Via Wrexham Afc
James Jones swept Wrexham into a comeback victory at the Racecourse Ground after a gritty affair against Bromley.
After going behind to a reactive Corey Whitely effort, Paul Mullin would level the scores right before half-time, as Jordan Tunnicliffe was kicked in the face inside the Bromley box.
After a stagnant second half, substitute Jones would smash the ball into the back of the net to push Wrexham into the league.
Phil Parkinson made three changes to the giant killing side after the 4-3 victory over Championship Coventry City in the FA Cup. Anthony Forde, Aaron Hayden and Ollie Palmer all returned to the usual starting eleven for Reece Hall-Johnson, Max Cleworth and Sam Dalby.
A late challenge in the fourth minute saw Kellen Fisher take out Callum McFadzean with both feet, after the Wrexham wing-back had been first to the ball. The Bromley number 35 would however only walk away with a yellow card.
Louis Dennis was presented with the first opportunity of the game, as he found room from Tom O’Connor on the edge of the Wrexham box in the tenth minute. A whipped right footed effort going across the goal forced Mark Howard into a sprawling save.
A lazy pass back from Ben Tozer in the 20th minute saw Michael Cheek beat O’Connor to the ball on the edge of the Wrexham box. The striker then struck early, but Tozer amended for his mistake and blocked the effort.
Tozer would then turn to his throwing attributes, with the ball eventually landing at the feet of Palmer. The striker slapped a first time shot for the ball to sail over into the Kop in the 22nd minute.
Dennis was able to turn Hayden inside and out in the Wrexham box, but the Wrexham number five matched the movements well. A cross was still fired into the six-yard box, where the ball ricocheted off the on-running Jude Arthurs and onto the boot of Corey Whitely for the ball to bobble into Howard’s corner with 33 minutes on the clock.
Elliot Lee found his first real bit of room in the 36th minute, but uncharacteristically sprayed the ball over the bar instead of finding a red shirt in the box.
The usual combination of a Tozer long throw and Hayden header returned in the 42nd minute, but Reice Charles-Cook flew to tip the ball over from his left top corner.
The resulting corner saw Tunnicliffe kicked in the cheek by Cheek whilst on his knees. Referee Lewis Smith took his time with the decision but ultimately awarded Wrexham the penalty. Paul Mullin made no mistake and slammed the ball into the roof of the Bromley net to level the scores.
Half time was called and Wrexham would be somewhat lucky to be level, being far off their best.
The second half saw 25 minutes of both sides failing to threaten and create any chances.
Parkinson therefore decided to switch up the formation and take centre back Tunnicliffe off for Sam Dalby. Wrexham would now operate with four at the back and three strikers.
Parkinson’s change worked to a tee, but with the other substitution of James Jones. After an abundance of well defended crosses, the ball rolled out to Jones who slammed the ball hard and low with his first touch. A nick off Omar Sowunmi would only direct the ball further into the goal, as Wrexham took the lead in the 73rd minute.
Aside from a couple of half chances, Bromley did little to threaten Wrexham’s lead towards the end.
There were two chances for Wrexham to extend their league in the dying embers. Dalby ran through on goal and opted to shoot instead of sliding the ball across to Palmer, forcing Charles-Cook into a smart save.
A couple of minutes later would see Palmer get his chance, but Charles-Cook came to the Ravens’ rescue, as he smothered the low effort.
Wrexham claimed all three points at the referee’s final whistle. A vital three points in the race for the title.
Wrexham Starting XI: 5-3-2: Howard (GK), Forde, Hayden, Tozer, Tunnicliffe (Dalby 71’), McFadzean, O’Connor (J.Jones 71’), Young (C), Lee, Mullin (McAlinden 90’), Palmer
Subs not used: Lainton (GK), Cleworth
Bromley Starting XI: Charles-Cook (GK), Reynolds, Sowunmi, Coleman, Cheek, Dennis (Krauhuas 76’), Webster (C), Whitely, Arthurs, Topalloj, Fisher (Forster 76’)
Subs not used: Smith (GK), Vennings, Alexander
Referee: Lewis Smith
Attendance: 9,807 (32)
Wrexham Bookings: Callum McFadzean 90 (foul)
Bromley Bookings: Kellen Fisher 4’ (foul), Byron Webster 22’ (foul)
Man of the Match: Anthony Forde