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Phil Parkinson hails ‘immense character’ of Wrexham side after dramatic draw

30 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson. Photo Mike Egerton PA Images

Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson hailed his side’s “immense character” after coming from behind three times with only 10 men to claim a dramatic 3-3 draw against Crewe.

Crewe took the lead through Mickey Demetriou and received a further boost when Wrexham midfielder Ryan Barnett was sent off in the 36th minute following a late challenge on Shilow Tracey.

Paul Mullin levelled soon after with an overhead kick but Chris Long’s penalty gave Crewe the half-time edge at the Racecourse.

Another impressive Mullin equaliser made it 2-2 soon after the restart but Tracey restored Crewe’s lead and that looked set to earn Alex the points until Wrexham substitute Steven Fletcher headed in a stoppage-time equaliser

Parkinson felt Barnett should not have been sent off, saying they will appeal the red card, and also praised Mullin’s performance on the back of a family bereavement as the prolific frontman scored his first goals of the new season.

“There was immense character from the lads,” said Parkinson.

“In the second half I thought we were the better team and had some great chances. If we had not got the draw it would have been an injustice and I’m actually disappointed we didn’t win it given we had 10 men.

“It was an exciting game with lots of talking points. Even if we hadn’t got that goal I would still have been proud of the way the lads played today.

“It has been a tough week with a family bereavement so I’m pleased for him (Mullin). He was firing on all cylinders and with the two goals I don’t think there are many players who would produce moments like that at this level.

“The sending off was a very poor decision. It was never a sending off. It was the fourth official who gave it. It was a low challenge that wasn’t endangering the player. We will appeal that straight away.”

Though disappointed at not seeing out the win, Crewe boss Lee Bell believes few sides will replicate the Railwaymen’s impressive first-half showing against the Dragons.

He said: “I thought it was two good teams having a go at each other. I thought we were outstanding first half, to come here and play in that manner, I thought we were outstanding.

“The killer really is the goal they scored straight after half-time, that’s the hard one. It makes the crowd go up.

“We’re a young team and it’s new experiences for them in terms of being the better team more often than not now throughout games, and now we’ve just got to show that little bit of belief when we take the lead in games like this to really kill it off.

“With the negative that there was in the game in terms of the goals we conceded, there were so many positives.

“To come here, particularly the first half with 11 players, I thought we were outstanding because there won’t be many teams that come here and are able to perform like that.”

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