By Chay Long
A tale of two halves as ten-man Wrexham beat Wealdstone 4-1.
Two goals from Kwame Thomas, a thunderbolt from Luke Young and beautifully slotted goal by Dior Angus separated the sides on a sunny Welsh afternoon.
Wrexham’s eleven changed as Tyler French had moved position to right wing back to replace the injured Rhys Hall-Johnson. Theo Vassell is back in the side after injury and Elliot Durrell replaced Dan Jarvis.
Wrexham countered a free kick from Wealdstone with a great clearance from Vassell, which landed to Thomas’s head who flicked on towards Angus, whose deflected cross bounced out for a corner.
Another corner for the Dragons, just three minutes into the game, was swung in by Jordan Davies hitting the back post, with Mark Carrington inches away from converting, only to hen bounce back acorss the goal into the arms of the much relieved keeper Harry Isted.
Connor Smith picked up the ball midway into Wrexham’s half and sent a pass through to Mendy on 17 minutes. The midfielder then cut inside and had a shot from around 25 yards out, which flew just wide of a post, Wealdstone's first chance of the game.
Some 22 minutes in, Jack Cawley played a long ball over the top to Mendy, who picked it up and drove past Vassell, leaving the defender to stick out a leg to bring the Stones' player down and earn himself a yellow card. The free kick was drilled at the wall and cleared away by Tyler French.
Wealdstone looked the more dangerous side at this stage, as Mendy won a corner for his side on 32 minutes in. His flag kick was whipped and Michee Efete's initial header came back off a post, before Danny Parish reacted first to head the rebound into the corner of the net for game's opening goal.
After 39 minutes, Wrexham had a free kick just past the halfway line to the left hand side. Luke Young whips in a beautiful ball to Kelleher, but despite beating the offside trap he couldn't get enough power on the header to beat Isted.
French played a ball mid-way into Wealdstone’s half which hit Cawley near the arm, but despite appeals from several Wrexham players for a penalty, the ball went out for a corner.
There were three minutes of added time indicated at the end of the half.
In the dying embers of the period Wrexham had a series of corners. Unfortunately for the Dragons, they did not result in any clear cut chances.
Wrexham started the second half fast as Carrington played a ball to French down the right hand side, French then drilled a powerful low driven cross which found a lunging Thomas foot to take the Reds level on 47 minutes.
The second of two corners was well worked, as a crowded Wealdstone area left Luke Young free at the edge of the box. Rekord intelligently played a direct pass from the corner, to the midfielder who smashed his effort into the top right hand corner from the edge of the area. A contender for goal of the season as Wrexham took the lead on 54 minutes.
The Reds had a beautiful spell of passing possession, as Young found Dior Angus on the edge of the box. The striker driving the ball to the goal line, where he dinked the ball over the keeper finding Thomas at the far post, who in turn headed home to make it 3-1. Thomas’s eighth goal of the season, 70 minutes in.
James Horsfield replaced Davies, but shortly afterwards Wealdstone broke away at the half way line with Vassell grabbing at Phillips' shirt and so receiving his second yellow of the game, dropping the Reds went down to 10 men.
With 76 minutes played, Wrexham went looking for more goals as a miss hit pass by Alex Dyer landed at Angus' feet, who slotted the ball beautifully under the Wealdstone keeper to make it 4-1.
A second change for the honme side on 80 minutes, as Durrell was replaced by Paul Rutherford.
Wealdstone tried to get at 10-man Wrexham as a series of passes landed with Connor Smith at the edge of the box, he fires in his shot but unfortunately for the Stones it landed just wide of the post.
Wrexham made a final substitution at 88th minutes, as Jordan Pontecelli came on for Angus.
The fourth official indicated five minutes of added time, which were seen out comfortably.
Thomas had one last chance of a hat-trick in the 93rd minute, as Rekord whipped in a lovely ball from 25-yards out, inviting the striker to head towards goal, however he was to be denied by an upright. With Istead quickly off his line to dent the striker's follow up shot.
In the end a deserved victory for the Reds, who looked a completely different side after the break.
Wrexham: Dibble, Carrington, French, Kelleher, Vasell, Reckord, Durrell (Rutherford 80'), Young, Davies (Horsfield 70'), Thomas, Angus (Ponticelli 87').
Subs: Austin, Jarvis.
Wealdstone: Isted, Effete (Lafayette 78'), Parish, Cawley, Okimo, Phillips, Smith, Dyer (Charles 69'), Mendy, Green, Lewis (Dalling 69').
Subs: Askew, Wishart.
Referee: G Rhodes (Yorkshire)
Wrexham: Vassell (72', foul - second caution)
Wrexham: Davies (22', foul), Vasell (23', foul), Kelleher (57', foul), Thomas (80', foul)
Wealdstone: Cawley (27', foul)