Wrexham got back to winning ways in the most remarkable manner, recovering from being 2-0 down with just 17 minutes remaining, to score the winner with a misdirected cross just five seconds from the end of added time.
Dean Keates sprung a few surprises with his team selection. Shaun Pearson made his first appearance of the season in a new-look back three, with Rob Lainton and Jordan Ponticelli also returning from injury.
The new-look defence failed its first examination though: in the third minute, Harfield was allowed time on the right flank and crossed for the unmarked Thomson, who headed the ball back across the face of goal for McQuoid, arriving late to apply the finish.
The sluggish start continued, with Wrexham’s only decent effort of the first 40 minutes coming when a free kick was half-cleared, leading to a spell of pressure which ended in Elliott Durrell shooting wide through a crowded penalty area from twenty yards.
Wrexham weren’t able to get a grip in the middle of the pitch, and conceded from a set piece in the 25th minute. Shields swept in a corner from the right and McCarthy rose to head powerfully into the top right corner from ten yards out.
Wrexham struggled to respond until the closing minutes of the half, although promisingly Durrell got ahead of the strikers a couple of times. Two minutes before the break a free kick caused problems for Weymouth but their defence stood firm: Jamie Reckord’s delivery was hit towards goal by Theo Vassell, but the shot was blocked as were Pearson’s follow-up effort and a second attempt by Vassell.
In the final minute of the 45, a spell of Wrexham possession led to Fiacre Kelleher standing up a good diagonal to Reckord, whose lay-off to Jay Harris saw the midfielder drive towards goal and shoot narrowly wide from 25 yards.
Keates acted decisively at the break, bringing Jordan Davies on at left wing-back in place of Reckord, and the substitute made an immediate impact, linking well going forwards and delivering some dangerous set pieces.
One led to a terrific scramble in the goalmouth, with a shot being headed off the line, another saw Kelleher’s header blocked in the goalmouth, and Davies himself hit a fierce 25-yarder into the ground which whistled wide of the right post.
A double change was made with 21 minutes left as Adi Yussuf and Dan Jarvis replaced Thomas and Durrell, and it was a move which paid remarkable dividends, as both men hit the net…perhaps!
The breakthrough came from a Davies corner: Pearson met it at the far post and hit the bar, the rebound was headed towards goal by Vassell and Yussuf, pivoting, swung a foot at it as it made its way into the net. Whether he got a touch or distracted the keeper was unclear, but Wrexham had certainly got themselves back into the game.
The visitors suddenly looked confident, and within two minutes they were level. The equalizer was due to the persistence of Jarvis, but also some flimsy defending as The Terras’ defenders failed to halt the substitute’s determined run into the box before he drove the ball home.
With the time now definitely in their favour, Wrexham might have got another 5 minutes later. Pearson’s diagonal sent Hall-Johnson away, and his cross was driven just off target by Davies.
Yussuf then threatened, his shot from the edge of the box was spectacularly blocked, the ball skidding just wide, before he had another effort brilliantly blocked by Brooks..
Wrexham were handed a numerical advantage with 2 minutes left when substitute Shamir Mullings was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident with Luke Young, but the Dragons still suffered a final scare with 5 minutes left. McCarthy’s determined run ended in a ball to Brooks on the right, and his cross was struck goalwards by Cooke. Pearson made a block but the ball appeared to strike his hand. The referee was happy with the challenge, though, and waved play on.
And so, with the five added minutes nearly up, the stage was set. Harris switched out to Hall-Johnson on the right and his cross looped over the Weymouth keeper and into the net to spark wild celebrations. A remarkable victory from two goals down, as Keates’ substitutions hit the jackpot.
Weymouth: Bycroft, Jordan, Ngalo, McCarthy, Thomson (Mullings 46), McQuoid (Cooke 83), Leslie-Smith (Anderson 23), Brooks, Al-Hussaini, Harfield, Shields. UNUSED SUBS: Benfield, Hoey.
Wrexham: Lainton, Hall-Johnson, Kelleher, Pearson, Vassell, Reckord (Davies 46), Harris, Young, Durrell (Jarvis 69), Thomas (Yussuf 69), Ponticelli. UNUSED SUBS: Diblle, Hirsfield.
Weymouth - McQuoid
Wrexham - Harris
Weymouth - Mullings 88