Paul Mullin scored his 40th goal of the season, as Wrexham muscled past Bromley.
Wrexham’s record at Hayes Lane is far from convincing, and so the test against a Bromley side who recently took points away from Notts County would be a tough one.
This would be the first league game of the season where Elliot Lee would play no part in, as he missed the trip to Bromley due to illness. With attacking play primarily going through him, there would be question marks as to how Wrexham would fare going forward.
The delightful answer to this is that Andy Cannon has been in tantalising form of late, James Jones is failing to put a foot wrong, and Jordan Davies has recently returned to the side after injury.
This midfield trio, with Luke Young returning to the bench, navigated the affair against the Ravens terrifically.
Within 15 minutes, Phil Parkinson’s men had rattled the framework of debutant Sam Long’s goal twice, via headers from Jacob Mendy and Ben Tozer. Once again, our defenders are having vast amounts of opportunities to score.
The home side would force their way back into the game as the half drew on, but Wrexham dealt with the threat.
The previous two visits for Rob Lainton to Hayes Lane unfortunately saw him exit the field on stretchers, and luck again was somehow not on his side. Parkinson told us after the game that Lainton had caught his studs in the 4g turf, damaging his knee ligament, and thus the decision was made to take him off during the interval.
Wrexham came out of the blocks fast again, as they began to test the Bromley keeper more after the restart. After a couple of opportunities went by, the breakthrough would come in the 56th minute.
Ryan Barnett was up to his usual tricks and flicks on the right wing, up against Besart Topalloj. With the defender eventually winning the ball, he would be immediately outmuscled by Jones, who was then able to whip in an inviting ball onto the head of the forthcoming Mullin at the back-post. The striker powered his header home to give Wrexham the lead.
The Red Dragons would not rest on their laurels though, as Mullin doubled the lead on the hour mark. Long would let one of Tozer’s famous long throws slip between his hands, allowing the ball to bounce invitingly to Mullin, who was pinned at the back-post. Despite a Bromley defender’s best efforts at a rugby tackle, Mullin would score his second via an overhead kick, as almost one thousand travelling Wrexham fans bore witness to incredible improvisation.
Mullin’s second goal marked his 40th in all competitions this season, with at least eight games remaining to add to his tally.
Just a few minutes later though, Bromley instantly halved the deficit through Michael Cheek, who became the top scorer in the National League’s history. Barnett was dispossessed on the wing, allowing Topalloj to gain revenge and set Louis Dennis. The substitute’s shot from inside the box found the foot of Cheek, who simply redirected the ball into the back of Mark Howard’s net.
Despite having over half an hour left of play, the home side failed to create any real opportunities, thanks to the well marshalled defensive display from Parkinson’s men.
Once again, Cannon’s performance in the middle of the park was one of class and nous. Linking up with the defence to start attacks, he carefully analysed each situation to make the decision as to whether to play safe or turn with a quick yield of pace to beat his man and progress up the field.
The victory was extra special, because Notts County failed to win away against fifth placed Barnet, meaning Wrexham now have a game in hand with a three point lead at the top of the table.
With no Tuesday game inbound, Wrexham will have a week to rest and prepare for the next fixture against York City, in what will be the first of a weekend double header, as Wrexham AFC Women welcome Connah’s Quay Nomads to the Racecourse Ground this Sunday.