THE day out in Cumbria had lots of interesting aspects. The Dragons picked up the points, the matchday programme featured a spiritually uplifting article from the Carlisle club chaplain, and the referee - Mr M Clattenburg - used his whistle so much I almost got earache.
On the field, there were things to marvel at, and also to despair of. In goal, Paul Whitfield was excellent. He made two outstanding saves and impressed throughout with his handling and general presence. In recent months, he has been a revelation, and if I were Kristian Rogers, I would be quaking in my boots.
At the back, Dennis Lawrence was at the heart of the action. There was one wonderful moment when a long ball hoofed forward landed just in front of him. He gestured to everyone that he had the ball covered - only to see it bounce right over his head and into the path of a pacey Carlisle forward.
You come to expect this kind of thing from 'Tall Man' but, that said, I was pleased to see Smith give him the captain's armband for Saturday's encounter - because the giant defender never stops shouting and encouraging.
Fellow Trinidadian Hector Sam also impressed. His last-gasp winner was a beautiful strike. When he received the ball outside the Carlisle penalty box, not many of the travelling Reds fans would have put money on him keeping control of it and finishing with the aplomb that he did.
Fantastic goal, fantastic goal-celebration routine. It is tempting to call him Wrexham's "super-sub". He does have the habit of bagging vital late goals, but he also misses his fair share of one-on-one chances. He is the ultimate curate's egg of a striker, and it will be interesting to see whether the manager rates him highly enough to offer him a new contract in the spring.
In the doldrums was Steve Thomas. Although he got into the game more and more as it progressed, his initial contributions were poor. Compared with last season, he seems to have slightly regressed as a player. His one saving grace is that he has the ability to score goals, and always keeps his head up even when he is performing badly.
Brunton Park is an archetypal third division venue: one new stand, a collection of strange corrugated seating areas, and vintage terracing at both ends. The floodlights were ineffective, and also an odd rectangular shape. But the tea served by the CUFC caterers was warm and tasty on a cold winter's day.
The ticketing arrangements did the club little credit. Saturday's fixture was "all-ticket" - allegedly. However, tickets were being sold to away fans right up to kick-off. But you couldn't buy one with a VISA card, because the club offices did not have the necessary technology. And this is the twenty-first century!
The attractive city centre made up for the failings of the Brunton bureaucracy. As befits a Roman town, the scenery was classical and the road leading out of the shopping area to the football ground was dead straight.
And when in Carlisle, do as the people of Carlisle do. As a pre-match aperitif, a Cumberland sausage sandwich cannot be beaten.