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REVIEW | Gateshead 0-3 Wrexham

A game of two halves as Wrexham go top!

26 January 2023

Three second half goals would see Wrexham claim more points on the road and rise above Notts County to the top of the National League.

Tom O’Connor would find himself scoring yet another goal, as the central midfielder continues to find himself in the right places in the opposition’s box. 

Aside from his form in front of goal, O’Connor is excelling in his position in the centre of the park; on and off the ball. Possession for Wrexham constantly goes through O’Connor, as he dictates the flow of the game, moving the ball quickly to help the team’s progression through the field. 

As Wrexham tend to have a lot of the possession in games, O’Connor will thus face more counter attacks from opposition, rather than being pinned on the edge of his box against possession based play. His display against Gateshead showed off his decision-making qualities of when to drop off and when to nick the ball off the attacking threats. 

A look back to the first half would see the Heed have a couple of opportunities where they did break through the Wrexham defence, and plaudits must be sent to Mark Howard for his saves. Most notably, sweeping across the turf to keep out Adam Campbell’s one-on-one on the stroke of half-time. 

Wrexham did their best to control the half, but opportunities were limited. Phil Parkinson’s half-time team-talk prevailed as always though, as a positive urgency came into the play of Wrexham in the second period. 

Although untroubling for Gateshead’s goalkeeper, O’Connor and Paul Mullin began to test Filip Marschall in goal, who stood in place for their usual number one. While also unconfidently palming crosses into the box away, it was clear that Wrexham needed to test their luck on goal as often as possible. 

Coupled with this, the feeling that Wrexham were wearing down the Tynesiders as the game drew on was ever growing.  

The first goal would come just after the hour mark via O’Connor, whereby he flicked a header into the goal after pinball in the Gateshead box. 

On his one year anniversary with the club, Ollie Palmer would easily tuck away a second several minutes later, after Marschall poorly lost control of Elliot Lee’s effort from the edge of the box and laid the ball on a plate for our number nine. 

The icing on the cake would come from Mullin in the 92nd minute, after substitute Sam Dalby would cleverly poke a ball through for the Wrexham number ten, who scored his fourth goal in four games. 

Gateshead may have had chances in which they would have made Wrexham suffer on another day, but overall, the Red Dragons controlled the game efficiently. They were able to add that extra bit of urgency into their play from half-time and punished Gateshead with a clinical edge.  

Yet another away win would mark 15 games unbeaten in the league. With Notts County’s game being postponed at Solihull Moors, Wrexham would claim first position in the league, now being level on games with the Magpies. 

The focus will now shift to the FA Cup this Sunday, as we welcome Championship high-flyers Sheffield United to the Racecourse Ground.  

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