Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Steve Harris previews the game at Plainmoor
TORQUAY UNITED VS WREXHAM AFC
Date: Saturday 29th April 2023
Torquay: W, W, W, W, L, D
Wrexham: W, W, L, W, D, W
Torquay: Aaron Jarvis (18)
Wrexham: Paul Mullin (47)
HEAD TO HEAD
WREXHAM AFC FACTFILE
Year founded: 1864
Nickname: The Red Dragons
Last season’s league finish: 2nd in the National League
Division Three/Division Two/League One:
Football League Trophy:
Conference/Blue Square Premier/National League:
Winners 23 times
MANAGER: PHIL PARKINSON
Phil Parkinson is currently embarking on his second season as Wrexham manager after he was chosen to succeed Dean Keates by owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in the summer of 2021. After spending the majority of his playing career with Bury and Reading, Parkinson took charge of Colchester United in 2003; he later led the U’s to an unlikely promotion to the Championship in the 2005-06 season.
Spells with Hull City and Charlton Athletic followed before he took charge of Bradford City in August 2011. He made history during his stint in charge of the Bantams – as he guided them to the EFL Cup final in the 2012-13 campaign after beating Arsenal and Aston Villa enroute before losing to Swansea City. Parkinson also led Bradford to promotion from League Two via the Play-offs later that season following a late run of form. The Bantams followed up their run to Wembley by beating Chelsea 3-2 in the FA Cup In the 2013-14 season.
After leaving Valley Parade in the summer of 2016 to take charge of Bolton Wanderers Parkinson led the Trotters to promotion from League One as runners-up in the 2016-17 season. Despite keeping Bolton in the Championship in the 2017-18 season they were relegated in the following campaign in the wake of financial struggles. These issues came to head in August 2019 when he resigned from his post, by which time the club was in Administration.
A spell in charge of Sunderland followed before he left the Stadium of Light in November 2020 and was replaced by Lee Johnson – Gary Johnson’s son – prior to his appointment as Red Dragons boss.
In his first season at the Racecourse Ground, Parkinson led Wrexham to a second place finish in the National League and he also guided them to the FA Trophy final, where they were beaten by Bromley.
He has since followed this up by leading the Red Dragons to the National League title – ending the club’s 15-year stay in non-league football.
PLAYER TO WATCH: PAUL MULLIN
A player who needs no introduction following his goal scoring exploits this season, which saw him find the back of the net an incredible 47 times in 52 appearances in all competitions, Paul Mullin has been very a talisman for the Red Dragons in the 2022-23 campaign.
Mullin joined Wrexham in the summer of 2021, after helping Cambridge United win promotion from League Two; he was also voted as the division’s player of the season in 2020-21.
In his first season at the Racecourse Ground, Mullin scored 32 goals in 44 appearances as the Red Dragons reached the National League play-offs and the final of the FA Trophy where they were beaten by Bromley.
However, his second campaign with the Red Dragons saw him spearhead their return to the EFL as National League champions.
Position: Centre Forward
Date of Birth: 6th November 1994 – 28 years-old
Place of Birth: Liverpool
Former Clubs: Huddersfield, Vauxhall Motors, Morecambe, Swindon, Tranmere, Cambridge
NL Stats 22-23: Played 45, Goals 38, Yellow/Red Cards 2/0
Wrexham: Luke Young
Wrexham AFC 6-0 Torquay United
Saturday 24th September 2022
Wrexham maintained their perfect home record with a thumping victory over Torquay United.
Jordan Davies’ header set Wrexham on their way before Paul Mullin and Ollie Palmer extended their lead.
Aaron Hayden’s header and first Wrexham goals for Sam Dalby’ and Anthony Forde sealed another win for the Red Dragons.
Palmer had already headed wide before the hosts took the lead after 11 minutes. James Jones’ effort from distance was palmed away by Mark Halstead and from Luke Young’s corner Davies found space to head home.
Anthony Forde was unlucky to see his curling effort come back off the post as Phil Parkinson’s side continued to dominate.
That superiority resulted in a second goal just before the half-hour mark, as Mullin turned in Jones’ cross for his eighth goal of the season.
Torquay’s rare ventures forward saw a weak shot from Cardiff City loanee Kieron Evans, which was gathered comfortably by Mark Howard, while Aaron Jarvis struck the crossbar.
Mullin turned provider for Wrexham’s third goal with a cross which Palmer netted smartly on the volley, his seventh of the campaign.
Evans fired wide of the post for Torquay, before Wrexham added a fourth goal when Hayden met Young’s corner to head home.
Dalby, a summer signing from Southend, opened his Dragons account with the fifth following a pull-back by fellow substitute Elliot Lee.
Jarvis flashed an effort wide of the post for the visitors but Forde sealed another impressive afternoon for Wrexham in stoppage time with a tap-in from Callum McFadzean’s cross.
Torquay United (3-5-2):
Shaun Donnellan – Nico Lawrence – Ben Wyatt
Jack Stobbs – Kevin Dawson – Asa Hall – Tom Lapslie – Lewis Collins
Frank Nouble – Aaron Jarvis
Wrexham AFC (3-5-2):
Eoghan O’Connell – Ben Tozer – Tom O’Connor
Ryan Barnett – James Jones – Andy Cannon – Elliot Lee – Jacob Mendy
Paul Mullin – Sam Dalby