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REPORT | Wrexham AFC 3-2 Blyth Spartans

Red Dragons resist comeback to book place in FA Cup first round

18 October 2022

Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC 3-2 Blyth Spartans

Red Dragons resist comeback to book place in FA Cup first round

18 October 2022

Wrexham resisted Blyth Spartans’ second-half comeback to book their place in the FA Cup first round with victory in the fourth qualifying round replay.

Ollie Palmer started off a clinical first-half display that helped secure victory in the FA Cup, holding off an impressive Blyth Spartans side.

The number nine put Wrexham ahead inside the ten-minute mark, as he cheekily flicked the ball past Alex Mitchell.

Paul Mullin and Jordan Davies made it three before the break, giving them a comfortable lead at half time. 

However, it couldn’t have been more different in the second period, as Spartans rallied, putting Wrexham to the sword.

JJ O’Donnell and Michael Richardson both scored in quickfire fashion, putting Wrexham under pressure right until the final whistle.

Phil Parkinson named six changes to the side that was held by Blyth in the first encounter on Saturday at Crofts Park.

Mullin and Palmer returned up top, with four defensive changes seeing Jordan Tunnicliffe make his Wrexham debut, and Ben Tozer the last man standing in the back five.

The Red Dragons imposed home advantage from the offset and went ahead just before the ten-minute mark. Mullin ran the ball to the by-line, and cut it back to Palmer, who coolly flicked it past Mitchell.

It was 2-0 two minutes later, as Paul Mullin timed his jump perfectly and headed past Mitchell unchallenged, as the Spartans stopper watched it nestle in the bottom corner.

The visitors’ chances were few and far between, but JJ O’Donnell came closest in the opening exchanges after spinning McAlinden and firing just over.

There was some cause for concern for the Wrexham bench ten minutes before half-time, as Ollie Palmer went down injured, but after a period of treatment returned to the pitch.

It was soon the local lad’s turn to get on the scoresheet, as Jordan Davies’ header bounced back to him, and he slotted the ball side-footed into the bottom corner.

Spartans couldn’t muster any opportunities before the break, failing to make the inroads as they did in the first game.

After the re-start, the visitors came out like a different team, and O’Donnell forced Mark Howard into making a smart save after his shot from inside the six-yard box.

However, O’Donnell’s pressure told in the end, as he jinxed past the Wrexham defence, finishing past Howard.

Spartans continued to press and made further inroads to the Red Dragons lead, as Richardson turned on the half volley and finished past Howard.

Wrexham were starved of chances in the second half, as they were more than matched by the National League North side.

But the Red Dragons stood firm at the other end to book their place in the first round, and a home match against Oldham Athletic.

Wrexham: Howard (GK), Forde, Tunnicliffe, Tozer (Hayden 45’) Cleworth, McAlinden (Hosannah 72’), Young ©, Jones, Davies (O’Connor 81), Mullin, Palmer

Subs not used: Watson, McFadzean, Dalby, Lee

Blyth Spartans: Mitchell (GK), Richardson, Evans, Lees, Eldson, Hickey, Cornish (Joisce 73’), Deverdics, McKeown, Ravenhill, O’Donnell ©

Subs not used: Gillies, Dospon, Alexander

Attendance: 6845 (246 from Blyth Spartans)

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