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Wrexham win seven goal FA Cup thriller at Coventry

07 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Wrexham’s Thomas O’Connor (right) celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game against Coventry. Photo Barrington Coombs PA Images

Wrexham dumped 10-man Coventry out of the FA Cup with a spectacular 4-3 win at the CBS Arena.

Sam Dalby, Elliot Lee, Thomas O’Connor and Paul Mullin were on the scoresheet for the National League promotion chasers, who led 4-1, and reach the fourth round for the first time since 2000.

Ben Sheaf, Viktor Gyokeres and Kasey Palmer pulled goals back for the Sky Bet Championship side, who also saw Jonathan Panzo sent off for deliberate handball after half-time.

Michael Rose had a glorious chance for the hosts inside the first 10 minutes but he blazed the ball over at the back post from Palmer’s ball into the box.

He was made to pay almost instantly as Luke Young’s sumptuous cross from deep was met by Dalby, who powered his header beyond Simon Moore.

The Sky Blues went in search of an instant leveller and were inches from equalising when Palmer’s free-kick beat the wall but rattled the outside of the post.

However, before the 20-minute mark it was 2-0. Lee found himself in space on the left touchline and his whipped cross-cum-shot evaded the awaiting Mullin and found the far corner.

An injury to Fabio Tavares forced the introduction of Gyokeres, which led to an almost instant impact as Sheaf pulled a goal back.

Palmer’s cross was behind its target of Martyn Waghorn, who steadied himself before teeing up the former Arsenal midfielder to drill a low shot past Mark Howard.

The Championship outfit looked a different side after the introduction of Swede Gyokeres, Coventry’s top scorer breaking away and laying off Liam Kelly, whose backheel teed up Waghorn to fire a shot that was beaten away by Howard.

Sucker punch

Just as the Sky Blues were in the ascendancy, the sucker punch came. Ben Tozer’s long throw caused chaos in the penalty area and some head tennis led to Dalby setting up O’Connor to head in Wrexham’s third.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side when Panzo handballed a goalbound Max Cleworth shot after half-time and was dismissed. Mullin converted the resulting penalty.

Palmer hit the post for a second time before his square pass allowed Gyokeres to sweep in Coventry’s second goal.

The midfielder finally scored his deserved goal just minutes later when he lifted a free kick over the wall to bring Coventry to within a goal of salvaging a draw.

Gyokeres forced Howard to claw his effort to safety and Palmer scooped an effort narrowly over the crossbar, but the Sky Blues were unable to force a replay in the dying embers of a thriller.

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