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Feature

The Round-Up | A poignant weekend for the Football Club

Positive performances for all three Wrexham sides in action

18 September 2023

Feature

The Round-Up | A poignant weekend for the Football Club

Positive performances for all three Wrexham sides in action

18 September 2023

It was a weekend for the Football Club that was full of promise, heart and community as our Men, Women and Youth teams took to the pitch.

It was a poignant time for everyone connected to the Club and the town as we paid our respects to those who tragically lost their lives in the Gresford Colliery Disaster.

The disaster rocked the town and the wider community, and there was a moving tribute on Saturday as over 10,000 supporters fell silent inside the STōK Cae Ras to remember those who lost their lives.

First up on Saturday came our young Red Dragons, who took on Oldham Athletic Youth in the EFL Youth Alliance.

Creative midfielder Keane Hazeldine led the way for Nick Chadwick’s side, as his double secured the three points and sent them back to winning ways.

Last weekend, they were narrowly edged out by Salford City, however this time it was a much more comfortable outing.

Latics were unfortunately struck by the injury of stopper, Alfie Brindley-Smith which saw him sadly stretchered off, and a re-shuffle necessary.

22 minutes of added time were added due to the nature of Brindley-Smith’s treatment, and the Red Dragons got a second before the break.

A defensive error from Latics allowed Hazeldine to capitalise, as a miscommunication between Connor Withers and Jose Lopez let the midfielder run the ball into the empty net.

Recording their third victory of the season, PDP Coach Chadwick explained he was delighted by the result.

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

“I thought in terms of controlling the game, that’s the best we’ve been.”

Later that day, the First Team faced off against a former play-off foe in Grimsby Town, as seventh place took on twelfth.

After three wins on the bounce, momentum was with Phil Parkinson’s men, as they aimed to climb further up the table.

Paul Mullin made his first start of the campaign as his recovery from injury in San Diego continued to step up.

Ollie Palmer got the game off to the perfect start just after the hour mark, as he latched onto Elliot Lee’s through ball, and headed into the top corner.

The second came from another inch-perfect cross but this time it was Republic of Ireland international James McClean who earned the assist.

McClean picked up the ball wide on the left-hand side of the penalty area, and Will Boyle leaped higher than the rest, and his header nestled into the top corner.

It was a comfortable first half and the second proved to play out in the same manner, with the Red Dragons in firm control.

Our leading marksman added to his tally before the game came to a close, with a smart finish from Lee putting the ball out of the reach of Jake Eastwood.

The win boosted Wrexham up the table into fourth, meaning that they now sit three points off the top of the table.

After the full-time whistle, Assistant Manager Steve Parkin reiterated that he was pleased with the squad’s progression since the opening week.

He said: “Today is a thoroughly good performance defensively and we had a real goal threat.

“We could have won the game by even more goals.”

On Sunday, it was the Women who took centre stage as they prepared to take on their first Genero Adran Premier fixture of the season.

A mark of their success, they were handed a tough test of the six-time champions Swansea City visiting The Rock.

It also gave Steve Dale’s side added pressure having to handle the television cameras, which was something they became accustomed to last season against Connah’s Quay Nomads and Briton Ferry Llansawel.

However, it seemed pressure was just a word that they thrived upon, as after riding some early pressure they put themselves ahead.

Rebecca Pritchard linked smartly with Rosie Hughes and the scorer of the goal that sealed promotion found the net again, striking the ball hard and low into the bottom corner.

Before the break, a nasty collision for Swansea striker Stacey John-Davies resulted in her being taken to hospital and the visitors calling upon Robyn Pinder from the bench.

It was the provider of the first who got the second, as a powerful run and through ball from Lili Jones found Hughes who made no mistake from inside the 18-yard box.

Pinder pulled one back for City, slotting home into the net and the goal also saw the end of Del Morgan’s evening she unfortunately went off injured.

Debutant Charlotte Bolland was propelled into the thick of the action coming off the bench, but she couldn’t keep out Chloe Chivers' rasping volley to put the game level.

There had been much anticipation in the stands to see summer signing and ex-international Hannah Keryakoplis make her debut, and what an entrance she made.

The former Liverpool midfielder picked up the loose ball inside the penalty area and tucked it away in the 87th minute which looked as though it would be the winner.

There was further drama to end the night, with a reckless reaction from Ellie Lake on Pritchard which saw her receive a red card and a cruel deflection from Katie Horsford's strike deep into added time to draw the game level.

A point on the opening day was a more than positive result despite leading for so long, and Dale added he was proud of his side’s performance.

He said: “We have shown we are more than capable against a very good team that will be up there at the end of the season.

“It does feel like points dropped because we were 2-0 up, but we can’t moan at the players, they worked so hard today, and they're gutted we didn’t hang on to get the three points.”

All three sides are in action next weekend, with away trips all around as the Men take on Stockport County, the Women face Pontypridd United and the Youth visit Blackpool.

 

 


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