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Match Discussion: Game 22 - Red Dragons (H)


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Game 22 - Red Dragons (H)

Team: Wrexham

Date: 02/01/2022

Where: Meadow Lane



What line-up should Ian Burchnall opt for? What will be the key areas for the Magpies to get a victory? What do you think the final score will be?

Have your say below, join in with the Pride of Nottingham match discussion.

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With the news that several Notts players and staff have COVID-19, the first question is whether we'll play this one at all, or even if it's advisable. If we field a decimated first 11, we're putting ourselves at a needless disadvantage against a promotion rival. Hopefully that won't be the case.

Wrexham have won their last three, are now third and are just a point off the top; however, they have also played two or three games more than most teams around them, so the table is heavily distorted. We might be more rested (this will be our first league game in three weeks if it goes ahead), but Wrexham will feel they have the wind under their sails and momentum counts for a lot.

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The problem is that we don’t know who has it and how many have it. By the definition of several we could just have 4 players with COVID, and if they were Knight, Sam, Chicksen and Francis (for example) it doesn’t really impact the strength of the first 11. However if it’s Slocombe, Cameron, Palmer and Wootton or a whole lot more then yes get it called off! And you have to factor in that Ruben will miss this game.

Equally with all the uncertainty there’s a potential opportunity for fringe players to make an impact and we could change things up and give Wrexham something they didn’t plan for. I’d argue this season Cal has taken more of a hit to get him and Ruben in the same team, but now that the first 11 doesn’t have to accommodate them both we can get him in his natural position.

I’d like to play Wrexham with as strong a team as possible, and IB (who knows which players are unavailable) will know if it’s a big risk or more of an inconvenience…

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I tuned in on the radio, didn't sound too bad really. I did fear the worst when we went behind, but the sending off for deliberate handball changed the game. Even so, you still have to beat what's in front of you and Wrexham are a strong side. This puts us a point behind them with two games fewer played, and keeps the pressure on Furlough and Boredom Wood.

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Could have been different if they had kept 11 on the pitch but we will never know and I’m not complaining. It was a definite penalty, but I’d like to see the replay as I did not see it as a deliberate handball.

As for Wrexham, they were basically a look for set pieces and long throw into the box sort of side and reminded me a lot of a John Beck team (for those with long memories). They got lucky with the goal they scored and never really looked like getting another to be honest, apart from the pen, which was more of an error from Vincent than good play by them.

I thought Richardson and Palmer were immense and the rest excellent, it’s bonkers watching Cameron’s ability with the ball at his feet as centre halves aren’t supposed to be able to do that!

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I was only able to listen to but I find it more nerve-wracking then being at a live game. I’m never 100% sure where the ball is and I feel Charlie Slater can just say “ball into the box and a goal” from out of nowhere. I finally felt confident of the win by about the 85th minute!

Thread bare squad but credit it to them it, that was a big win for us. Red card changed the game but that’s not in our control and we still had to push on and make sure of the 3 points. Sometimes playing against 10 can be trickier (as we know). Sounded like the players that haven’t featured as much as they’d like this season like Francis and Chicksen had great games. And even Sam put himself about a bit and sounded like he should’ve got himself on the scoresheet.

Couldn’t ask for a better start to 2022!

Edited by menzinho
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The thing I noticed very quickly, was how Wrexham smashed their crosses and passes.

It was almost like they wanted to intimidate us with weight on the ball, so that we didn't try to block them, which is something that faded as the game progressed. Their tempo early on, it was very direct and with a lot of purpose. Right before they scored, they had two chances which should've had alarm bells going. Their goal, was a fantastic exchange, and although I didn't feel like 'here we go again'. It did make me feel that the game would be very open, with Notts needing to exploit them.

Kyle Cameron eased things a little, as Alex Lacey tried, but I think the main focus for us to regroup came from Cameron at the back.

Wrexham didn't seem to have a lot of pace and, I was surprised that they actually didn't press more after the opening goal. Their red card, unbelievable - talk about stupidity. Was there any point in handling the ball? Did it save Wrexham? If that didn't happen, I feel the game would've been a draw as both teams did well in all fairness.

No doubt Wrexham losing Harry Lennon was the turning point.

They didn't start off as if they were a man down, bringing the game to Notts, but slowly we faded them out with our passing play. Those who dislike how we pass the ball at times, take note that Wrexham had spells where they chased every ball, until they became frustrated and somewhat lazy.

This allowed Notts to turn the game in our favour, pushing and creating chances which put the panic on their defence.

Whilst I felt Matt Palmer did very well, my Man of the Match would be Kyle Wootton for his work rate - followed by Frank Vincent who played an immense game. I actually felt every player played very well, with a level that grew as our confidence lifted. 

Paul Mullin had the chance to salvage the game for Wrexham, but he went missing. Very poor penalty! Nothing was taken from Anthony Patterson as he still needed to pull of the save, which was a good one, but that penalty was pathetic from a club's leading goalscorer.

Jayden Richardson on another note, what a difference he made in the second-half. He was pretty quiet in the first 45 minutes, looking scared to run at Wrexham and, generally slowing the game down with some poor decision-making - yet for his age, It's to be expected. I just wanted to point out, that sometimes players can make up for periods where they go largely unnoticed.

Fair play to Wrexham for still trying, although they looked visually defeated, but it was still a good game.

Talking points:

Opening goal: Yes, Anthony Patterson should really be saving those, but it was from a quick spell of chaos and well-placed strike.
The red card: All day and, night - it was a red card. One of the most stupidest decisions I have ever seen in a life game.
Wrexham fans disputing the decision: Harry Lennon denied a goal scoring opportunity, it wasn't a natural reaction - he made himself larger to cover the goal.
Their antics with diving: Have the Wrexham players been taking acting lessons from Ryan Reynolds? If so, they need to keep it up because it's far from convincing. Throwing themselves into opposition players, jumping over people who are just standing, it was all absolutely ridiculous and, for this reason I see why they're struggling to be the Hollywood team they dream of.
Elisha Sam foul: It wasn't a booking for me, but I can see why it was given. I felt he won the ball, yet he left a lot on the challenge and the momentum could be an issue that the referee decided was dangerous. No red, it wouldn't have changed much if he did get sent off.
Elisha Sam's performance: He's a frustrating player, but when you have someone who seldomly plays and appears to try - It's hard to be crucial of the small parts they play. He did some nice things, one very decent cross into the box for Kyle Wootton. Yes, he missed the header where he didn't need to jump, but it's always harder to connect with the ball in that situation.
Phil Parkinson: What a tool... If Notts gave Wrexham a lot to think about, yet he believes 100% that they were the better team - he's as deluded as the Wrexham fans. Penalty but not a straight red 🤦‍♂️and our third goal... It didn't change anything so why be salty about it.

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