Following a slight reshuffle in the managerial hierarchy this week, new manager Dyfan Jones took his troops on a trip Grimsby. It was an early start for the XII men who were at the gaffers disposal for the 300mile round trip.
With best wishes messages from Wrexham FC skipper Dean Keates and and Robbie Evans, Wrexham knew they could hold on to their 5th place in the IFA National League Table if they could bring home the three points.
Former long-term manager Matthew Thomas was a late inclusion into the squad and started on the bench, well as ‘Assistant Referee’. Young full-back Nick Mannering was given his first start in months, following some positive performances off the bench in past games. Arron Scott was available again having missed the previous two fixtures, as too was Joey Jones who has missed the last few matches due to lack of sleep.
Wrexham, kicking slightly up hill and against the wind first half quickly grabbed themselves the lead. It began from a Steve Garnett corner drilled into the box which ping-ponged off several players, only for Wrexham top goalscorer Gareth Davies to prod home from 4 yards.
Wrexham despite their form, didn’t start too brightly, with not many passes and slow movement off the ball.
The Grimbarians used the wind to their advantage pegging the Red Dragons deep in their half. I can assume that they are used to the wind over in the Humber estuary in what was a deceptively windy, but sunny morning.
Often Grimsby would aim for the channels, but both Aaron Jones and Nick Mannering dealt well with the pace of the Grimsby attack.
Wrexham didn’t carve out too many opportunities often finding themselves offside, often through Tom Campbell who found himself in a more advanced role. However, the closest they came was a diagonal ball from Garnett deep left, to play in Ian ‘Chezney’ Edwards in acres of space down the right. The Wrexham winger controlled the ball in his stride, and went for the spectacular… only to slice the ball high, wide and handsome.
Wrexham could have lost their slender advantage just before half time, only for Joey Jones to pull off a world class save by tipping the ball past the post. The ginger stopper clawed the side footed shot that was destined for the far bottom corner.
HT: Grimsby 0 – 1 Wrexham
With the wind now in Wrexham’s favour the majority of territory was now being played in the Grimsby half.
And it wasn’t long before Wrexham’s dominance paid off. With a Arron Scott throw-in bombing into the Grimsby penalty area, a neat lay off to the onrushing Reece who, found himself through on goal with only the keeper to beat. The speedy winger slotted his shot into the far right corner and celebrated his first goal for the club.
Matthew Thomas replaced Ian ‘Chezney’ Edwards after the hour mark, just before Wrexham’s third.
Another Garnett corner, and another melee, and the ball crossed the line! It has since been credited to Dan Sear, although the BFG still finds himself battling to hold on to the goal after numerous others are trying to claim the strike. One for the Dubious Goals Panel!
And three quickly became four. The ball made a rare appearance in the Wrexham box, but was cleared to Chezney (who had just come back onto the field following another substitution) and ran right through the centre of the pitch. The ginger rhino managed to offload a perfect pass to Reece, before getting clacked … a great advantage from the Referee meant Reece was clean through on goal – and he made no mistake in doubling his tally and scoring Wrexham’s fourth!
With five minutes remaining, Grimsby went all out attack, searching for a consolation goal. However they were caught out as Steve Garnett sprayed another diagonal ball for the galloping Dan Sear to run through on goal. The giant’s first touch was poor which took him too wide of the goal, instead picked out a perfect cross for Reece to bag his third of the day.
There was still time for even more drama before the full time whistle as Grimsby really pilled on the pressure.
A cross from the Grimsby left dubiously hit Nick Mannering’s hand according to the man in charge. Penalty was given, much to the dissatisfaction of the Wrexham team.
Grimsby’s penalty taker, who had performed well as Referee for most of the match hadn’t long swapped the refs kit for a Grimsby kit, struck the ball firmly right down the middle of the goal – to be kept out by Joey’s long legs. Justice the Wrexham team felt!
The refs whistle eventually came, and Wrexham had beaten Grimsby 5-0 for the second time this season.
MOM: Arron Scott.