Frasier Crane defines a perfect meal as “a great meal with one little flaw to pick at”. This game felt a bit like that: it was satisfying, but with an intriguing question lingering over the post-match debate.
The question, quite simply, is whether we ought to win a game like that by a larger margin. There can be no doubt that everything else stacked up on the positive side for Wrexham. We bounced back convincingly from the shock of last Tuesday, confirming it was an aberration, defended comfortably and continue to look like a side which will create chances.
However, that stubborn doubt remains: we look very dangerous, so why have we only scored three goals in four and a half hours?
The suspicion is that it’s just a temporary state of affairs. After all, both Nuneaton old boys look filled brimful with threat. Moult was superb in this match, taking his goal well and linking play superbly as he dropped off the front line. Have a look at the Wrexham Player highlights (as I’m not allowed more than two and a half minutes in the youtube highlights I had to trim it off!) for Moult’s lay-off in the build-up to his goal. It’s a simple move, but snappily executed and indicative of the picture of the situation around him which he constantly has in his head. The flick over his own shoulder in the second half to set under way a move which ended in Connor Jennings being denied by the keeper was another example of his spatial awareness. The more I see of Moult, the more I realise that this guy can really play.
It’s just a shame we didn’t score more. If we’d got another in the first ten minutes – and quite frankly we ought to have done as we set off at a superb rate, Joe Clarke confirming to me afterwards that the team were eager to swiftly erase the memory of the Gateshead defeat – then the roof might have caved in on Nuneaton.
Most frustratingly, it was a pity that Elliot Durrell’s non-stop effort wasn’t rewarded. This was easily his best performance in a Wrexham shirt, and he twice got into terrific positions in the six yard box but failed to profit. You get the feeling that a goal would make a huge difference to his confidence – I’m also starting to feel like that about Jennings, who will crave a goal to compensate for not playing through the middle, I’m sure.
Nuneaton have problems. They have yet to score this season: the scorer of their last goal was Moult, on the last day of the season: in fact he’s the scorer of their last three goals. Apart from that last day hat trick on the final day of last season against an already relegated Dartford, Nuneaton haven’t scored in eight games. They look well organised, a testimony to good work on the training ground, but their new boss Brian Reid must look at his side going forward and worry.
They posed no threat to Wrexham apart from a superb strike from a free kick by Ben Hutchinson which Andy Coughlin parried well, and despite enjoying a fair amount of possession and territory in the closing fifteen minutes of the first half, never looked like they could create anything. Hutchinson, drifting to the left from a central position, was impressive and Andy Brown is a good, mobile target man, but they need to start hitting the net soon or the die might be cast.
Moult, Wes York and Kevin Wilkin would no doubt be sorry to see that happen, but the ferocity of Moult’s goal celebration showed that they have moved on.
Wrexham(4-2-3-1): Coughlin; Carrington, M Smith, Hudson, Ashton; Clarke, Harris; Jennings, Durrell (Bailey-Jones 74), York; Moult. Unused subs: Stephens, White, Evans, Rushton.
Nuneaton Town (3-5-2): Charles-Cook; Dean, Cowan (Viera 71), Streete; John (Armson 61), Anton Brown, Dyer, Walker, Franklin; Hutchinson, Andy Brown. Unused subs: Hogarth-Wren, Gordon, Starosta.
Referee: Wayne Barratt
Miscellaneous: Moult’s first Wrexham goal.
Wrexham Player Man of the Match: Louis Moult