Coventry 3-4 Wrexham: HUGE upset National League side dump Championship Sky Blues in FA Cup by seven goals THRILLER… as Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney watch their team’s progress in the fourth round
- Wrexham opened the scoring through Sam Dalby before Elliot Lee made it two
- Ben Sheaf pulled a goal back for the hosts but Wrexham restored their lead
- Paul Mullin made it 4-1 from the spot after Jonathan Panzo was shown a red card
- Coventry scored two more as Wrexham held on to progress
Long before the football started and Wrexham got a touch for the giant kill they had lost along the way since Mickey Thomas did the job against Arsenal 31 years ago, a tweet told of a change of fortune in football.
Wrexham Hollywood owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds are alerting their huge following to ESPN’s coverage of this match, available to viewers from Sydney to Los Angeles and all points in between . It goes without saying that a bitter night in the east Midlands wouldn’t have gone global before McElhenney and Reynolds arrived with their documentary crew and their imaginations.
For their part, Coventry began the day with speculation about who would want to own them and where they could be relegated at the end of the season from this stadium, now owned by owned by Mike Ashley.
Wrexham caused a major upset in the FA Cup and now progress to the fourth round
It was a night of FA Cup and documentary gold, with defensive frailty, occasional inspired attacks and a breath-taking finish that got the stadium bouncing and served as yet another reminder of the essential quality of the Third Round weekend.
The driver of one of the nine coaches that rolled in from North Wales told passengers they were leaving ’15 minutes after we win.’ The 4,000 away contingent, whose ticket allocation sold out within minutes, was outnumbered and lost to the home crowd.
McElhenney and Reynolds’ hometown revival, showcased in their brilliant first ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ documentary series, makes this a Championship v League One match-up in many ways, not a tie between the two club 60 places and three divisions. One of their signings from the third grade, Ollie Palmer, started the game on the bench. Another, Paul Mullin, traded his put on 20 minutes from time, and still Wrexham carved through the Coventry defence.
Their two goals in six minutes early set the tone. The first was carved out by one of the journeymen, captain Luke Young whose exquisitely accurate free kick allowed striker Sam Dalby to slip between the central defenders and slot home.
Sam Dalby opened the scoring for Wrexham when he rose highest to head home a cross
Elliott Lee doubled the lead with a hopeful cross from the left that deflected off goalkeeper Simon Moore, one of eight second string players put on by the Robins, who should have dealt with it. Coventry’s frailty and weakness, as they aimlessly sacrificed possession, called manager Mark Robins’ decision to field the weak side into question. It’s been 33 years since he scored Manchester United’s legendary Third Round away win at Nottingham Forest. He knows the value of progress.
His team came back into the game with a counter-attacking pace that troubled Wrexham and their defence, which tended to look vulnerable when central pillar Aaron Hayden was missing. Kasey Palmer, the former Chelsea player, was excellent – striking a free kick against the base of the post before delivering a cross where Martyn Waghorn’s touch set up Ben Sheaf to crash home and pull a aim back.
But Wrexham extended their lead just before the interval when Ben Tozer’s long shot, which was nodded back into the box by Ryan Tunicliffe, found O’Connor, who leaped to head home.
Thomas O’Connor restored Wrexham’s two goal advantage when he made it 3-1 for his side
Tozer’s long throw, a big part of their armory under manager Phil Parkinson, caused panic and a penalty that looked to have put the tie in sight at 4-1, when Max Cleworth hit a loose ball that Jonathan Panzon deliberately handles and loses. so fired. Mullin converted from the spot.
But then Wrexham’s own defensive lapses allowed Coventry to come back, to set up a thrilling finish. Palmer was instrumental with two goals in seven minutes. He delivered a cross from which substitute Viktor Gyokeres – who was a real handful – scored with nobody in the Wrexham box picking him up. Palmer then won a free kick which he slotted in, with goalkeeper Mark Howard rooted to the spot.
Coventry drove hard for an equaliser, with Howard tackling Todd Kane at the death but Wrexham saw out the night. From LA to Sydney and all points in between, it’s worth watching.
Wrexham managed to hold on after Coventry made it 4-3 and went back into the game
COVENTRY VS WREXHAM LINEUPS AND MATCH FACTS
Coventry (5-2-1-2): Moore; Dabo (Doyle 62), Rose, Bidwell, Panzo, Burroughs (Kane 70); Kelly (Hamer 70), bound; Palmer; Waghorn (Allen 70), Tavares Desiderio (Gyokeres 35)
The objectives: Sheaf 36, Gyokeres 69, Palmer 76
Red Card: Panzo 57
Manager: Mark Robins
Wrexham (5-3-2): Howard; Hall Johnson (Forde 80), Cleworth, Tozer, Tunnicliffe, McFadzean (McAlinden 73); Lee (Jones 80), child, O’Connor; Mullin (Palmer 68), Dalby
Goals: Dalby 12, Lee 18, O’Connor 45, Mullin 58
Bookings: Mullin, Dalby, McAlinden, Young, Tozer
Manager: Phil Parkinson