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REPORT | Sutton United 1-2 Wrexham AFC

Spirited Wrexham back to winning ways in south London

13 February 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Sutton United 1-2 Wrexham AFC

Spirited Wrexham back to winning ways in south London

13 February 2024

Elliot Lee’s late goal was once again the difference between Wrexham and Sutton United, as Phil Parkinson’s side claimed a 2-1 victory and gained a vital three points in the Sky Bet League Two promotion race.

The hosts started strongly, as Arthur Okonkwo was called into action on a number of occasions, with Steve Morison’s side clearly looking to target the 22-year-old, a test that he more than rose to. 

Will Boyle’s impressive finish in the last moments of the first-half was enough to give them the lead at the break, but that didn’t last. 

Sutton eventually levelled the scores with 14 minutes remaining, as Charlie Lakin’s free-kick deflected into the back of the net against the run of play. 

Lee’s 85th minute strike restored Wrexham’s advantage, and yet again, the Red Dragons’ number 38 led his side to a crucial three points with a late second-half goal.

Parkinson named four changes to the Wrexham side that fell to a 1-0 defeat against Bradford City on Saturday as Luke Bolton and Jack Marriott came in for their full Wrexham debuts since joining the Club on Transfer Deadline Day. 

The match started off in an erratic fashion, with the day’s earlier precipitation clearly impacting upon the condition of the pitch in South London. 

Neither side managed to create any chances of note in the opening ten minutes, as both defences stood strong and had to clear away a number of long-range passes. 

Arthur Okonkwo was called into action in just the 11th minute, as the Arsenal loanee made a fantastic stop to initially deny Omari Patrick before reacting quickly to also deny Harry Smith on the rebound. 

Chances were few and far between for either side, as Sutton frustrated the visiting Red Dragons with their persistence and determination in the middle of the pitch. 

Marriott had a great chance to break the deadlock on his full Wrexham debut, as he sprinted onto a fine through ball from McClean and fired a low effort on his left-foot. 

However, he couldn’t quite manage to guide the ball into the net, as his strike drifted just wide of the post after 27 minutes. 

Sutton continued to grow into the match, but just as the teams were about to head into the break, Wrexham produced a much-needed goal to gain the advantage in injury time. 

Luke Bolton drove forward and played the ball into a crowded Sutton box, which eventually found Steven Fletcher under pressure. 

The ex-Scotland international’s deft touch set the ball up for Will Boyle, who quickly pounced and unleashed a perfect finish into the bottom-corner - providing the perfect response to any critics. 

It was fitting that for a side who had scored so many goals in stoppage time - a goal in the first and only minute of added-time was all that separated Wrexham from Sutton at the VBS Community Stadium. 

The hosts came out determined to make up for conceding so late on in the first-half, and they almost managed to draw the game level just a minute into the second-half. 

Nino Adom-Malaki drove down the left-flank with speed, before shifting the ball onto his right-foot and lining-up a fine effort into the far corner. 

Okonkwo yet again had to produce another impressive save to deny Sutton, this time tipping Adom-Malaki’s effort onto the bar, before the ball was eventually cleared. 

Morison’s side had mass appeals for handball in the 50th minute on McClean, but the referee waved away appeals and eventually booked Craig Eastmond for his protests. 

Parkinson brought off both Fletcher and Marriott, replacing them with Ollie Palmer and Paul Mullin as Wrexham went in search of a second goal to double their advantage in South London. 

Sutton didn’t give up on getting an equaliser, and their persistence was eventually rewarded as Charlie Lakin stepped up to take a free-kick after 76 minutes. 

His right-footed effort was struck well, but it was a late, cruel deflection from Eoghan O’Connell that diverted the ball towards goal and past Okonkwo to spark late celebrations from the hosts.

Wrexham weren’t behind for long though, as it was Elliot Lee - the man who gave away the initial foul for Sutton’s goal, that dragged the Red Dragons back in front on 85 minutes. 

Luke Bolton slotted a perfectly constructed through ball into the path of Wrexham’s top goalscorer, and Lee made no mistake, firing home from an acute angle to finish into the bottom-right corner. 

Once the visitors had restored the lead, they were always going to hold onto a vital three points, as Lee went close once again in the final moments of injury-time. 

Wrexham AFC: Okonkwo, Cleworth, O'Connell, Boyle, Bolton (Mendy 87’), Cannon, Evans (Young 64’), Lee, McClean (C), Fletcher (Palmer 72’), Marriott (Mullin 72’).

Subs not used: Howard, Tunnicliffe, Barnett.

Sutton United: Bouzanis, Adom-Malaki (Hart 86’), Goodlife, Smith, Beautyman (Eastmond 45+1’), Patrick, Kizzi, Jackson, Moore (Duke-McKenna 71’), Lakin, Sanderson (Angol 86’).

Subs not used: Arnold, Sowumnni, John. 

Match Attendance: 4831 (933 Away)

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