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REVIEW | Wrexham AFC 3-0 Grimsby Town

A fine performance to extend the unbeaten league run

18 September 2023

Two first half headers and yet another Elliot Lee goal saw Wrexham run rings around a lackadaisical Mariners side.

The drama and heartache that engulfed the previous meeting between these two sides somewhat still diffused through the air at the STōK Cae Ras. Over ten thousand fans keenly anticipated this matchup in Sky Bet League Two. 

This fixture also saw the return of Paul Mullin into the starting eleven, after being sidelined due to an injury picked up on the US pre-season tour against Man United.  

However, it was the combination between The Buzzcut Boyz which broke the deadlock to a fairly mundane start to the game. 

Elliot Lee’s chipped ball from a central position beat Grimsby’s offside trap, as the ball landed on the head of the onside Ollie Palmer, who glanced the ball powerfully past Jake Eastwood in net. 

Steve Parkin spoke after the game in how there was a slight lack of belief in the play at the start, but how Palmer's goal settled the side down.

The proof was in the pudding, as just ten minutes later, Will Boyle doubled the lead with an impressive header. Lunging forward whilst running towards the ball, Boyle somehow managed to divert the trajectory of the ball past a helpless Eastwood in net; the laws of physics were truly tested with that finish.

Two deserved goals for Wrexham, as the Mariners struggled to gain any foothold in the game. Mullin's runs in-behind and relentlessness to drive through the Grimsby backline saw him be a thorn in their side for his entire time on the pitch, and was beyond unlucky to not see the net ripple from his own efforts.

Looking towards the other end of the field, the back three of Aaron Hayden, Ben Tozer and Boyle, shepherded by Tom O’Connor in the middle of the park, subdued any iotre of a Grimsby threat. It may have been the easiest clean sheet of Mark Howard's career. 

A large part of this was due to the Red Dragons’ collective shape looking well drilled, and the absence of a Tuesday fixture in the build-up to the match would have been a contributing factor to this, with Phil Parkinson having more time on the training ground with the players. 

The first half dominance continued into the second, in what felt like the best performance of the season.  

Elliot Lee’s stabbed finish towards the end of the game, under the pressure of a sliding tackle from a Grimsby defender, marked his seventh goal of the season in what has been a wonderful start to the campaign.

His late runs into the box have proved to be fatal for the opposition over the past year. 

Parkin furthermore spoke of how troubling it must be for defenders to try and cope with Mullin and Palmer, to then have to try and contain the likes of Sam Dalby and Steven Fletcher, who both came on as substitutes. They were unlucky not to add to the scoresheet themselves, but nevertheless highlighted the strength in depth possessed by Wrexham. 

Parkinson's men are now fourth and just three points off Gillingham in top spot, with another 2021/22 season rival to face off against this Saturday in Stockport County. 





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