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REPORT | Crawley Town 0-1 Wrexham AFC

Ollie Palmer's brilliant goal seals victory on the road for ten-man Red Dragons

7 October 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Crawley Town 0-1 Wrexham AFC

Ollie Palmer's brilliant goal seals victory on the road for ten-man Red Dragons

7 October 2023

Ollie Palmer’s brilliant flicked goal in the first-half proved the difference, as ten-man Wrexham stood firm to record a narrow win on the road away to Crawley Town.

Palmer fired Wrexham in front in the first-half, but substitute Andy Cannon’s second-half red card could have proved a turning point after the break.

The visitors stood firm, however – a second consecutive clean sheet sealing all three points.

Wrexham made one change from Tuesday’s battling point away to Mansfield Town, with Ben Tozer rested – after 100 consecutive league starts since signing – and Eoghan O’Connell returning in his place.

The game came alive on eight minutes, with Danilo Orsi’s shot blocked from the edge of the area, before Ronan Darcy’s effort flashed wide across goal from a tight angle moments later.

At the other end, Palmer turned well to feed Elliot Lee on 11 minutes and – though the midfielder was running away from goal – his clever backheeled flick deflected just wide.

Wrexham were in front of 13 minutes though – James McClean’s left-wing cross looping kindly for Palmer to deliver a perfect flick with the outside of his boot, over Corey Addai and into the far corner.

Crawley almost hit back immediately – Orsi getting the better of Tom O’Connor from a long ball from the restart – but Arthur Okonkwo saved low, and from the rebound Orsi’s shot clipped the bar and bounced over.

Orsi had another big chance on 37 minutes, when Will Wright crossed after an overlapping run on the right, but with the goal gaping the striker shot over.

Two minutes later, Laurence Maguire found space outside the area and shot left-footed, but his effort deflected wide off Aaron Hayden.

Paul Mullin had a great chance to double Wrexham’s advantage on 40 minutes, however – the striker outmuscled his marker to race onto James Jones’ lofted pass, but Addai stuck out a hand to save brilliantly.

Wrexham finished the half strongly as well, with Jacob Mendy cutting inside in first-half stoppage time and shooting through a crowd, but his effort was blocked with George Evans having been well placed for a pass instead.

On the stroke of half-time, Palmer then danced through two tackles and got to the byline, but there was nobody on hand to get to his cut-back.

Wrexham continued where they left off after the break too, and Palmer headed wide across goal from McClean’s left-wing corner on 50 minutes.

Two minutes later, Lee shifted the ball onto his left foot and shot just wide from the edge of the area after a good run by Jacob Mendy to create the chance.

McClean was next to try his luck, after Mullin outmuscled Jay Williams on 53 minutes to release the Irishman on the left, but he dragged his low shot wide across goal.

Just moments later, Palmer found space on the edge of the box and shot right-footed, but Addai was equal to it to turn it wide.

Wrexham’s momentum was halted when Mendy was forced off injured on 59 minutes, however, with Cannon replacing him and James Jones moving to right wing-back.

Cannon was only on for seven minutes, however, before he was shown a straight red card for a lunging tackle on Adam Campbell in the Wrexham half.

Aaron Henry went for goal from the resultant free-kick, but his effort deflected up and over off the wall.

Crawley had another free-kick chance on 76 minutes, right on the edge of the area after Aaron Hayden brought down Nick Tsaroulla, but Will Wright shot well over.

Wrexham’s response was to bring Jordan Tunnicliffe on for Mullin, and Jordan Davies for Lee, with O’Connor moving to left wing-back, and McClean to the right.

Klaidi Lolos cut inside on 85 minutes, and shot right-footed, but his effort dropped just wide.

At the other end, Davies found space to unleash a rising left-footed shot, which Addai could only turn wide of the post.

Wrexham stood firm at the other end, through seven minutes of stoppage time, and there was even time for Steven Fletcher to loft an audacious long-range shot just over as the visitors sealed a valuable three points on the road.


Crawley Town (4-1-4-1): Addai, Wright, Williams, Conroy, Maguire, Henry, Darcy (Gordon 89), Gladwin (Lolos 29), Campbell (Forster 78), Tsaroulla, Orsi

Subs: Ashby-Hammond, Roles, Johnson, Khaleel

Wrexham AFC (3-5-2): Okonkwo, Hayden, O’Connell, O’Connor, Mendy (Cannon 59), Jones, Evans, Lee (J.Davies 80), McClean, Palmer (Fletcher 67), Mullin (Tunnicliffe 80)

Subs: Howard, Boyle, Dalby

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 5,572 (1,334 away)


Crawley Town: Wright (70, time wasting), Gordon (90+2, foul)

Wrexham: Palmer (33, foul), Mendy (43, foul), McClean (45+1, foul), Hayden (76, foul), Fletcher (83, time wasting), Davies (90+7, time wasting)

Sent off:

Wrexham: Cannon (66, foul)

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