-Cox from behind with a slide tackle, but the referee had made his decision and Woking had reduced the deficit from the spot.
The late goal would not harm Wrexham’s win, as the Red Dragons gained their first away win of the season.
Palmer admitted after the game that Wrexham’s performance wasn’t up to scratch, but three goals and an away win against an impressive Woking side will be looked upon fondly.
Wrexham now sit fourth on 10 points and only two behind Wealdstone in first position. Two wins on the bounce should also lead to some momentum, before Parkinson’s men take on Gateshead at home on the August 30 at 19.45.