Ryan Reynolds suggested following Wrexham AFC is like being in a ‘f****** Aliens movie’ after the club needed a penalty shootout to advance to the next round of the Carabao Cup. On Tuesday, Wrexham defeated Wigan Athletic of League One on penalties following a goalless draw at the Racecourse Ground.
Back in November 2020, acting duo Reynolds and Rob McElhenney – famed for creating and starring in ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ – teamed up to purchase Wrexham for approximately £2.35 million. They used their platforms to shine a light on the club and area, largely through the popular Disney+ documentary titled ‘Welcome to Wrexham’.
After 15 years outside the Football League, the Red Dragons secured the National League title to clinch promotion to League Two. However, Wrexham received a humbling experience on the opening day of the 2023-24 season, losing 5-3 at home to MK Dons last weekend.
Wrexham returned to winning ways in the Carabao Cup, defeating Wigan. After the result, Reynolds hilariously took to social media to post: “Another year of hearts jumping outta chests like we’re in a ****ing Aliens movie.”
The game ended goalless after 90 minutes, and no extra time meant the match was to be settled by a penalty shootout immediately after fulltime on Tuesday night. Luke Young, Elliot Lee, Tom O’Connor and Sam Dalby were the heroes as Wrexham scored all four of their penalties, while Wigan duo Charlie Hughes and Thelo Aasgaard blazed their penalties over the crossbar to hand the Welsh side victory.
Wrexham coach Phil Parkinson had vowed to make changes after the defeat to MK Dons, and only three players kept their places in the team. Meanwhile, Wigan made four changes from the side that won 2-1 at Derby County – and they paid for their changes.
Ollie Palmer was given the player of the match award after an good performance in the Wrexham attack, but he could not find his way past Wigan goalkeeper Sam Tickle. The Wigan goalkeeper made six saves in the tie, including a brilliant double stop to keep out Jordan Davies. Ben Foster was an unused substitute for Wrexham, with Mark Howard keeping a clean sheet in his place.
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The win means Wrexham progress to the second round of the Carabao Cup. Reynolds and McElhenney’s team could now face a Premier League club in the next round, with Chelsea and Tottenham headlining the possible options.
Wrexham could make further moves in the transfer market after their difficult start to life in League Two. After sealing a first trophy in 45 years, the Reds have made just two signings this summer: Republic of Ireland international James McClean and former Huddersfield defender Will Boyle.
McClean joined from Wigan, with the 34-year-old bringing a wealth of top league experience from his time at Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion. Boyle has enjoyed spells at six different clubs, including a five-year stay at Huddersfield Town where he made 196 appearances.
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