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Hollywood Finish as Wrexham Win from 2-0 Down With 17 Minutes To Go

calendario 17.12.2020
by: Zach
  • England
  • Vanarama National
Hollywood Finish as Wrexham Win from 2-0 Down With 17 Minutes To Go

Wrexham made some more first-rate documentary material this week, beating Weymouth after spending the majority of the game on the back foot. At half time, the worldwide reds were 2-0 down, due to powerful headers from Weymouth’s Josh McQuoid and Jake McCarthy. The game played out on McQuoid’s birthday, and the winger celebrated in style by putting his team on the front foot in the third minute. The English side doubled their lead in the 25th minute and dominated the game until well into the second half. 

In the 83rd minute, it all changed. Wrexham’s Theo Vassall bundled the ball in to get the reds back in the game. Less than a minute later, in the 84th, Vassall scored again to bring Wrexham level. After a breathtakingly end-to-end five minutes of extra time, Wrexham’s Reece Hall-Johnson scored, in a mere 5 seconds on the clock. 

The three points Wrexham earned with this cinematic performance show their grit, determination and flair, which will surely be shown again upon the release of the documentary developed by their new millionaire owners, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. In a more practical, immediate sense, the game raises questions about their management under the current boss Dean Keates.

Keates’ substitutions made a huge impact on the game. A classic “game of two halves”, the run of play completely reversed when Keates subbed on the talented academy product Jordan Davies as CDM. Keates then capitalised on Wrexham’s strengthened backline by introducing Dan Jarvis and Tanzanian international Adi Yussuf as double substitutions in the 70th minute. Yussuf became directly involved in all three of Wrexham’s goals, narrowly missing out on credit for the first.

While tactical substitutions prove a strength of Keates’ management, many Wrexham fans questioned how his leadership and gameplan got the reds into a deficit in the first five minutes. Although Weymouth are a gutsy and passionate side, they have been out of the league until this season. Wrexham last played Weymouth in the English side’s relegations season over ten years ago, in 08/09. The reds beat Weymouth handsomely, home and away that season, and were favourites going into this game. Ultimately, the points mean more than the peril, but Keates’ inconsistency, particularly on the back of two losses before facing Weymouth, had ambitious fans concerned.

A whole other drama played out in Weymouth’s technical area during the match. Frustration mounted as the terras’ boss, Brian Stock, saw his teams’ lead slip through his fingers in a matter of minutes. Following the two equalising goals within 60 seconds, an incident in Wrexham’s penalty area went unnoticed by the referee. Labelled a “clear handball” and “how was that not a handball” by Dorset media outlets, a possible defensive handball passed the referee by unpenalised. To add to Weymouth’s woes, Stock’s substitute, Shamir Mullings, earned a red card for an off the ball incident with Wrexham’s Luke Young. Mullings’ wasn’t the game’s only red card, when the tragedy of losing the game in the last five seconds of extra time proved too much for Weymouth’s manager. Following some inflammatory words with the match officials, Stock, an ex-Wales international, was also sent off. 

Wrexham’s illustrious new owners welcomed the thrilling victory with support, stopping short of smugness. McElhenney simply tweeted “Oh.My.” while Reynolds quietly liked several match commentary posts. Their ecstatic reaction in the upcoming documentary seems inevitable.

While the result sees a forlorn Weymouth drop into the relegation zone, it pushes Wrexham further up the table towards the congested top spots. Following an extremely competitive season, the entire top half of the National League balances on a knife-edge. Although there’s a clear runaway leader in Torquay United, six points clear at the top, places two to nine rest on razor-thin margins. In fact, another six points separate second-place Sutton from eighth place Wrexham, and even the team below them, Maidenhead, in ninth. 

The Torquay juggernaut looks unstoppable at this stage, but competition for the only other ticket to the EFL could scarcely be tighter. By nicking a win in the closing seconds, Wrexham’s latest result leaves them in a strong position. With that in mind, the reds’ next two fixtures will be a real test of calibre. Their next two games see them face tenth place Stockport, then the team above them on goal difference, Woking. 

There’s still plenty of work to be done at Wrexham to achieve their new owners’ sky-high aims. This season’s National League is sure to have a fascinating photo finish, both in real-time and again, from all angles, in the worldwide reds documentary, coming soon.


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