Sometimes things just fall your way. Rob Ogleby’s been waiting for ages to get a chance to show that his pace makes him our most potent goal threat, and when he finally gets a start the opposing defence (who hadn’t kept a clean sheet in 19 matches) opted to hold a dangerously high line. What happened next? Go figure.
Ogleby deserved his chance though and it simply felt like karma when Hyde played right into his hands. After all, his only previous start came to a premature halt under very unfortunate circumstances. Having come off the bench to win the match on the opening game of the season he was named from the outset for the following game, at Halifax, but had to be sacrificed after just 41 minutes when we re-organised as a consequence of Stephen Wright kicking off his collection of harsh red cards.
He hasn’t had a sniff since, despite our attack lacking a regular finisher. Well, now he’s our top scorer and Billy Bar said after the game that he’d be starting next Saturday. Terrific how things change so swiftly in football, isn’t it?
Ogleby didn’t actually gab either of his goals from springing Hyde’s high line, but he was constantly looking to run in behind them, and Wrexham were eager to send him away. He was the unfortunate recipient of a few tight offside calls which I’ll get to in a moment, but the fact that he was at the heart of Wrexham’s main gameplan helped to ensure he was really involved and felt important. Daft as it might sound, strikers are creatures of confidence, and knowing that once you’ve stepped into the side your team mates and manager have enough confidence in you to devise a tactic around you is bound to make you feel positive.
Ogleby responded by being in the right place at the right time for the opener, and then scoring a terrific second. Naturally, the credit for the second goal focused on his excellent run and finish, but Barr pointed out his energy off the ball in the post-match press conference, and if you look back at the goal you’ll see that it was Ogleby’s pressing which won the ball back when Hyde were trying to get men forward.
But back to the high Hyde line. While nobody would claim this was a smooth performance by Wrexham – we had to dig deep to turn over a side in horrible form – it could have been a comprehensive win as a result of Hyde’s determination to squeeze play.
All the strikers went one-on-one with the keeper in the second half: Ogleby was denied a hat trick by Vigouroux’s legs, while Ormerod and Bishop were tackled from behind by desperate defenders as they shot. Throw in four very tight offside decisions which went against us (two apiece for Bishop and Ogleby, and having scrutinised them I’d say two looked level and the other two were very close but I reckoned one was onside and the other wasn’t.) I’ve got a lot of sympathy for officials when a defence looks to push up, but the fact is that Hyde were lucky the strikers didn’t get the benefit of the doubt. It’s a particular shame for Bishop: on a different day he might have filled his boots, and he needs the boost of a couple of goals. Ask Ogleby, who in the space of 46 minutes matched Bishop’s total for the season.
Wrexham (4-3-3): Coughlin; Carrington, Artell, Clowes, Ashton; Harris (Evans 80), Keates, Clarke; Ogleby (Bailey-Jones 84), Bishop, Ormerod. Unused subs: Hodgin, Tomassen, Creighton, Colbeck, Morrell.
Hyde (4-4-2): Vigouroux; Brizell, Haining, Ashworth, Blakeman; Poole (Hughes 61), Tomsett, Brown, Devaney (Mainwaring 69); Almond, Collins. Unused subs: Frith, Griffin, Thurston, Fitzgerald, Pollard.
Attendance: 1,848 Away: 140
Referee: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria)
Miscellaneous: Neil Ashton’s 350th career appearance.