Wrexham holds off Blyth for the win in the FA Cup
By JJ Pavlick 10/18/22
Tonight’s matchup in Wales for the FA Cup is being broadcasted on ESPN2 and ESPN+ streaming service. This is a huge deal for these teams, they usually are only covered by BT Sports and viewed locally, but thanks to new owners of Wrexham Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. The League is now being seen worldwide. The duo bought Wrexham who plays in the 5th division of English football officially on February 9, 2021. They bought the team from its fan base in North Wales. Yes, the club plays in the England football system while being in Wales. The duo wasted no time in improving the team with the goal of promotion and returning pride to the city of Wrexham. They went out and hired manager Phil Parkinson, yes that Phil Parkinson who is the promotion genius of England. Parkinson is the only manager to take an English fourth-tier club to the final of a major cup competition at Wembley, leading Bradford City of League Two to the 2013 League Cup final, where they were beaten by Swansea City. The 53-year-old, who also managed Hull City and Charlton before joining Bradford, subsequently enjoyed success with Bolton, with whom he won promotion in 2017. In total, he has been promoted three times as a manager. The ownership group also created the hit show “Welcome to Wrexham” which airs on FX and Hulu. It just wrapped up its first season last week and yesterday they announced the series will continue we can’t wait for season 2. The Racecourse has a nice attendance for the FA Cup match, it’s amazing to see the club start its return to the glory days when they played in the Premier League.
Paul Mullins finds Palmer wide open in front of the goal and Palmer makes no mistakes drilling the perfect pass into the back of the net for a 1-0 Wrexham lead in the 10' of play at the FA Cup. In the 12th minute Forde finds Paul Mullin open in front of the goal, Paul doesn’t miss placing the header in the lower left corner for a 2-0 lead. The Wrexham squad is playing well tonight in Wrexham, Wales. They’ve been the better team dictating the pace from the start of the match. Blyth is just being overpowered by the stars of Wrexham. Mullin earns a corner a few minutes later, he plays it short, but Blyth isn’t able to stop this attack and sends the ball to midfield. In the 30' of action Blyth still hasn’t figured out Wrexham. The Wrexham faithful are loud and have no problem letting the center referee know what they think. If you’ve never watched European football you’re missing out and should be tuning in. Hometown boy Jordan Davies creates the turnover 18 yards from the goal and makes no mistakes. He dribbles into the box and fires a low laser into the right corner of the goal in the 36th minute. Wrexham is now up 3-0, with about 9' of play left to the 1st half plus any extra time added. The fourth official announces there will be a minimum of 4' additional minutes added to the first half. In the 45'+6' the center referee blows his whistle to end the first half.
Wrexham is having its way with the lower-division Blyth team, Blyth only has 3 field players and 1 keeper on the bench for subs as well. Wrexham will look to rest some of its stars in the second half of the match as they have a league match this weekend as well. It’s really hard not to get behind the Wrexham side who had a history of greatness spoiled by a greedy owner who tried to run the team into the ground for selfish purposes. Then the fans stepped in to save the team they love, they would raise money to pay salaries, pay for road trips, and more. Then as the supporter’s money starts to run thinner than ever the boys from Hollywood show up and do the unthinkable. They buy a low-division team with a history of Premiere League greatness, they needed to get unanimous approval in the vote by the supporter ownership group. They not only got the votes they needed but exceeded them. Ryan and Rob also promised to return the Racecourse to its previous glory, allowing fans to be behind the goal once again. We could talk about Wrexham’s history for hours in this article; however, we have a match to get back to. I will try to get a meeting with the US support groups and hopefully the owners to do a full detailed article on all things Wrexham. I will say it’s an amazing story that needs to be told and I hope to get the opportunity to bring it to you.
The 2nd half is underway, Wrexham makes a substitution Ben Tozer comes off for Aaron Hayden. Blyth comes out strong which hasn’t been seen during the entire 1st half, O’Donnell scores for Blyth making it 3-1 in the 54' of play. A minute later Blyth earns a corner, but it’s handled well by Wrexham. Wrexham seems to have fallen asleep on the pitch suddenly. Wrexham needs to respond to this sudden rush quickly. In the 57', Blyth scored again via an own goal by Richardson and now we stand at 3-2 with a lot of time remaining in the match. Blyth has been the better team in the 2nd half of the game. Not sure what’s going on with Wrexham, but the Manager had better figure it out fast along with the players. In the 68', Blyth is still controlling the pace and action, Wrexham seems to have no answers now. Wrexham finally shows some life, this half earning a corner, but they make a mess of it and Blyth counterattacks fast heading down the pitch. The counter fizzes out as the defense steps up and starts a counterattack for Wrexham. Palmer just misses Mullins wide-open in front of the goal. Wrexham is bringing on Bryce Hosannah for Liam McAlinden in the 73'. Wrexham finally showing signs of life this half, peppering the back line of Blyth who barely hangs on. In the 90th minute of play, the fourth official indicates a minimum of 7' will be added to the half. Wrexham has picked up the pace and is pushing the Blyth back line hard looking to finalize the match. In the final minute of the match, the Wrexham supporters are on their feet singing, chanting, and rallying behind their team to win. The final whistle sounds and Wrexham is through to the next round where it looks like they will play Chester if Chester can hold on to their lead.
It was a fun match to watch but my word was that closer than it ever should’ve been, Blyth showed a ton of heart in the second half. They took the fight to the bigger club, but Wrexham held on and took the game back over keeping the Blyth squad at bay after they pulled within 1 goal. Looking forward to the matches to come and Wrexham is hoping to return to Wembley for the FA Cup finals. This time they want to leave as the champions and then take the league by finishing first and guaranteeing promotion.