THE Doncaster players could hear it. It gradually grew louder, rising and falling with the swell of the crowd noise, bringing with it that horrible feeling of impending doom.

Duh duh. Duh duh.

It picked up pace as the second half wore on, increasing in intensity as the inevitable approached and then.

Duh duh, duh duh, duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh.

And then, in a shock of noise and power it happened. That familiar deafening crescendo. Jaws has finished circling, and is about to strike. The crowd roars.

The sound Doncaster dreaded, but Wrexham longed to hear.

“Coming on for Wrexham, Number 10…”

You know the rest. Mullin is back. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Racecourse.

Mullin was clearly a long way off full fitness, and Phil Parkinson will be acutely aware of the need to take care with him and not expose him to risk while he acquires match fitness.

He didn’t actually hurt Doncaster much, but the psychological effect he had on them was significant. Maybe even match winning.

Almost immediately they brought off Olowu. Admittedly, he’d just been treated for an injury, although it has to be said there were a lot of imaginary injuries in the Doncaster camp in the last half hour. You know the type I mean: the ones you suffer when you want the clock to run down before Mullin strikes.

It felt like more than a coincidence that Olowu, a centre back who had had a torrid time at the hands of Ollie Palmer and Sam Dalby, was whipped off the moment Mullin emerged though. It seemed he was being pulled out of the water before something truly catastrophic happened to him.

Rovers started dropping deeper, fearing Mullin’s pace. Whether he had an electrifying burst in him was a moot point. They were scared of his potential to do damage, and that might be what did for them.

Sitting in deep in the 88th minute, a clever, although seemingly innocuous run into the box by George Evans, dragged his man with him. That meant Elliot Lee, out on the left, only had one man to beat as the covering defender had been dragged away.

He took advantage of the space in front of a back four which was camped in its own box with aplomb, striking the winner.

Teams do drop deep late in the game if they’ve something to defend, and the heat certainly wasn’t Doncaster’s friend as they dropped into a sluggish, defensive torpor. Sitting deep and limiting the amount of running their tired legs had to get through was a comforting thought.

But when the likes of Mullin are likely to go rampaging in behind your defence, you have an extra incentive to step back and take cover.

Mullin had some promising moments, especially his combination play with Steven Fletcher for a two-on-two break which would probably have ended in a goal if Mullin was at his peak.

However, he was nowhere near his best. It was Doncaster’s fear of what he was capable of which made a huge impact on the game.

That’s an exciting thought. We’re more threatening simply because opposing sides are aware of Mullin’s presence, whether he’s up to speed or not.

Whether Parkinson uses him as an impact sub for a while (although there are certain types of impact he’ll want Mullin to avoid, of course!) or evaluates on Friday that a full week of training has made starting with him a possibility, we’re in a good place.

Our apex predator is back, and that very fact is worth points, whether he wins them directly or indirectly.

If you come to the STōK Cae Ras looking to be defensive, you’re going to need a bigger bus!

We’ve got a score to settle with Grimsby, after their remarkable 5-4 play-off victory over us in 2022. Paul Mullin got two, and Jordan Davies and Ben Tozer struck too, but the game went into extra time. Ex-Dragon Luke Waterfall notched the winner, his second of the game, with penalties a minute away.

At least we beat them at home in the league that season, with Palmer marking his debut with the only goal.

Our last home win before that was in January 2011. The match was scoreless as it entered the last 20 minutes, but then Jay Harris and Andy Morrell struck to secure victory.

If selected, Liam McAlinden will make his 300th career appearance on Saturday, while Tom O’Connor will play in his 50th Wrexham game.