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Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC Youth vs Oldham Athletic

Hazeldine double earns victory at Colliers Park

18 September 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Wrexham AFC Youth vs Oldham Athletic

Hazeldine double earns victory at Colliers Park

18 September 2023

Keane Hazeldine's double was enough to secure all three points against Oldham Athletic, as the Red Dragons record yet another EFL Youth Alliance victory.

Wrexham’s 2-0 win over Latics at Colliers Park was overshadowed by an injury to Latics’ keeper Alfie Brindley-Smith which necessitated a 21-minute stoppage in play. 

Just five minutes into the game, the visiting custodian fell heavily to the ground in the build-up to the opening goal and had to be stretchered off from the field of play. 

Thankfully, after a thorough medical assessment, the young custodian was given the all-clear to travel home with his team-mates, a fact which delighted the Red Dragons’ PDP Lead Coach Nick Chadwick: “My thoughts, first and foremost, go to the goalkeeper. 

"You don’t want to see anyone leave the field of play on a stretcher and we wish him all the best.  His parents were obviously concerned and it's good news to hear that he’s going to be okay.”

The match itself was decided by a double from Keane Hazeldine, the 16-year-old marking his first starting appearance of the campaign with a fine individual display. 

His opening strike came in the incident which led to Brindley-Smith’s injury, Hazeldine firing the ball home after the goalkeeper had failed to collect a Dan Davies corner under pressure from Aaron James. 

The second, which fell 22 minutes into first-half stoppage time, came courtesy of another defensive error, Hazeldine’s tireless running allowing him to capitalise on confusion between Connor Withers and substitute keeper Jose Lopez to run the ball into an empty net.

Given the long delay, the first half was played at a good tempo and Oldham enjoyed their fair share of the play with Alfie Atherton and Somtobenna Chukwugbo impressing on the flanks. 

Atherton brought a superb stop from Liam Hall inside the opening minute, diving full-length to keep out a fiercely driven 25-yard shot.  

Harry Ashfield appealed in vain for a penalty as he went down under a challenge from Lopez before Hall had to be alert to dive at the feet of the onrushing Chukwugbo.

Wrexham enjoyed far greater control of the game after the interval despite losing Davies to injury, Max Purvis taking over in central defence. 

Hazeldine, who linked well with left-back Tom Kelly throughout, came close to adding a third on the hour mark, Lopez making a good low save to deny the Chester-born player his hat-trick.  

Callum Edwards had another shot well saved before Alex Moore’s in-swinging corner was deflected onto the bar as the Young Dragons ran out deserved winners.

“I thought that’s as good as we’ve been in possession which is something we’ve wanted to improve on,” added a clearly delighted Chadwick. 

“As I continuously say, we’ve got a good group of lads who want to get better, learn, and develop. 

"In the final third, did we create enough and test their keeper enough?  Probably not, but I thought in terms of controlling the game, that’s the best we’ve been.”

Chadwick was full of praise for Hazeldine: “Keane’s just set his standard there as I’ve said to him.  He’s had to play catch-up a little bit because he missed the early part of the season.

"He was excellent in training at the back end of this week and deserved his opportunity to play.  I loved his second goal because he worked hard out of possession to force the error and that’s part of his game that he needs to develop."

"He also showed some good touches and quality when he had the ball at his feet.”

Another to impress was Tom Kelly, with Chadwick adding: “Tom’s been outstanding since I’ve been here.  We know where we are with Tom. 

"We’ve just got to wait and be patient with him physically but he’s developing as are all the lads to be fair. 

"They’re really buying into what we’re trying to do, working hard from Monday to Friday and you can see the evidence of that in the improved performances every Saturday.”

Wrexham:  Liam Hall, Dan Wright (Hari Roberts 65), Tom Kelly, Alex Moore, Aaron James, Dan Davies (Max Purvis 51), Callum Edwards (Max Hayes 78), Alfie Lussey, Rio Owen, Harry Ashfield (Mikey Hayman 70), Keane Hazeldine. 

 

Subs (not used): Bryn Owen


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