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REPORT | Accrington Stanley 2-0 Wrexham

Defeat on the road after second-half goals

18 November 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Accrington Stanley 2-0 Wrexham

Defeat on the road after second-half goals

18 November 2023

Wrexham suffered just a third defeat of the season, as two second-half goals proved the difference for Accrington Stanley at Wham Stadium.

After a goalless first-half, Tommy Leigh’s disputed penalty and Rosaire Longelo’s bundled finish consigned Wrexham to a first defeat in 12 matches.

In the pouring rain, Wrexham struggled to create chances after the break and even Paul Mullin's stoppage-time penalty hit the crossbar, with the Red Dragons dropping out of the top three as a result.

Phil Parkinson named two changes from the team which comfortably beat Gillingham at the STōK Cae Ras a week ago. Paul Mullin returned from suspension in place of Ollie Palmer, while Jordan Davies started at left wing-back with both Jacob Mendy and James McClean on international duty.

The game started with neither team able to create anything of note in the early exchanges.

Wrexham’s first chance fell to Tom O’Connor, when Mullin was fouled as he turned on the edge of the area. The Irishman lifted the subsequent free-kick over the wall, but straight into Jon McCracken’s arms.

A minute later, Anthony Forde won a corner on the right-hand side, and O’Connor’s cross fell for Elliot Lee, but his shot was well blocked.

Forde was seeing far more of the ball down the right-hand side, and it was from his 14th-minute cross that Lee headed goalwards, but McCracken did well to turn it away from goal.

Accrington’s first chance of note fell to Tommy Leigh 25 yards out, as he took advantage of some space to fire low and hard towards goal on 20 minutes, but it was always swerving away from goal.

Mullin pounced on Lowe’s miscued header on 23 minutes and rounded McCracken, but the goalkeeper did well to force him wide and then save the low shot from a tight angle.

The striker had an even better opportunity on 34 minutes, when Lee slipped the ball through to him, but – one on one with McCracken – his shot clipped the bar and went well over.

James Jones’ eyes lit up on 38 minutes, meanwhile, as a cross dropped kindly for him but he completely missed the ball with his attempted left-footed volley inside the area.

It remained goalless at half-time, however, with Will Boyle replacing Tom O’Connor for Wrexham during the interval.

Accrington were in front on 49 minutes, however – Jordan Davies was penalised for a pull in the penalty area, and Leigh fired the penalty straight down the middle to beat Arthur Okonkwo.

Buoyed by the goal, Adedoyin then darted inside from the right on 51 minutes and fired goalwards, but Okonkwo saved and held.

Unable to create any clear-cut chances, Wrexham responded by bringing Palmer on for Aaron Hayden and switching to a 4-3-3 formation midway through the half.

Accrington had a second on 73 minutes, however – Nolan found space to shoot and Okonkwo couldn’t hold the initial effort, allowing Adedoyin to keep the ball alive and Longelo to bundle in.

Wrexham’s final throw of the dice was a triple change, with Andy Cannon, Liam McAlinden and Jake Bickerstaff all coming on.

Both Leigh and McCracken needed lengthy injury treatment in the second-half, resulting in ten minutes’ stoppage time.

Wrexham had a sniff of an opportunity when they won a penalty in the ninth of those, but Mullin's fierce strike clattered the crossbar to sum up a frustrating afternoon.


Accrington Stanley: McCracken, Lowe, Hills, Rich-Baghuelou, Shipley, Conneely, Woods, Longelo (Martin 79), Leigh (Andrews 74), Nolan, Adedoyin

Subs: Mellor, Gubbins, Pickles, Woods, McIntyre

Wrexham: Okonkwo, Hayden (Palmer 67), Tozer, O’Connor (Boyle 46), Forde, Jones (Cannon 81), Evans, Lee, J.Davies (McAlinden 81), Mullin, Dalby (Bickerstaff 81)

Subs: Howard, Young,

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 5,261 (2,857 away)

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