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28 November 2023 Venue EnviroVent Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match preview - Town look to return to winning ways in Wrexham clash

27 November 2023

Simon Weaver and his players  will be looking to quickly put the disappointment of Saturday’s loss at Crawley behind them when they entertain high-flying Wrexham at The Envirovent Stadium tomorrow evening.

Despite falling to a 2-1 defeat it was another positive performance from Simon Weaver’s side and they will be looking to come away with all three points in front of a record crowd under the lights. 

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Our opponents

Wrexham were promoted back to the EFL at the end of last season, holding off Notts County in a titanic tussle that saw both clubs register over 100 points.

And they have impressed in their return to league football after a 15-year absence, coming into the game in second place and on the back of a resounding 6-0 home win against Morecambe at the weekend.

Wrexham have lost once in the past 10 games and have won four of their last five games. On the road they have taken 13 points from nine games and are the joint leading scorers in the division, netting 40 goals so far through 19 games.

Previous meetings

The two sides last met at The Envirovent Stadium in the 2021/22 season in the first round of the FA Cup. Despite trailing to a first-half goal Town hit back after the break with strikes from Simon Power and Danilo Orsi to earn a 2-1 victory.

In Town’s 2019/20 promotion season visitors Wrexham came away with all three points thanks to a goals either side of half-time from James Jennings and JJ Hooper.

In 2018/19 the sides played out a pair of goalless draws at The Envirovent Stadium in both league and cup a month apart, with Wrexham triumphing in the FA cup qualifying round replay by a 2-0 margin.

The man in charge

Phil Parkinson is now in his third season in charge at the club, having taken over ahead of the 2021/22 season. In a 20-year managerial career Parkinson has had spells at the helm at Colchester, Hull, Charlton, Bradford, Bolton and Sunderland.

During his playing career Parkinson made over 500 appearances for bury and Reading.

Ones to watch

After missing the start of the season through injury Paul Mullin has found his form in recent weeks, netting six goals in his past eight games including a hat-trick against Morecambe. Mullin was prolific in his previous two seasons at National League level, scoring over sixty goals.

Forward Elliott Lee is the clubs top scorer though, having netted ten times so far with Mullin’s usual strike partner Ollie Palmer finding the target on five occasions.

Veteran Irish midfielder James McLean has proved a useful addition on the left-hand side with Scot James Jones chipping in three goals from central midfield.

After Ben Foster’s retirement the club moved swiftly to bring in ‘keeper Arthur Okonkwo on loan from Arsenal. He will play behind Ben Tozer and Aaron Hayden, two defenders with league experience who helped the side to promotion.

History

Whilst much of the focus centres on Wrexham’s recent story the club have a long history both domestically and in Europe, being the oldest club in Wales having formed back in 1864.

The club entered the Football League in 1921 as part of the Third Division North, spending the next half century in the bottom two divisions until earning promotion to Division Two at the end of the 1977/78 season.

A pair of relegations in the early 1980’s saw the club back in the bottom tier for the next decade before a promotion was secured in 1992/93. Financial problems hampered the club at the turn of the century, with the club entering administration and were ultimately relegated to the National League where they remained for 15 years before last season’s title winning season.

The club have also won the Welsh Cup a record 23 times.

Team news

Simon Weaver will again be without long-term absentees Toby Sims and Mark Oxley for tomorrow’s clash.

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Match Reports

TOWN 2-2 Wrexham - Town fight back to earn a share of the spoils

27 November 2023

Town hit back from a two-goal deficit to earn a share of the spoils as goals from Dean Cornelius and Anthony O’Connor earned a 2-2 draw.

Simon Weaver’s side had fallen behind before the break thanks to strikes from Andy Cannon and Elliott Lee but Cornelius reduced the arrears on the stroke of half-time before O’Connor headed home a minute into the second-half.

Town were forced into one enforced change due to the injury sustained by Sam Folarin in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Crawley. Fit again Josh March, who returned to action at the weekend, came into the side.

For the visitors, there was also one change with Jacob Mendy coming into the eleven in place of Anthony Forde.

An early ball over the top in the opening minutes was pounced on by March, who got his shot away but with a narrow angle the effort was comfortably dealt with by Arthur Oronkwo.

Ollie Palmer was felled on the edge of the area on five minutes. Although the initial effort was deflected first Paul Mullin and then Cannon forced a fine double save from Jonathan Mitchell.

March received a yellow card after 20 minutes when he was penalised for a late challenge on Tom O’Connor.

Mitchell was called into action again on 30 minutes when he was at full stretch to turn away a powerful Aaron Hayden header after the visitors recycled possession from a corner.

That would prove to be the prelude to an action-packed end to the first half that saw Wrexham take the lead ten minutes before the break. Stephen Dooley lost possession, with O’Connor squaring for Cannon who slotted coolly past Mitchell.

Before Town could compose themselves they were 2-0 behind. After failing to clear a bouncing ball from Elliott Lee nipped in at the far post to poke home.

On the stroke of half-time though Town reduced the arrears when Cornelius was on hand to fire beyond Okonkwo after the visitors themselves failed to clear their lines.

Cornelius then went into the book for a robust challenge on O’Connor before Evans brought the curtain down on a pulsating end to the half when he cracked a ferocious effort that rebounded off the crossbar.

Both sides were forced into changes at the break. Rod McDonald was replaced by Warren Burrell whilst Mark Howard came on for Okonkwo in a change between the sticks.

And barely a minute into the half, after being penalised for handball, O’Connor powered a header beyond Howard whose first touch was to pick the ball out of the net.

Odoh for all the world appeared as if he had given Town the lead on 50 minutes when he took Kayne Ramsay’s pass and struck sweetly beyond Howard only to see the ball a matter of inches wide.

Mullin, who Town had largely kept quiet to date, then raced beyond the defence but lacked composure and blazed well over the bar.

Ben Tozer went into the book at the midpoint of the second-half for cynically bringing down Jack Muldoon. From the resulting free-kick Matty Foulds whipped in a vicious low ball that March almost diverted beyond Howard.

Foulds then advanced almost the length of the Wrexham half before striking an effort that caused some discomfort for Howard in the Wrexham goal.

With twenty minutes remaining the visitors made two further changes. Into the fray came came James Jones and Sam Dalby for goalscorer Cannon and Palmer.

After Town had been in the ascendancy the changes re-focused Wrexham minds and they steadily found their way back into the game as the final quarter approached.

Substitute Dalby forced Mitchell into a smart save just inside the final ten minutes before Jones struck just wide of the post.

Town then introduced Sivi for the hardworking March with five minutes remaining but despite three minutes of added time neither side could fashion a winner.

 

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