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REVIEW | Wrexham AFC 1-0 Notts County

Yet another win over the Magpies!

18 February 2024


REVIEW | Wrexham AFC 1-0 Notts County

Yet another win over the Magpies!

18 February 2024

Steven Fletcher’s instinctive, acrobatic volley helped Wrexham to the three points, as they outmanoeuvred Notts County at the STōK Cae Ras.

In what proved to be a battle of the crosses, it was Wrexham who prevailed through the combination of Ryan Barnett and Fletcher. 

Despite a few crosses narrowly peeling over the head of the Scottish striker, Wrexham were growing dangerous in the opening exchanges and would soon strike. 

Barnett’s arced delivery in the 20th minute glided on top of a melee of four players. Whilst John Bostock and Jaden Warner were searching for where the ball was landing, Fletcher had already flung his body to volley the ball into the top corner of Luca Ashby-Hammond's net. 

Phil Parkinson said post-match that Notts County were weak defending crosses, and this moment was the epitome of that. 

Going forward, the Pies did have a lot of possession, knocking the ball in and around the Wrexham 18-yard box. 

They too tried to utilise their crossing capabilities, especially through Jodi Jones. However, almost every ball dipping into the Wrexham six-yard box was headed away by a diving Eoghan O’Connell. 

To this regard, the back three of O’Connell, Will Boyle and Max Cleworth, who performed so resolutely away at Sutton United in the midweek, were just as resilient at the STōK Cae Ras. 

Macaulay Langstaff should have scored in the first minute with a header right in front of the Wrexham goal, but make no mistake on the lack of crosses that met a County head. 

With Notts resorting to shooting from outside of the area, a hard feat to master with Arthur Okonkwo in goal, the sides entered the dressing rooms with an interesting second half set up. 

As they quite often do, Parkinson’s men burst out of the blocks for the second 45. 

Chances fell all across the Wrexham eleven. Boyle and captain James McClean both hit the crossbar, whilst Paul Mullin and Fletcher also saw more opportunities go begging. 

The second goal never came, and it became clear that the Red Dragons would have to sit on their one goal lead. 

With 20 minutes left to play, Dan Crowley whipped in a zipping cross before he could be closed down on the right wing, seeing the ball thud into David McGoldrick.  

The experienced forward slotted the ball home, just as referee Carl Brook whistled for handball. Having watched the same replays on repeat, I can see nothing other than the ball striking McGoldrick’s chest... 

With that stroke of luck, Wrexham defended with unwavering discipline. The Magpies failed to create any substantial chance for the remainder of the game, and so large amounts of credit must be placed onto the eleven Wrexham players that finished the match. 

The introduction of Jacob Mendy and Jack Marriott gave Wrexham pace to advance up the pitch; giving the Red Dragons an outlet to escape the pressure building around their box. 

More so in the final ten minutes, the Reds, surrounding all four sides of the STōK Cae Ras, played their part in helping the players over the line. Their support seemed to breathe new life into Parkinson’s men, compelling them that bit more to close down County’s players and shots.  

The seven minutes of added time took an age, with flashbacks to the late penalty decision in April’s affair crossing the minds of every Wrexham fan. But the final whistle did come, and the stadium erupted in glee. 

For a third successive time, Wrexham had outsmarted and outplayed Notts County. 

Elsewhere in the league, Stockport County and Mansfield Town both lost, whilst Crewe Alexandra drew to Harrogate Town, meaning Wrexham are now three points off top with games in-hand on everyone surrounding them. 

The next three matches will see Parkinson’s men back on the road, with a trip to Milton Keynes approaching this Tuesday.  

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