Skip to main content Skip to site footer

REVIEW | Colchester United 1-2 Wrexham AFC

A win with a little more meaning behind it than usual...

8 April 2024


REVIEW | Colchester United 1-2 Wrexham AFC

A win with a little more meaning behind it than usual...

8 April 2024

Paul Mullin netted his 100th Wrexham goal in a comeback victory against Colchester United, as Max Cleworth scored his first-ever league goal to win the match late on.

On the back of the disappointing defeat to Doncaster Rovers earlier in the week, Phil Parkinson made four changes to the starting 11, seeing George Evans make his first start after being out injured. 

Elliot Lee was given a rest and named on the bench, after starting nine games on the bounce. He wasn’t afforded much though, as he replaced Jacob Mendy midway through the first half, as the wing-back pulled up on his 200th career appearance. 

The Gambian international was proving a real threat down the left-wing too, with his pace landing him a step ahead of Harry Anderson. 

The first half was similar to that in Doncaster, whereby an intensity was missing to find the opener.  

It’s often said in football that sometimes you need the other team to score in order to find that urgency, and this proved to be the case in Essex. 

Just after the break, Connor Hall played yet another long diagonal ball up to the two Colchester strikers, whereby they hoped for something to unfold. 

What transpired was James McClean missing the ball upon attempting to clear it on the edge of the box, allowing John Akinde to prod a half volley into the bottom corner of the Wrexham goal. Arthur Okonkwo got a hand on the ball, but couldn’t direct it wide of his post. 

Wrexham then sprung into life and the game felt somewhat manic, but in a good sense. 

Just eight minutes after the U’s opener, the same old combination of Ryan Barnett and Mullin struck, as the number ten headed in the wing-back's cross from close range. 

Mullin immediately grabbed the ball from the net, admitting post-match that he only realised that it was his 100th goal when he got back to the centre circle; a player focused on the three points and not his own personal accolades. 

It’s fair to say that the game dwindled on from this point, and the hope for a winner against the side battling relegation was dwindling away. 

As Parkinson said post-match, the U’s have drawn a lot ever since Danny Cowley’s tenure began at the club. 

However, if there’s anything the last three years have taught us, it’s that anything can happen from a long-throw and there’s another player in the squad with a similar range to Ben Tozer. 

Evans, stamping through the tarpaulin on the side of the pitch, launched a throw into the Colchester penalty area with five minutes left of normal time. 

Normally, the players at the front post are facing the throw-in taker to flick the ball on. As the ball sailed over their heads though, Cleworth was able to peel through the middle of the box and firmly plant his header into the corner of Owen Goodman’s net. 

The away end went berserk, not only because it was a late winner amidst a promotion race, but because it was scored by Cleworth. 

The young centre back has played tremendously for a number of months now, and is very much a fan favourite, with how he conducts himself on the pitch and off it. 

So, to see him score the all-important winner was a true pleasure and the full time celebrations represented that. 

Barnett was jumping on top of Cleworth with joy, whilst McClean was pushing him into the front and centre of the celebrations on the pitch, as the 1,278 Wrexham fans chanted “super, super Max; super, super Max; super, super Max; super Maxy Cleworth.” 

Mansfield Town’s surprising 4-1 home loss to Crawley Town meant that Wrexham moved above the Stags into second position. With that being said, the Red Dragons will now play host to Crawley at the STōK Cae Ras tomorrow, and so a fine performance will be needed against one of the most in-form sides in the league. 

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account