Wrexham earned a point at the One Call Stadium, against a Mansfield Town side that are now the only unbeaten team left in England.
In a game where Phil Parkinson’s men offered little up front, Ollie Palmer had one of his best away games in a Wrexham shirt.
It felt as though Palmer won every ball that was played up to him, whether it had been on his head, chest or boot. Mansfield often won the ball straight after Palmer’s hold-up play in the first half. However, there was a marked improvement in the second 45, with Wrexham winning a lot more second balls from Palmer’s hold-up play; going hand in hand with the improved performance.
The first half was one way traffic for the home side though. Davis Keillor-Dunn lived up to his good form shown this season already, and gave the Wrexham backline countless headaches, with his full-blooded driving runs.
However, Arthur Okonkwo matched any challenge that the Stags had to offer. His tipped save onto the post from Ollie Clarke’s long ranged effort was truly special. The ball was weaving low through the air and Okonkwo’s tall frame helped him to reach the ball and divert it away from his bottom corner in the 36th minute.
Without the performance of George Evans in the central defensive midfield position too, the hard earned point would have been a lot more difficult to have come by.
Composure swept the play of the number twelve, making passes in dangerous areas look beyond easy.
With Mansfield Town controlling the play in the first half, Evans’ ability to dictate the flow of play when Wrexham did have possession was vital into helping the Red Dragons settle into the game.
Aaron Hayden was also a force to be reckoned with throughout the ninety minutes, doing constant 360-degree pirouettes in the air to make sure he was winning his headers and winning them well.
Plaudits must also be given to Jacob Mendy for starting on the opposite wing to that which he normally does, due to Ryan Barnett’s suspension and Anthony Forde’s injury.
It may have taken him a little while to get used to the position, but once he did, the Stags’ threat seemed to dwindle.
The performance in the second half would have been pleasing for Parkinson. Chances may have been few and far between up front, but they also ran dry for the home side.
All in all, a point in this fixture is one to be pleased with, and there should be no disheartenment at the lack of opportunities seen from the Wrexham attack, as the Stags have the best defensive record in the league for a reason.
Fifth placed Crawley Town now await this weekend, whose run of victories ended to Doncaster Rovers earlier this week. A win at the Broadfield Stadium could propel the Red Dragons back into the play-off spots.