Ben Tozer and Elliot Lee’s first half goals handed Wrexham victory over an Eastleigh side who have only lost once at home this season.
Credit must be given to Eastleigh for their brilliant efforts to have a playable pitch, with recent freezing temperatures forcing the postponement of many games.
The weather didn’t stop 813 Wrexham fans making the 400-mile round trip, as they bared witness to a professional performance by the Red Dragons.
The game was not flooded with chances, but when they came Wrexham were clinical.
Great vision from Luke Young on the edge of the Spitfires’ box gave him the platform to square a pass to the equally unmarked Ben Tozer on the right-hand side of the box. The centre back then swept the ball first time into Joe McDonnell’s near-post, in what was an astounding finish given the angle. With that being said, the goalkeeper should have done better, even if taken by surprise.
The issue of giving Young too much time transpired into Elliot Lee’s goal in first half stoppage time. Having not been closed down, Lee was able to shift the ball onto his right foot and curl an effort on goal. Picking his head up in this moment, Lee could see Joe McDonnell positioned off his line and thus dipped the ball over his head.
Even when Paul Mullin and Ollie Palmer don’t find themselves on the scoresheet, Phil Parkinson can rely on men throughout the whole team sheet to chip in with goals. A bonus that any manager would hope for.
The foundation of these two goals, coupled with dictating the whole half, made Wrexham’s job for the second period that bit easier.
Having a less strong away record and going to a ground where only Notts County have won, made this fixture a testament to our title charge. Could we match County’s win and improve our away record?
The answer to these questions was yes, as the control displayed in the first half was replicated in the second. Parkinson’s first substitution came in the 87th minute, showcasing how pleased he was with the performance of all eleven men on the pitch.
Parkinson had only made one change for the live streamed game, as Tom O’Connor started in the midfield alongside Young, after impressive performances off the bench of late. The pair’s ability to control the midfield did not go unnoticed.
The adaptation showed by Wrexham in their playstyle in the final 15 minutes was also a feature of the game that impressed Parkinson. As the pitch became frosty, it was important to play “the right ball” and the Red Dragons looked at ease throughout.
To reiterate, Eastleigh’s home record and the difficult conditions would have seen Wrexham teams from years gone by drop points and so to take all three in the manner that we did was a statement win.