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REPORT | Grimsby Town 1-3 Wrexham AFC

Red Dragons claim vital three points after thrilling first-half display

23 March 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Grimsby Town 1-3 Wrexham AFC

Red Dragons claim vital three points after thrilling first-half display

23 March 2024

Wrexham AFC produced an emphatic showing on the road to claim all three points, as they beat Grimsby Town 3-1 at Blundell Park.

Andy Cannon opened the scoring after just five minutes, and he then doubled Wrexham’s lead with a thunderous finish in the 36th minute. 

Paul Mullin then went on to make it 3-0 to Wrexham, as the forward recorded his 97th competitive goal for the Club. 

Grimsby got a goal back nine minutes from time through Arthur Gnahoua, but it wasn’t enough to stop Wrexham from claiming a huge win in the race for promotion.

With Mansfield having dropped points against Colchester earlier in the day, Wrexham’s trip up to the north-east provided a perfect opportunity to gain points on one of their promotion rivals. 

Phil Parkinson named three changes to the side that faced Tranmere Rovers last weekend, as Ollie Palmer and Luke Bolton were called into the line-up, while Tom O’Connor returned from his injury lay-off to start in midfield. 

The Red Dragons started well at Blundell Park in tricky conditions, and their positive attitude paid off in front of a sold-out crowd, breaking the deadlock to silence the home supporters after just five minutes. 

It all started from the front, as Mullin’s press forced a high clearance from the Mariners’ backline which Cannon eventually intercepted, before skipping past his opposite number with ease. 

The midfielder didn't stop there, as he drove forwards and dragged three Grimsby defenders, who couldn’t dispossess Cannon as the number 20 unleashed a strike from 25-yards out that eventually nestled into the bottom-left corner. 

Grimsby enjoyed the majority of possession in blustering winds, holding 20% more possession than the Red Dragons at times, but the Mariners had little to show for this. 

Wrexham inflicted a critical blow on the hosts yet again, as Cannon doubled his tally for the afternoon to extend the Red Dragons’ lead just nine minutes before the interval. 

This time it was O’Connor, who slotted seamlessly back into the starting XI for the first time since January. 

The midfielder found an on-rushing Cannon with a perfectly-weighted through pass down the right, and the 28-year-old was full of confidence as he smashed the ball into the far corner, sparking further celebrations in Cleethorpes. 

Parkinson was handed another reason to celebrate, as Paul Mullin gave Wrexham a three-goal advantage in the 41st minute - the biggest lead that the Red Dragons have held on the road for the entirety of the 2023/24 campaign so far. 

Jacob Mendy smashed through a loose ball, but his attempt was bravely blocked, and eventually deflected forwards into the path of Mullin. 

The forward then produced a moment of magic, even by his own high standards, as he turned his shoulder and fired home first-time on the volley to score a vital goal against the Mariners. 

Grimsby kicked off the second-half, but it was more of the same for the hosts, who lacked any real conviction in their efforts going forward. 

If anything, it was going to be Wrexham who extended their advantage further, with the counter-attacking threat of Mullin proving tricky to deal with for the Mariners. 

While not many chances arose for Wrexham, it was their hard work from the first period which allowed them the breathing space to defend in such a resolute nature. 

However, Grimsby had some late hope given to them with nine minutes left on the clock, as substitute Arthur Gnahoua fired into the bottom corner just as the game was starting to fade away.

Despite the set-back, the result was never in doubt, as Wrexham dug in deep to hold onto their lead and claim a vital three points in the Sky Bet League Two promotion race.

Grimsby Town: Cartwright, Green (Wood 61’), Rodgers, Thompson, Holohan (C) (Andrews 61’), Clifton, Obikwu, Tharme, Wilson (Pyke 73’), Mularkey, Hume (Gnahoua 61’). 

Subs not used: Eastwood, Smith, Vernam. 

Wrexham AFC: Okonkwo, Cleworth, O'Connell, Boyle, Bolton, Cannon (Young 71’), O'Connor, Lee, Mendy (McFadzean 50’), Mullin (C) (Marriott 86’), Palmer (Fletcher 86’). 

Substitutions: Howard, Tozer, Dalby,

Match Attendance: 7,728 (1,128 Away).

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