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Match Reports

REPORT | Torquay United 1-1 Wrexham AFC

Our 15 years in the National League are over!

29 April 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Torquay United 1-1 Wrexham AFC

Our 15 years in the National League are over!

29 April 2023

National League champions Wrexham bid farewell to the fifth tier with a draw away to Torquay United, which confirmed the hosts’ relegation to the National League South.

Paul Mullin missed an early penalty in a first-half Wrexham dominated, only for Gulls’ keeper Mark Halstead to keep the scores level.

Frank Nouble then put Torquay in front against the run of play, but Lee tapped in late on to ensure Wrexham finished the season on a new record of 111 points.

Phil Parkinson named the starting XI which beat Boreham Wood a week ago, with just one change on the bench as Billy Waters replaced Jordan Davies.

It meant both Ben Tozer and Paul Mullin completed ever-present league seasons, having both started all 46 matches in the Vanarama National League.

Mullin was straight into the thick of the action too, when Ben Foster claimed a poor cross on three minutes and immediately released the striker over the top. Mullin skipped inside onto his right foot but dragged his shot wide.

Two minutes later, Mullin was presented with an even better chance to break the deadlock when Sam Dalby’s cross hit Nico Lawrence’s outstretched hand in the area. Mullin took the penalty, but Mark Halstead dived to his left and pushed the ball wide.

Torquay had Halstead to thank for keeping the scores level again in the seventh minute, when Eoghan O’Connell headed goalwards from a corner and the Gulls’ keeper did brilliantly to readjust and parry clear.

Ryan Barnett was next to try his luck, after Tom O’Connor’s inch-perfect crossfield pass provided him space to drive inside from the right on nine minutes, but he shot wide.

Frank Nouble headed goalwards for Torquay on 14 minutes, but straight at Ben Foster, and that proved to be just a brief respite for the hosts.

At the other end, Barnett’s intricate through ball released Mullin on the quarter-hour, but Halstead stuck out a boot to save well.

Five minutes later, Halstead once again came to Torquay’s rescue – this time clawing away Tom O’Connor’s 25-yard free-kick after Elliot Lee had been fouled.

Lee cut inside onto his right foot on 34 minutes, after Mullin teed him up, but got his shot all wrong as it flew high and wide.

Wrexham could not find a breakthrough, however, with the half ending goalless.

The Red Dragons continued where they left off after the break, however, and two minutes into the half Lee headed wide from Ryan Barnett’s cross.

A minute later, Mullin and Barnett exchanged passes but the latter’s shot was parried clear by Halstead again and the rebound deflected wide.

Torquay took the lead on 53 minutes, however, when Aaron Jarvis crossed from the right and Nouble tapped in from close-range.

Wrexham took a moment to regather themselves after the goal, but Mullin fed Dalby on 61 minutes and the striker’s shot was parried wide.

James Jones then released Mullin on the right with a well-weighted pass on 64 minutes, but his cross deflected into the side-netting with Halstead wrong-footed.

Asa Hall should have doubled Torquay’s lead on 65 minutes, however, but planted a free header wide.

Wrexham’s response was to bring on first Ollie Palmer and debutant Waters, and then Anthony Forde – Mullin, Dalby and then Barnett making way.

And Palmer provided the assist on 80 minutes, skipping away from Lawrence and crossing low for Lee to tap in the equaliser.

James Jones found space on the right two minutes later, and spotted Halstead off his line, but his floated effort dropped just over.

Forde’s 25-yard free-kick then deflected over on 84 minutes, and Andy Cannon volleyed well over when the resultant corner dropped to him.

Billy Waters had the ball in the net in stoppage time but was flagged for offside as Wrexham fans started chanting down the time remaining in the National League.

And when Ollie Palmer’s late cross-shot flashed wide across goal, referee Garreth Rhodes duly obliged – his full-time whistle marking the end of an extraordinary season.


Torquay United: Halstead, Donnellan, Lawrence, Moxey, Stobbs, Lapslie (McGavin 87), Hall, Dawson, Collins, Jarvis, Nouble

Subs: Omar, Evans, Wyatt, Lovett

Wrexham: Foster, O’Connell, Tozer, O’Connor, Bennett (Forde 76), J.Jones, Cannon, Mendy, Lee, Mullin (Palmer 67), Dalby (Waters 67)

Subs: Howard, Cleworth

Referee: Garreth Rhodes

Attendance:  4,908 (1,258 away)


Torquay: Dawson (58, dissent)

Wrexham: O’Connell (58, handball)

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