Wrexham began their group stage campaign in the EFL Trophy with a one-nil victory against Newcastle United U21s, in front of a record crowd at the STōK Cae Ras for the competition.
Phil Parkinson made nine alterations to the side that won away against Tranmere Rovers, as he looked to use the full capabilities of his squad and give two full debuts to our two deadline day signings.
Arthur Okonkwo, on loan from Arsenal, did make a few errors during the game with some loose passing. However, it was impressive to see how he quickly rectified his mistakes with his instinctive, quick reactions on his debut.
After coming on as a substitute against Tranmere Rovers, George Evans made his full Wrexham debut at the STōK Cae Ras, showing off his versatile abilities by playing in the centre of the back three.
One wouldn’t have been blamed for thinking that Evans had been with the side for a longer period of time, as he looked beyond comfortable next to the returning Jordan Tunnicliffe and Max Cleworth.
Newcastle United’s Amadou Diallo stood out amongst his teammates, and proved to be a real threat in front of the Wrexham goal. However, our defence held strong and the clean sheet remained intact; an impressive outcome for a heavily rotated team.
Moving up the field, Sam Dalby claimed his first goal of the season, smashing the ball into the back of the net after a hectic pinball event in the box.
Phil Parkinson remarked in his post-match interview how Dalby started last season a little slowly, before becoming an extremely important player in the side with his performances and goal contributions. To be off the mark for this season will be a big confidence boost for Dalby, as he will be an essential part of Parkinson’s plans for the top of the pitch.
Multiple chances were somewhat squandered in the second half though, as Wrexham missed opportunities to fully put the game to bed, but another victory with a clean sheet cannot be a disheartening outcome.
The win puts us joint top of the group with Port Vale, who also ran out one nil victors in their game against Crewe Alexandra.
Wrexham’s next fixture in the competition will be on October 10, with a match-up in Crewe lined up.
However, the attention for now will be wholeheartedly on Doncaster Rovers’ arrival to the STōK Cae Ras this Saturday, as the Red Dragons look to extend their unbeaten streak in the league.