Paul Mullin’s goalscoring exploits continue, with a towering Dalby snatching back all three points for Wrexham against Aldershot Town.
On the back of the draw to Woking, three points on the road against Aldershot Town would feel crucial to the title race.
Phil Parkinson and his men got off to the perfect start as Elliot Lee’s shot hit the hand of Haji Mnoga inside the box. A classic case of a defender diving feet forwards to block a shot with their arms flailing out.
Mullin made no mistake from the spot, as he tucked his penalty past a diving Luca Ashby-Hammond in net with seven minutes gone. Another penalty for Wrexham and another goal for our number ten.
There was end-to-end action from this point onwards, with both sides having half-chances on goal. However, Wrexham would strike again due to the ever-dangerous Anthony Forde.
Throughout the first half, Forde found space on the right-wing to connect play with Ollie Palmer and it seemed a promising outlet for Wrexham.
Strong hold-up play from Palmer enabled Lee to drive at the Aldershot town defence with space opening up for a charging Forde on the wing. As Lee fed a pass into Forde, the backtracking Aldershot defence swept out to address the danger, but Forde curled a first time cross into the emerging gap on the other side of the box, where Mullin couldn’t help but double the score.
This team goal had a bit of everything and was truly easy on the eye.
Five minutes later, the Shots would find a way back into the game, as a pulled-back cross evaded every Wrexham shirt in the box and found an on-running Oliver Pendlebury with all the time in the world to drill the ball underneath Mark Howard in goal.
A feature of Wrexham’s play this season has been responding and Mullin stepped up to the plate to continue this.
James Jones drove at the Shots backline, after a classic interception by Luke Young. As with Lee for the second goal, the Aldershot defenders stood off the advancing midfielder, who slipped in Mullin on the edge of the box. Controlling the ball in such a tight space at top speed is difficult and Mullin couldn’t decelerate quickly enough to keep the ball in front of him. This wouldn’t be an issue though, as he spun around and flicked the ball with the outside of his foot to seal his hat-trick...
Or so we initially thought, as the shot would have evaded the goal if it wasn’t for an immediate deflection off the boot of Corey Jordan. An optimistic perspective is that Mullin was actually trying to flick the ball onto a free Palmer in the box, who would have had a tap-in.
Unfortunately for Wrexham, the two goal lead would be halved once more, as a fantastic chipped through ball by Ryan Glover would find Jake Hutchinson at the back-post. He eyed up his spot and slotted the ball into the side netting of the far-post, with Howard anticipating a near-post finish.
A half of football led by the goals of Mullin, but somewhat tarnished by the cheap goals of Aldershot.
The second half had a similar feel to the first portion of the game, with both sides creating opportunities.
The half-time substitution of a returning Jordan Tunnicliffe seemed to plug any holes in the backline exploited in the first half.
Sadly, the trend of scoring around the hour mark would halt at the EBB Stadium. Two great opportunities did fall the way of Mullin deeper into the game, to secure his hat-trick and the match. However, a one-on-one save by Ashby-Hammond and an off-balanced mishit by Mullin would keep the score at 2-3 going into the final phase of the game.
Wrexham hearts would be shattered in the 89th minute though, when Hutchinson missed a cross, seeing the ball fall onto the chest of Tunnicliffe in an instant. The ball then rolled agonisingly and tantalisingly past Howard, who couldn’t react in time to shift his body weight and keep the ball out.
With Notts County scoring three times late on to evade a draw against Yeovil Town, this late equaliser from Aldershot Town would hurt.
Wrexham never say die though and super-sub Sam Dalby would strike again.
A Luke Young corner in the 96th minute of the game would find Dalby towards the front-post. With a second glance confirming there was no springboard beneath him, the one thousand Wrexham fans in the away end saw the ball glide into the back of the net, as Dalby had claimed back all three points for the boys in blue.
Dalby’s form off the bench has been an unparalled bonus for Parkinson, with vital goals and assists coming from the number 18.
Wrexham would win 4-3 and this would almost certainly be one of those games to look back on at the end of the season, whatever may happen.
The games come thick and fast now, as Wrexham take on Scunthorpe United at the Racecourse Ground tomorrow.