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Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC 2-1 Doncaster Rovers

Red Dragons move into play-off spots with late win

9 September 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC 2-1 Doncaster Rovers

Red Dragons move into play-off spots with late win

9 September 2023

Wrexham AFC claimed a late 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers at the STōK Cae Ras, following an 89th minute goal from Elliot Lee to move into the Sky Bet League Two play-off spots.

Luke Young opened the scoring in North Wales after 38 minutes, before Mo Faal equalised for the visitors just minutes into the second half for Grant McCann’s side.  

Wrexham started the stronger of the sides in North Wales, with Sam Dalby earning several attacking opportunities early-on for Wrexham.

The first came in the fifth minute after Ollie Palmer played Dalby through, who did well to control the ball and beat his opposite number, forcing Ian Lawlor into a good save to deny his right-footed effort from close-range.

McCann’s side had the ball in the net after 16 minutes, with Joe Ironside firing the ball past Mark Howard, but the goal was rightly ruled out for offside as the scores remained level.

Both sides continued to battle in the sweltering heat at the STōK Cae Ras, but understandably the tempo slowed down with both sets of players looking for a required water break as the temperature ramped up.

After the short break, Wrexham were handed a cruel blow with just over half an hour played, as Aaron Hayden was forced off through injury, with Max Cleworth taking his place.

Despite the setback, the blow was softened as Phil Parkinson’s side opened the scoring in the 38 minute to gain control of the match.

Ryan Barnett enjoyed great success down the right-side, bursting full of confidence to beat his opposite number with ease.

Barnett found Palmer in the box with a fantastic cross and the striker got the required connection, forcing Lawlor into another fine save.

He could only parry it into the path of Elliot Lee, who forced yet another superb save from the Doncaster keeper to keep the scores level.

Even with the heroic double save from Lawlor, the ball fell into the path of Luke Young, who struck an effort from inside Rovers’ box which took a deflection and looped into the back of the net for Young’s first goal of the season.

Doncaster wasted no time in responding to their first-half setback, as Mo Faal headed past Howard and scored an all-important equaliser for McCann’s side with 52 minutes played.

Paul Mullin made his long-awaited return to the STōK Cae Ras, replacing Dalby in the 60th minute, with Mullin’s return celebrated by the home crowd.

Young continued to cause Doncaster problems with his range of passing, as he launched a 35-yard cross from deep which found Palmer, who rose highest and forced yet another excellent save from Lawlor.

Tom O’Connor was the next to have a shot on goal, but his powerful strike from distance was dealt with by Lawlor in the 73rd minute.

Just as time was starting to run out in North Wales, Parkinson’s side yet again responded to adversity late on, as Wrexham regained the lead in the 88th minute through Elliot Lee.

Wrexham’s tricky number 38 drove towards the box, cutting inside to fire on his right foot from distance, as he has done on so many occasions this campaign.

This time, his effort took a slight deflection before nestling into the bottom corner, accompanied by a roar of relief within the STōK Cae Ras, as the Red Dragons regained their lead with just minutes remaining.

A late onslaught followed from the visitors, but Wrexham held firm, defending magnificently to claim all three points and a position in the play-off spots, moving up to 7th place in the league table.  

Wrexham AFC: Howard (GK), Hayden (Cleworth 32’), Tozer, Boyle, Barnett, Young (C), O’Connor, Lee, McAlinden (Evans 82’), Palmer (Fletcher 82’), Dalby (Mullin 60’).

Subs Not Used: Okonkwo (GK), J.Davies, Jones.

Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor (GK), Anderson (C), Olowu (Nixon 61’), Molyneux (March 77’), Broadbent (Roberts 90’), Biggings, Bailey, Ironside, Senior, Westbrooke, Faal (Hurst 77’).

Subs not used: Jones (GK), Maxwell, Faulkner, Marsh.

Attendance: 10,254 (1,143)


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