Welcoming Dorking Wanderers to the Racecourse Ground for the first time, Wrexham went full throttle from the get-go.
Elliot Lee and Paul Mullin’s chemistry was clear to see. A hooked cross by Mullin inside the box would see the ball collide with the head of a stampeding Lee in the ninth minute to crash against the crossbar agonisingly.
However, three minutes later, the 10,000 plus fans would bear witness to one of the goals of the season.
Picking up the ball in the centre, Mullin would set away Lee on the wing. Unable to manoeuvre an opportunity, he held off his defender to push the ball back to Jacob Mendy. Instead of ball-watching and standing still, Lee made a darting run into the centre, as Mullin was fed the ball.
The complexity for defenders in marking Lee’s positioning was evident here, as he took a hold of Mullin’s pass and rifled the ball into the roof of Dan Lincoln’s net from 25 yards out.
The instinctive play between Mullin and Lee was a feature of the game, and Dorking Wanderers truly couldn’t get to grips with the exchanges between the pair.
Phil Parkinson spoke after the game of keeping the spark and freshness in the squad when asked about Sam Dalby and after impressive and crucial performances off the bench, Dalby continued his form when starting against Dorking Wanderers.
In a similar distance to Lee, Dalby cannoned a fizzler bound to rock the netting of Lincoln’s goal. However, positioned off his line, the goalkeeper managed to fly high and tip the cannonball over the bar.
Speaking of cannons, Andy Cannon’s deeper positioning in this game was of note, as his quality quelled the opposition’s threat, whilst also laying a foundation for Wrexham’s own sequences going forward.
Yet another interception from Luke Young would be yet another catalyst for a Wrexham goal. Young’s immediate pass into Mullin after winning the ball inside the Wanderers’ half, allowed the number ten to creep into the box with Ed Harris startling backwards. An easy shift onto his left foot allowed Mullin to stroke the ball past Lincoln to double the lead.
The Red Dragons' enjoyment was clear to see in an eye-catching first half.
A clever ball from Max Cleworth saw Dalby and Mullin both breakaway from the backline and through on goal. Selflessly, Dalby recognised Mullin’s presence and slipped the ball to the number ten when up against Lincoln. Unfortunately, the two strikers were in close proximity and the ball rolled behind Mullin, giving him no chance to readjust to slot the ball home.
The ruthless striker’s mentality soon returned to Dalbythough, following another Cleworth through ball. Picking the ball up on the right wing against Joe Cook, Dalby easily brushed him aside to stride into the box. Changing the angle at the last moment, he was able to curl the ball back inside the near-post to gain a deserved goal.
Dalby played the full 90 minutes, but there were no signs of tiredness. Running through from the halfway line from a Young interceptive header, Dalby held off three men whilst running at full tilt on goal. His left-footed shot was well saved by Lincoln, with the rebound going over from Ollie Palmer. A move showcasing just what Dalby is made of.
On another day, Palmer’s cameo in this game would have resulted in a goal and assist for himself, and so to see all three strikers having chances is a positive to be grateful for.
Sadly, the clean sheet was ripped apart by a brilliant Jimmy Muitt header, but full time marked another win for Wrexham after a fabulous performance.
Further adding to the victory, Notts County would lose the later kick-off to Dagenham & Redbridge in the 86th minute and so Wrexham remained two points behind with two games in-hand.
A win against out-of-form Chesterfield on Tuesday would see the Red Dragons reclaim top spot in the National League.