Wrexham AFC’s Under-18 side made it two wins from two in 2024, as they claimed an emphatic 4-1 victory over Carlisle United at Colliers Park.
The Red Dragons started impressively in North Wales, building on their good run of form which has continued into the new year.
Harry Ashfield opened the scoring after 21 minutes, heading in from Max Hayes’ cross to net his eighth goal of the season in all competitions to give Wrexham the lead against the Blues.
Things continued to improve, as the youthful side doubled their advantage in the 36th minute, when Callum Edwards capitalised on the team’s control of the match, beating three men before netting a key goal to establish a two-goal lead between the sides.
Not content to go into the break with a two-goal lead, the young Red Dragons scored a third before half-time to fully establish a solid lead over the northern visitors.
James Rainbird was the one that netted the crucial goal, curling his strike into the top corner, three minutes before the break to hand Carlisle a devastating blow.
Rainbird turned from scorer to provider, as he assisted Edwards with an impressive cross, which the forward volleyed home to make it 4-0 to Wrexham.
Carlisle were forced to see out the remainder of the match with ten players, as a late red card for the visitors came following a deliberate handball in the hosts’ box.
The Blues grabbed a consolation goal, but it wasn’t enough for to unsettle Wrexham, as they secured another impressive victory to kick-off 2024 in the best possible way.
Speaking about the victory, Lead PDP Coach Nick Chadwick said: “I thought we played really well today – it was probably our best performance of the season.
“We started a lot better, which was pleasing because we had to match that physical challenge and direct play. We didn’t get drawn into that type of football and still tried to play our way in the opposition half.
“We did well to defend and stand up to the pressure from some direct play from the opposition and once we met that physical challenge, we showed our quality in the final third, particularly in wide areas.
“We had worked on that over the past few weeks and scored some outstanding goals too – it was a really good day for us.
“It’s been a really pleasing couple of weeks, so we must keep building on that now and continue to gain momentum as we go into the next couple of weeks, so the players can keep developing, keep learning and keep putting in these performances.
“I think today was a great gauge of how far the players have come. Before I arrived at the Club, the team got beat 5-0 by Carlisle on the opening day, to reverse that score and win so convincingly is pleasing and testament to the development of our side.”
Wrexham AFC: Pilkington, Hayes, Kelly, Moore, Dean, Purvis, Edwards, Roberts, Owen, Ashfield, Rainbird.
Substitutes: Nicholas, Jones, Hazeldine, Hayman, Chesworth.