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REVIEW | Wrexham AFC 3-3 Crewe Alexandra

Ten men Wrexham come back three times to salvage a point

2 October 2023

Feature

REVIEW | Wrexham AFC 3-3 Crewe Alexandra

Ten men Wrexham come back three times to salvage a point

2 October 2023

A last gasp Steven Fletcher header earned the Red Dragons a point against Crewe Alexandra, in a thrilling three-three draw at the STōK Cae Ras.

Phil Parkinson made four changes to the side that lost to Stockport County the previous weekend, with Arthur Okonkwo earning his first league start for the Club. 

Although conceding three goals, Okonkwo made two outstanding saves whilst the game was tied at two-two, in what was an impressive ninety minutes from the loanee. 

The 10,007 fans also witnessed Paul Mullin’s first and second goal of the season, after returning from the injury sustained during the US pre-season tour. 

The game started off horrendously for Phil Parkinson’s men though, as Mickey Demetriou headed home a corner in the 24th minute, before Ryan Barnett was sent off after a fifty/fifty with Shilow Tracey. 

The STōK Cae Ras was bouncing with fury, and this seemed to have an effect on the players. 

Just five minutes later, Mullin scored his first goal of the season via an overhead kick. Aaron Hayden’s looping header from inside the box was too inviting for Mullin, who couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fling his body upside down and sweep the ball past Harvey Davies in net. 

The red card and a shift to four at the back hadn’t seemed to damage Wrexham’s foothold in the game at all. However, with half time looming at one goal apiece, James McClean was deemed to have fouled Rio Adebisi inside of the Wrexham box. Adebisi was perhaps already falling to the ground, but McClean’s outstretched leg gave Lee Swabey an easy decision to make. 

Chris Long just about squeezed his spot kick past Okonkwo, and the jubilation after Mullin’s goal reverted back to the ferocious, booming echo. However, the reactionary nature built into the team struck once more, just a minute after the restart. 

Ollie Palmer deviated George Evans’ chipped ball from his chest and into the box for Mullin to run onto. The number ten then curled the ball off his right foot into the far corner to double his tally for the season, in what was an equally sublime finish to his first goal. 

Chances ebbed and flowed for both sides, with the game feeling fairly equal considering the Railwaymen had an extra player. However, a misjudgement from Will Boyle in the 65th minute saw the ball drop well short of Okonkwo whilst Boyle was trying to hold off Courtney Baker-Richardson, allowing Adebisi to slide through a ball to Tracey in front of the open goal. 

Wrexham’s attitude and determination remained fully intact though, and the substitutions of Jacob Mendy and Fletcher onto the field felt key.  

The ten men of Wrexham had the eleven men of Crewe Alexandra penned into their box for the final 15 minutes of the game, with chances flooded the STōK Cae Ras. The bombardment of balls into the box just couldn’t burst the Railwaymen’s dam though. 

Until the 95th minute, when Fletcher dived at the far post to head home Mendy’s lofted cross and save a point for the Red Dragons, just moments after he had agonisingly hit the outside of Davies’ post with all feeling lost. 

The win surprisingly felt so close, considering Wrexham had one less player, but both sides would have to settle for a point. 

This was the first game in over one hundred years that Wrexham have scored three goals after having a player sent off; a true reflection of the character shown by everyone who put the shirt on against Crewe Alexandra.  

The draw now leaves Wrexham in ninth position, with a trip to fifth placed Mansfield Town on the cards for tomorrow. 

 


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