Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s hit show Welcome to Wrexham is going to have quite the episode after fifth-tier Wrexham AFC defeated EFL Championship outfit Coventry City 4-3 in Round 3 of the FA Cup on Saturday.
If you want to talk about a game that had everything: this was the game to watch. Wrexham nearly blew a 4-1 lead, there was an insane goal, a red card and drama right to the end.
Coventry City was the host of match, but you wouldn’t have known it from the massive traveling support for the Welsh underdogs.
4,500 Wrexham fans away at Coventry today.Class following! #WrexhamAFC pic.twitter.com/V59j1zo1WZ
— The Away Fans (@theawayfans) January 7, 2023
FA Cup: Wrexham vs Coventry Highlights
The traveling fans were spoiled in the first half as Wrexham went up 3-1 with the first two goals coming in the opening 18 minutes.
Sam Dalby’s header from six yards out got the mighty Wrexham up and running in the 12th minute.
Wrexham take an early lead over Coventry pic.twitter.com/9R1CqK2Mwx— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) January 7, 2023
The next goal was special. You can argue over calling it a cross or a shot, but Elliot Lee will be calling it a goal. Lee sent the ball into the Coventry box miles away from goal but the ball would go untouched and nestle in the far corner.
ELLIOT LEE CURLER FOR WREXHAMThey're up 2-0 on Coventry pic.twitter.com/0EiKf8tnRK
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 7, 2023
Coventry would narrow the lead to 2-1 in the 36th minute but Thomas O’Connor scored deep into first half stoppage time to restore the two-goal advantage.
Wrexham grab a third goal before the half pic.twitter.com/ACShqrtMQp— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) January 7, 2023
It looked like game over in the 57th minute when Coventry’s Jonathan Panzo was given a red card for stopping a shot in the box with his hand. Paul Mullin confidently scored the ensuing penalty kick to make it 4-1.
WREXHAM ARE FLYINGPaul Mullin makes it 4-1! pic.twitter.com/wmkeYe12wt
— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) January 7, 2023
Up a man, leading by three goals it felt like Wrexham would just coast to the fourth round of the FA Cup. This is Wrexham we’re talking about though. You don’t get a 97% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes without any drama.
Much like in the FA Cup qualifying round against sixth tier Blyth Spartans, Wrexham couldn’t hold onto a lead without making it dramatic.
Coventry would score twice in the span of seven minutes — goals in the 69th and 76th minute, respectively — to set up a nervy finale.
The most unselfish of play from @kaseypalmer45 #EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/kfxzNThb8J— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 7, 2023
@KaseyPalmer45 pic.twitter.com/6cfaeS8Uxp— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 7, 2023
All the confidence and swagger from Wrexham disappeared and 10-man Coventry had all the momentum. Had it not been for several heroic saves from 36-year-old goalkeeper Mark Howard the game could have ended on a much different note.
Coventry was knocking on the metaphorical Wrexham door so hard that it was only hanging on by its hinges. Seven minutes of stoppage time drew a chorus of groans from the Wrexham fans as their team held on for dear life.
The cherry on top of it all was that ESPN’s stream of the game crashed with a minute of stoppage time to go.
..... @Wrexham_AFC pic.twitter.com/lTZiT1OHAG— Zac Cino (@cino_mania) January 7, 2023
Wrexham survived and advanced to Round 4 of the FA Cup for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. The draw for who Wrexham plays next will take place on Sunday. Imagine if the mighty Wrexham gets the opportunity to play one of the big boys in the Premier League.
WREXHAM ARE THROUGH TO THE FOURTH ROUND OF THE FA CUP @ESPNPlus pic.twitter.com/vJe5A31Hc3— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 7, 2023