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REPORT | Forest Green Rovers 1-1 Wrexham AFC

Mullin’s stoppage-time penalty earns point on the road

27 February 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Forest Green Rovers 1-1 Wrexham AFC

Mullin’s stoppage-time penalty earns point on the road

27 February 2024

Paul Mullin kept his cool from the penalty spot in stoppage time, as Wrexham earned a point away to Forest Green Rovers.

An early Manny Osadebe, just three minutes in, had looked like proving the difference at the Bolt New Lawn before Mullin stepped up to level from a penalty he had won himself.

Wrexham had earlier enjoyed plenty of possession, and more of the attacking play, but were forced to settle for a point, which leaves the Red Dragons fourth in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Mullin, Luke Young and Aaron Hayden all returned for Wrexham, as Phil Parkinson made three changes from the weekend defeat at Gillingham.

Jordan Tunnicliffe and Sam Dalby both missed out, while Jacob Mendy dropped to the bench as James McClean returned to the left side.

The game was less than three minutes old when Osadebe won the ball in midfield, played a one-two with Christian Doidge and raced through to coolly finish beyond Okonkwo from the edge of the box.

Young shot well wide from distance on seven minutes as Wrexham sought a quick response, but they then had Okonkwo to thank for keeping the deficit at one on the quarter-hour.

From another quick counter-attack, Kyle McAllister crossed for Doidge, who won his near-post header, but Okonkwo got down to his right to turn the ball wide.

After a patient, passing move, space opened up for James McClean to shoot on the outside of his left foot on 17 minutes, but his effort was well blocked by a defender.

At the other end, a loose Eoghan O’Connell pass gave Forest Green an attacking throw-in, from which McAllister cut inside but dragged his left-footed shot wide.

Young worked the ball around the corner for Mullin to tee up Elliot Lee on 25 minutes, but the midfielder’s long-range shot was high and wide.

Wrexham were patient in possession again as they eventually worked the ball wide for McClean to cross on 35 minutes. The Irishman picked out Ryan Barnett unmarked at the back post, but the winger scuffed his shot wide.

Barnett had another shooting chance in the 39th minute, after a quick passing move on the edge of the Forest Green area, but his tame shot was comfortably saved.

Wrexham’s passing and movement continued to create chances without success – Barnett’s cross in the 43rd minute eventually dropping for Steven Fletcher, who hooked the ball over his shoulder but over the bar too.

Cleworth then found Andy Cannon in space in first-half stoppage time, but Harvey Bunker stuck out a right boot to block the midfielder’s low, long-range shot.

Forest Green had an early sight at goal after the break, when Chris McCann shot low from the edge of the box, but Hayden blocked his low effort.

At the other end, Richard Keogh breathed a sigh of relief in the 53rd minute when he headed Lee’s cross towards his own goal but Vicente Reyes turned it wide. From the resultant Young corner to the back post, Fletcher attempted an overhead kick but put it well of target.

On the hour-mark, Young then slid to win possession on the edge of the box from McClean’s cut-back, but Lee’s low shot was saved.

Wrexham made their first change on the hour, when Jordan Davies replaced Hayden, and the Red Dragons switched to a 4-4-2 diamond formation.

Just a minute later, however, they were nearly punished for being slack in possession – McCann shot low, but it deflected just wide off Cleworth.

O’Connell’s injury forced Wrexham into a second change almost immediately, as Ben Tozer returned to action in his place – the Irishman cutting a frustrated figure as he hobbled off.

Wrexham regrouped after the changes, and Mullin cut inside and fired just over from 25 yards on his right foot on 72 minutes.

A triple change followed a minute later, with Ollie Palmer, Jack Marriott and Luke Bolton on for Fletcher, Young and Barnett.

Palmer’s first act was to head the ball down for Mullin, who fired just wide this time. Cannon then released Bolton on 77 minutes, who pulled back for Marriott to shoot just wide into the side-netting.

Lee crossed for Davies on 82 minutes, who won his header under pressure on the edge of the six-yard box but could not generate the power to trouble Reyes.

Five minutes later, McClean crossed for Palmer at the back post, but again Reyes saved the header comfortably.

Wrexham got a lifeline in the second of six additional minutes, however, when Reyes spilled a cross and Mullin was fouled as he went to fire the rebound in. Mullin stepped up to take the penalty himself and coolly fired in.

Wrexham threw men forward in the final stages, but could not force a second goal, returning to North Wales with a point.

Line-ups

Forest Green Rovers (3-4-1-2): Reyes, Keogh, Moore-Taylor, Thompson, Bunker, Rodriguez (Bernard 60), McCann, Robson, Osadebe, McAllister (Omotoye 71), Doidge

Subs not used: Searle (G/K), Lavinier, Johnson, Robertson, Holland

Wrexham (3-5-2): Okonkwo, Hayden (Davies 60), O’Connell (Tozer 62), Cleworth, Barnett (Bolton 73), Cannon, Young (Marriott 73), Lee, McClean, Mullin, Fletcher (Palmer 73)

Subs not used: Howard (G/K), Mendy

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 4,412

Bookings

Forest Green Rovers:

Wrexham:


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