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Feature

REVIEW | Barrow AFC 1-1 Wrexham AFC

A game of two halves

27 August 2023

Feature

REVIEW | Barrow AFC 1-1 Wrexham AFC

A game of two halves

27 August 2023

A second one-one away draw of the season saw Wrexham stuck for answers at the SO Legal Stadium against Barrow.

Once again, there would be a new-look midfield after shipping five at home against Swindon Town. Tom O’Connor would navigate the centre of the park, with captain Luke Young to the right of him and the ever-present Elliot Lee to the left.  

This trio seemed to work excellently together, especially on the defensive. O’Connor and Young made lightwork of retreating back to protect the three centre backs when the ball was lost, and Barrow’s heralded direct threat was somewhat nulled.  

They aimed their quick attacks primarily down the right wing, but Wrexham defended in unison and with a clear shape, seeing the hosts barely muster a cross, let alone a chance at goal. 

Looking towards the other end of the pitch, the Red Dragons were having unparalleled joy against Barrow’s right centre back Tyrell Warren.  

It felt as though Ollie Palmer was winning every header against the defender, leaving him making rash decisions, one after another. 

To that regard, Warren was perhaps fortuitous to remain on the pitch. His tackles were chaotic and mistimed, most notably the one on Palmer inside of the Barrow box, when he was seemingly through on goal. 

The penalty saw Elliot Lee score his fifth goal of the league season in as many games, netting in the last four consecutive games, as he placed his spot-kick down the centre of the goal with twelve minutes on the clock. 

Despite Wrexham’s overwhelming dominance in the first 45 minutes, chances weren’t as forthcoming. Jake Bickerstaff went through on goal in the 16th minute, after a precise Will Boyle through ball, and was smartly denied by Paul Farman’s leg. However, other notable opportunities just didn’t materialise.  

Entering the changing rooms a deserved goal to the good away from home is nothing to turn your nose up at, but Wrexham would be left ruing not further pouncing on their first half supremacy. 

The Bluebirds were always going to come out of the blocks quickly after the interval; Wrexham just had to survive the pressure in a composed manner. 

Chances to counter the Barrow pressure did lay themselves present, and Elliot Lee invitingly took one of these chances in the 52nd minute, as the Red Dragons progressed quickly up the field. This however meant that the gap between our compact midfield and defence had grown.  

David Worrall dispossessed Elliot Lee during this move, and so Barrow had their first real opportunity to run at the Wrexham backline. 

Emile Acquah was ultimately slipped through by Kian Spence to run at a back-pedalling Eoghan O’Connell on the edge of the Wrexham box. The striker then picked his spot and dug out an arrowed rifle into the top corner past Mark Howard, whose full stretched dive was rendered useless.  

There was still plenty of time for Phil Parkinson’s men to reassert their position in the game, but the half time substitution of the unreliable Warren for Rory Feely had numbed the dangerous Wrexham direct ball, which seemed to be overhit every time from there on in. 

Coupled with the impressive George Ray and Niall Canavan at the back, Barrow looked a completely different side defensively, and Wrexham were left with more questions than answers going forward.  

The Red Dragons’ shape and unity did remain thoroughly intact though, and a one-one draw would be the end result at the SO Legal Stadium. 

O’Connor’s presence in the middle of the park helped Wrexham to look more neat in their play, with many positives to take from an afternoon where three points should have been secured in the first 45 minutes of the ninety. 


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