After three weeks without a fixture, Wrexham faced Hayes & Yeading as the reds looked to reassert themselves in the title race. As well as the excitement of a first game in three weeks, there was the prospect of seeing some new faces in the side. With the loss of Curtis Obeng to Swansea City, Andy Morrell acted quickly in bringing in Danny Alfei, a Welsh Under 21 International who would fill in at the vacant right back spot in the team. After missing the Bath City game because he was not registered in time, Steven Leslie was raring to go after his switch from Shrewsbury Town in mid-January. On a cold, wet and windy day, could these new signings heat up the day and inspire a Wrexham win?
Firstly a look at the new right back, Danny Alfei. After a slightly hesitant start to the game, Alfei grew into the game, winning some aerial battles early on that would have given him confidence. His battle against Hayes & Yeading winger Daniel Wishart was one of the key battles in the game. Having lost out to Wishart early on, Alfei then began to tame the winger, winning some crucial slide tackles and making the winger work back with some good full back play, getting forward and linking up with Cieslewicz.
The new boys Alfei and Leslie linked up in the corner to create a chance that was headed away. His battle with Wishart continued throughout the half as he drew a foul from the winger. Obeng’s and Cieslewicz’s link up play had been a key feature in Wrexham’s success this season, and this seemed to continue between Alfei and Cieslewicz. Alfei’s attacking intent almost led to a goal when his quality cross just missed the head of Morrell. In the second half Alfei didn’t have a lot to do, but he was pretty solid. He made some more crucial tackles when Hayes & Yeading looked to threaten Mayebi’s goal. Alfei broke through into in the area and his cross almost found Speight if it wasn’t for Pele.
Steven Leslie arrived from rivals Shrewsbury Town and the 24 looks have slotted straight into the midfield. With Keates injured and Tolley ill, Leslie started in midfield alongside Harris and Clarke. Leslie’s playmaking in the first half was critical, as he provided some good chances for Morrell, finding him consistently with his floated passes. As well as his playmaking, Leslie proved he was no pushover, winning some tackles in his momentum as he drove the team forward to create chances. Leslie was on set piece duty, putting in corners and even long throw-ins that created chances for Creighton. Morrell even missed from six yards out from a Leslie corner, somehow! In the second half, Leslie controlled the game, his persistence as he broke from midfield created a number of chances or Wrexham. His quality cross almost found the head of Andy Morrell. Again, from set pieces Leslie created opportunities as his free-kick sailed just wide of the goal. Leslie was substituted for Johnny Hunt before he was announced as the man of the match.
So an impressive start for the new boys and they look right at home in this title challenging side. This just proves the type of players the club should be attracting as we look to gain football league status again.