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He’s been immense – Phil Parkinson hails Wrexham match-winner Steven Fletcher

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Feb 2024

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Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson paid tribute to Steven Fletcher for the “immense” impact he has had after the veteran striker’s goal earned a 1-0 win over Notts County.

Former Scotland international Fletcher’s first-half finish proved decisive at the Racecourse Ground as the Dragons moved back into the top three, with David McGoldrick’s second-half strike for the Magpies contentiously being disallowed for handball.

Parkinson revealed he had doubts over Fletcher featuring in this match after falling ill following the midweek win over Sutton, but the 36-year-old’s training displays saw him start as the Wrexham boss lauded his contribution.

He said: “He’s been immense for us. He had a bit of a virus after the game Tuesday and he came in to see the doctor on Thursday, and I was a bit concerned about playing him, but then he trained yesterday and looked so sharp that it made our mind up with the way he trained.

“You don’t play at the level he has without being the consummate professional and that’s what he is.

“He looks after himself, he trains well, he does all his extra work and he’s enjoying playing and that’s great. He’s got a great enthusiasm to play and I love that. It’s great to see and it’s a great example for our younger players.

“It was a hard game, Notts are a good side, we know that, there’s always an edge between the two teams, and I thought it was a really good game and a great advert for the division.”

Fletcher’s goal ensured the Dragons claimed the season double over the side they battled for the National League title against in thrilling fashion last term.

Magpies boss Stuart Maynard was left frustrated after the officials ruled McGoldrick’s second-half finish for suspected handball, when replays appeared to show the ball struck his stomach area, and he felt it cost them at least a point.

Maynard said: “I thought the first half, we were outstanding as a group of players, to come here, Wrexham, and dominate the game totally.

“I think their goalie probably ends up man of the match just on his first-half performance alone, but the real frustration is we probably deserve a point minimum.

“It’s frustrating. We’ve watched the video back on Didzy’s (McGoldrick’s) goal, and it’s a clear goal. We’ve scored a legitimate goal that should have stood and it’s frustrating because we go away with nothing.

“It hits his chest around his stomach area as clean as you can see, so I don’t see where he sees the handball from.

“You look at the reaction, in football always look at the reaction of the opposition players, they’re going back to the halfway line. All their players already thinking the goal’s been given. That’s how you judge it a lot of the time and that’s how you should as a referee.

“We’re proud of the performance, it’s frustrating to not get something from the game though.”

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