Wrexham beaten 5-3 by MK Dons in League Two season opener

Wrexham endured a difficult start to their first season in the Football League since 2008 as they were beaten 5-3 by MK Dons at the recently renamed Stok Racecourse on Saturday. 

In a match that highlighted the step up in quality from the National League to League Two, Wrexham were undone by MK Dons' ruthlessness in front of goal.

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The away side scored five goals from just eight attempts while Wrexham had 23 shots, only five of which were on target.

"In all departments of the game we were a long way off it today... We were below the standards you need to be to win games at this higher level," Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson said in an interview with the club's media team after the final whistle. 

The home side were behind early after defender Eoghan O'Connell nodded the ball past his own goalkeeper just six minutes after kick-off. 

MK Dons doubled their lead four minutes later when forward Mohamed Eisa wriggled free from a couple of challenges in the penalty area and poked an effort beyond Ben Foster in the Wrexham goal. 

Jacob Mendy halved the deficit for Wrexham shortly before half-time to give hope to an expectant home crowd that included co-owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, as well as fellow actor Hugh Jackman. 

The away side, however, wasted no time in reestablishing their two-goal lead after the interval as Jonathan Leko arrowed an effort into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box. 

Leko got his second, and MK Dons' fourth, in the 64th minute as he found space in behind the defence and made no mistake with his finish.

Jordan Davies' spectacular goal brought Wrexham, who had been the favourites to win League Two this season before kick-off, back into the match with 10 minutes to go.

Late drama in second half stoppage time saw Daniel Harvie score MK Dons' fifth with what seemed to be the last kick of the game, but Wrexham found time to pull one back through Anthony Forde in the 96th minute. 

"We were frantic at the start, we played it as if it was a World Cup Final. I was disappointed with that, we've had a lot of big games here." Parkinson said. "We gave a good team a two goal [head]start."

"It was a patchy performance in terms of the quality and obviously the defensive side of the game. It's one to review but not get too down [about] as a group.

"Our decision making in all areas, on the ball and off the ball, was a long way off where it needs to be."