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Phil Parkinson hails a great chapter in the story of Wrexham’ after FA Cup win at Coventry

07 Jan 2023 4 minute read
Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson. Photo Morgan Harlow PA Images

Phil Parkinson hailed his side’s 4-3 victory over Sky Bet Championship Coventry ‘a great chapter in the story of Wrexham’ after the non-league side reached the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2000.

Sam Dalby, Elliot Lee and Thomas O’Connor scored to ensure the Vanarama National League side led 3-1 at half-time, before Paul Mullin continued his record of scoring in every FA Cup game for Wrexham this season.

Ben Sheaf, Viktor Gyokeres and Kasey Palmer replied for the Sky Blues, who also saw Jonathan Panzo sent off in the second half.

Wrexham boss Parkinson said afterwards: “I’m so pleased with the boys.

It’s a great chapter in the story of Wrexham since the new owners have come in and I’m sure they will be overjoyed with what they’ve seen today.

“There’s a fantastic positive vibe in the town and behind the team, there’s a real buzz everywhere you go.

“It’s been great to be a part of that and today. The FA Cup, Wrexham, we’ve got a very good record in terms of some great wins over the years and wherever I go since I’ve been manager people speak to me about those special days.

“It was important for us today that we enjoyed the occasion but that we put in a performance that reflected how I know we can play – and I felt we did that.”

High flyers

The National League high flyers were 2-0 up inside the first 20 minutes in front of a huge travelling support, who enjoyed Dalby heading Luke Young’s sumptuous cross beyond Simon Moore before Lee, O’Connor and Mullin put Wrexham three goals to the good.

Parkinson added: “It was so important today that we put in a performance to reflect the history of the club in the FA Cup and the amazing support we knew we’d have here today.

“Some of the football we played was good, we had a nice physicality about us as well, so it’s just a great day for everybody connected with the club.

“It’s not often as a player or manager you’ve got a game against a club three divisions above in front of 5,000 of your own fans and it’s important to savour those moments.

“We’ve had to show many different qualities to get over the line, we didn’t want to come here today and just soak up pressure, I wanted to come and play.”

Wrexham fans celebrate after Paul Mullin (not pictured) scores their side’s fourth goal of the game from the penalty spot at Coventry. Photo Barrington Coombs PA Images

Defiant Coventry manager Mark Robins branded the defeat a missed opportunity as he admitted he felt embarrassed as Wrexham raced into a 4-1 lead at the CBS Arena.

“That’s probably the most embarrassed I’ve felt in the first 60 minutes of any football match that I’ve managed. Credit to Wrexham, they were better than us in that penalty area and put us under a load of pressure.

“They brought 4,500 people and that’s the noisiest I’ve ever heard the stadium, there was a lot of noise and fair play to them.

“It feels like a missed opportunity, we’ve got to take it on the chin, we’re disappointed, I’ve said to the players ‘you’ll look back on it as a missed opportunity in your careers, you don’t get many opportunities to play in the FA Cup’.

“The fans have seen us win the FA Cup, it was probably the best day of their lives, a lot of the supporters. They’ve also seen some really bad days and unfortunately for us today is one of those, but the last half an hour they gave it a right go.

“It is a huge disappointment. To score five goals at home and I don’t care who you’re playing it’s very difficult to do, but we almost clawed our way back in and got a draw.

“Having said that the amount of chances we had and the good quality of the chances, we could have gone on and won the game and that’s the only saving grace.

“We can’t let this affect us for too long. It stings, there’s no doubt it stings, it hurts, ultimately we’ve got to get on and recover right and prepare right for the next phase of games.”

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