THERE probably aren't too many diehard fans who would bet their mortgage on Wrexham avoiding relegation this season -particularly if they had watched the Dragons fail to win either of their two home matches last week.
But all those homeowners and prospective buyers have an opportunity to boost the club's financial situation as a result of a ground-breaking initiative between Wrexham Official Supporters' Association and the local branch of the Staffordshire Building Society, which will donate £100 to the cause for every new or switched mortgage deal concluded with supporters.
That the cash-strapped League One club could do with the money is self-evident - manager Denis Smith on Saturday told corporate guests that the absence of central heating oil at the Colliers Park training complex had forced his players to endure cold showers during the few days that proved to be the harshest spell of the winter.
Although less than pleased at the time, the veteran Racecourse boss was able to laugh it off on Saturday. But the episode underlined the club's current knife-edge existence - which was not greatly improved by another miserly attendance for what was generally recognised as a "six-pointer" relegation battle.
A couple of hours later, following the 0-0 draw, Smith mounted a spirited defence of his players and their performance against a Milton Keynes Dons side who set their stall out primarily to avoid defeat.
"We've lost one in 10 so we are not a rubbish side, although some people might think we are," he said.
"That's a decent record considering what's going on at this football club at the moment. To achieve what we have achieved the players have been magnificent."
And he added: "I'm enjoying my time here and I like it here. There are times, like the last couple of days, when I wonder why I'm doing the job when I've got better things to do with my life.
"But then I come in to work and see Mark Jones go past somebody or Carlos Edwards have a run or Craig Morgan make a great tackle in the box and that's why I do it."
After the stalemate which preserved his team's five-point cushion over Wrexham, visiting manager Danny Wilson admitted it had not been an easy afternoon.
"It was a terrific defensive display by us because this was a big game for Wrexham, in particular," he said.
"If they had won they would have closed the gap and it would have given them a lot of confidence for the games to come.
" But we defended superbly from the back right throughout the team and tried to hit them on the break. There were no really clear-cut chances during the game but Matt Baker kept us in the game with that last-minute save.
"I think Wrexham gave a very committed performance but it was obvious that neither side wanted to lose today. When they did start pushing forward they had to remain aware of our pace on the counter-attack.
"We had to dig in when they tried to raise the tempo but I felt we were solid throughout the game."
Wilson had every reason to be proud of his defenders, who resolutely protected former Racecourse keeper Matt Baker for most of the afternoon, but the out-come might have been very different had the home side been awarded an early penalty when home defender Andy Holt rampaged into the Dons' penalty area after only five minutes.
An outstretched boot caused him to stumble, but instead of falling he regained his balance to set up a half-chance that ultimately brought the first save of the game from Baker, who held Matt Crowell's effort from 20 yards.
But Wrexham could not afford to ignore the threat posed by the pace and strength of Izale McLeod and the direct-running Wade Small, who was shaping to be the Dons' most influential player until an ankle injury saw him stretchered off 15 minutes after the break.
The Dragons' back-line rarely matched the composure of the visitors' defence and, as a result, the home side's reluctance to get too close to their front two made for a painfully slow build-up.
Twice in five minutes McLeod was first to the ball but on neither occasion forced Ben Foster into a save and the only other real opportunity in the opening period fell to Wrexham's Spanish striker, Juan Ugarte, who headed tamely at Baker from Chris Llewellyn's centre.
Six minutes before the break the Dons survived another penalty shout, referee Phil Prosser leniently waving away an apparent handball by Michel Pensee-Bilong as Wrexham continued to make the running. Unfortunately much of it was predictable, to the frustration of the home support.
The visitors came out of their shell when attacking the goal in front of their own following, initiated by a powerful run from Small, who pulled his shot wide of the goal with McLeod in vain trying to turn the ball in at the far post.
McLeod himself was equally wasteful when put through by Clive Platt before Small came off the worse in a collison with Foster and was carried off with what later proved to be nothing worse than a bruised ankle.
Clearly the better side at this stage, the Dons should at last have gone ahead in the 75th minute when Foster spilled a fierce drive from Platt. McLeod pounced to steer the rebound towards an empty net but Morgan got back to hook the ball off the line.
Two minutes earlier Hector Sam, on the back of two goals from two appearances off the bench, replaced Llewellyn and almost immediately he was involved in setting up Ugarte for a shot which was safely held by Baker.
And in what passed as a nervous final few minutes for the visitors, the Spaniard saw his free kick deflected just wide of Baker's left-hand post before the keeper preserved a point for his side with a fine save from Sam.