Skip to main content Skip to site footer

REVIEW | Wrexham AFC 0-1 Tranmere Rovers

Defeat in the cross-border derby

17 March 2024


REVIEW | Wrexham AFC 0-1 Tranmere Rovers

Defeat in the cross-border derby

17 March 2024

Luke Norris’ early goal was enough to see Tranmere Rovers to victory at the STōK Cae Ras against Wrexham AFC.

Although conceding in the eighth minute and continuing a bad habit of surrendering a goal early, as seen against Forest Green Rovers and Morecambe, Wrexham actually started the derby with an impressive urgency. 

Normally, when the Red Dragons play with such intensity, they land on the right side of the result, but this wasn’t to be. 

Regan Hendry launched a half volley through ball from just outside of the Rovers box, to which Andy Cannon found himself in a one-on-one fight with Norris at the other end. 

The Wrexham number 20 showed a great deal of pace to match Norris’ run and be first to the ball. However, Cannon got his feet in a pickle and floundered under the pressure to clear the ball. With Arthur Okonkwo in no-man's land outside of his six-yard box, it was an easy finish for Norris to place the ball into the bottom corner. 

It was a tough blow to take after the promising start, but the 11 and a half thousand Reds in attendance roared the team on. 

In response, Max Cleworth often opted for the long ball into Steven Fletcher, whose aerial prowess often saw himself winning the ball and allowing others to play forward from him. However, any neat work in and around the box, as seen at Gillingham, didn’t prevail. 

This meant that Wrexham had to try and equalise through crosses, to which there were ample of. 

Ryan Barnett galloped down the right-flank time and time again, with acres of room to whip in his deadly crosses. The Tranmere defenders rose to the task though and marshalled their defensive line superbly in the box, leaving Wrexham with few headed opportunities. 

The majority of the Red Dragons’ 25 shots came from outside the box, as the Rovers defence chose to invite the long-range efforts. The decision to do so was smart on their behalf, as they threw their bodies in the way of almost every attempt; leaving the likes of Elliot Lee cut a frustrated figure. 

The elusive goal wasn’t through lack of trying, as Phil Parkinson changed formation to four at the back with a diamond in midfield in search of the equaliser, as 25 minutes were still left on the clock. 

Sam Dalby and Ollie Palmer came on to lead the line, with Paul Mullin playing from behind and Jordan Davies and Lee on either side. 

The Gaffer said post-match that the game became too open because of this, as the players lacked the control that they had in the first 45 minutes. 

The Red Dragons did look susceptible to the counterattack and Tranmere were able to keep a hold of possession for longer periods of time. However, Wrexham’s attacking overloads were there to be seen, it was just “the clarity in those decisions in the final third wasn’t where it needed to be.” 

With the goal evading Wrexham’s best efforts, the side from Birkenhead got their revenge in a 1-0 victory, just as the Red Dragons did at Prenton Park earlier in the season. 

A trip to Blundell Park to face Grimsby Town now awaits, as Parkinson’s men still occupy the automatic promotion places, five points off Mansfield Town in first. 

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account