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Phil Parkinson hails “colossus effort” as 10-man Wrexham edge past Colchester

16 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson. Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.

Phil Parkinson praised a “colossus effort” from Wrexham after they beat his former club Colchester 2-1 despite playing for more than an hour with only 10 men.

Wrexham had taken a fourth-minute lead through Elliot Lee, who fired home at the second attempt from eight yards, following Ben Tozer’s long throw.

But the hosts’ George Evans was sent off in the 26th minute following a bad challenge on Cameron McGeehan.

However, Wrexham got some breathing space when Zach Mitchell sliced James McClean’s delivery into his own net in the 70th minute.

And although Jayden Fevrier pulled a goal back for Colchester in the 89th minute after goalkeeper Mark Howard had denied McGeehan, Wrexham claimed victory.

Parkinson said: “That’s a colossus effort from the lads and I’m very proud of the performance today.

“We got the early goal and then the sending off. Colchester have got some good technical players and some dangerous players, in and around the box.

“In the first half, from the sending off to half-time, I thought we sat a bit deep and didn’t engage in our own final third or the middle third or get enough passes in.

“We said to the players at half-time that we don’t want to play survival football and just sit back and wait for them to score.

“We’re good enough to make passes in the game and I felt we did that really well in the second period. We pushed our wing-backs on to their full-backs and defended as we would normally defend.

“We showed a nice coolness in possession and it’s a real effort from the lads.”

Colchester have now lost five successive league games and their head coach Matty Etherington was disappointed they did not make more of their one-man advantage.

Etherington said: “I think it was an opportunity missed.

“They obviously went ahead early on but I thought we started the game really good. We didn’t threaten their goal enough in the second half.

“I thought we were the better team in the first half. When they went down to 10 men, we knew that they were going to sit off, 5-3-1, and plug up the gaps so it can be difficult.

“We spoke at half-time about what we need to do to try and affect them and I don’t think we did it well enough to be blatantly honest, and that was disappointing. We got the goal but it was too late.

“We could have carried more of a goal threat potentially but it was just disappointing the manner of the goals that we conceded.

“It’s really hampering us at the minute and making life a lot more difficult when we are playing well.”

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