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REVIEW | Wrexham 0-0 Wigan Athletic (4-2 after penalties)

The Latics blazed over two penalties in the shootout to gift Wrexham the tie

9 August 2023

Feature

REVIEW | Wrexham 0-0 Wigan Athletic (4-2 after penalties)

The Latics blazed over two penalties in the shootout to gift Wrexham the tie

9 August 2023

Wrexham’s composure from the penalty spot was enough to knock out League One side Wigan Athletic in the First Round of the Carabao Cup.

After the disappointing loss in the first league game of the season to MK Dons, Phil Parkinson confirmed that he would be making changes for this fixture, to get more minutes into the legs of his squad. 

After impressing as a substitute on Saturday, Jake Bickerstaff was named in the starting eleven, next to Ollie Palmer at the front of the line.  

The Wrexham youth graduate looked to run the channels and stretch play as effectively as possible in his 74 minutes on the pitch.  

A few chances fell his way too, of which he was critical of himself not to do better with, in his post-match interview.

Ultimately, Jake and Ollie’s hold-up play and runs gave the Red Dragons the foundation to create a plethora of opportunities on the Wigan goal.

A better defensive display was another focus of last night's game, after the Red Dragons shipped in five goals against the Dons at home in the fixture prior. 

Parkinson rotated the backline, seeing Mark Howard start in goal, with Max Cleworth slotting into the back three alongside Ben Tozer and Eoghan O’Connell, who both kept their place after the weekend.  

Wigan failed to sustain any dominant period of pressure throughout the game, but there were spells in which the tide looked as though it could turn. However, the competent defending by the entirety of the team quelled any chance the Latics had of getting a foothold in the game. 

It felt as though Howard caught every ball cleanly in goal and the back three shepherded away any danger for the most part. 

Captain Luke Young also returned into the starting line-up, and coupled with James Jones, the energy and awareness in the midfield was second to none. 

This was all part of the recipe to deny the Latics imposing themselves on the game.  

Jordan Davies was another to be heralded for his performance off the bench against MK Dons at the weekend, as he scored a screamer from twenty yards. 

Although there was no goal yesterday, Davies found himself on the end of a significant chance and looked sharp in the field, as he glided through the midfield with eye-catching class.

Full time was called with the game remaining goalless, meaning an immediate penalty shootout would decide the fate of the game.

The main headlines from the penalty shootout were Charlie Hughes and Thelo Aasgaard skying their penalties over the crossbar back-to-back to hand Wrexham the victory in the tie. However, it must also be noted that Luke Young, Elliot Lee, Tom O’Connor and Sam Dalby all effortlessly stroked away their penalties to win the tie too. 

Wrexham lost their last penalty shootout to Altrincham in the FA Trophy last season, and so it was pleasing to see such a nerveless display this time around. 

Wrexham’s ball number for tonight’s Second Round draw will be 22, with a few Premier League sides entering at this stage.  


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