The debutant’s two late goals would have Wrexham fans in awe, as his performance had 10,000 fans off their seats.
There was an air of frustration at the Racecourse Ground early on, as Eastleigh stuck to their game-plan effectively.
Fluidity was a distant concept in the opening half, as Paul Mullin was forced to make chances happen. The Wrexham striker performed his notable swivel and turns to try and create space for himself in the opposition half.
Eastleigh did little to threaten, but were containing Wrexham well. They would, however, edge the Red Dragons for the first goal, as George Langston poked his foot in front of Tozer to jab the ball into the empty net, despite Aaron Hayden’s last-ditch efforts with 14 minutes on the clock.
The Wrexham centre-back showed how much he was missed at the end of last season, as his class, composure and trickery were all on display for the returning home crowd at the Racecourse.
Mullin’s eye-catching start was equalled by Palmer in the second part of the first half, as the towering centre forward was making his presence known at set-pieces. Ollie would go on to have numerous chances in the game, but it wasn't to be his day as far as scoring was concerned.
The story of the first half was replicated for much of the second half. Bright opportunities would illuminate the corners of the Eastleigh box, but Eastleigh defenders did not beacon the red shirts through, as multiple blocks had to be made.
Most chances would be shots off goal, but first half substitute Jordan Davies’ free-kick was the first troubling effort on goal for McDonnell.
Expectation has often been met with Ben Tozer long-throws, however Hayden and Palmer couldn't divert them home.
Change was needed, and who better than new signing Elliot Lee, a former scorer in European football.
His class and exuberance were evident, as he picked up the ball around all corners of the box, providing trickery and patience to wait for the exact moment to deliver his quality.
The moment of truth came, when Palmer showcased his own efforts of craft on the edge of the Spitfires’ box, before backheeling through Lee. The former West Ham man would curl the ball into the far corner from a tremendously narrow angle, proving in one second just how good he is.
Last-gaps wins were a theme of last season’s games for Wrexham and Lee intended on continuing with the narrative.
With 85 minutes on the clock and Eastleigh starting to cause nerves at the other end, Mullin would feed through Lee in the box. He used all of his body weight to hold off the defender behind, shift the ball onto his right-foot and fire a snapshot bullet out of the barrel and into Eastleigh’s net.
Lee thought the atmosphere would be similar to Luton Town’s, but admitted that the Racecourse edged Kenilworth Road. An unsurprising opinion given the decibels after both of his goals.
First games of season are always hard to scrutinise as part of the bigger picture, but the three points remain as precious as any part of the season.
Furthermore, it’s more minutes in the legs for the 14 players used, including debuts for Mark Howard, Anthony Forde, Lee and Jacob Mendy in front of a rapturous Racecourse.