TRANMERE delivered a potentially fatal blow to the Dragons' play-off aspirations at the Racecourse on Saturday.
After dominating the second half, Rovers' centre-back Ian Sharps bagged the winner 12 minutes from time to give the visitors only their second away league win of the season.
A respectable enough gate for Wrexham of 4,500 included more than 1,200 visiting fans, who did their best to dispel an atmosphere that reeked of indifference brought about by fresh revelations last week of the Dragons' cash-flow problems.
Inertia in the boardroom over the past 18 months has gradually manifested itself on the terraces, despite the worthy efforts of manager Denis Smith and his wafer-thin squad of players to build on their promotion last season.
But that inertia is now beginning to be reflected on the pitch if the evidence of the Dragons' performance on Saturday against Tranmere is any guide.
Victory would have provided the impetus for a big Bank Holiday double-header next week but the bottom line, regardless of in-house problems, was that they failed to deliver.
Not even the most one-eyed Wrexham fan could argue with that as the visitors dominated the second 45 minutes following an intriguing opening period in which both sides punched their weight without ever looking seriously like delivering a knockout blow.
Darren Ferguson put Chris Armstrong through to the edge of the penalty area on 14 minutes but the striker's shot lacked conviction.
With half time approaching, Chris Llewellyn had a chance to send Wrexham into the interval 1-0 up from a superb early Steve Thomas pass but he failed to control the ball and defender Graham Allen cleared the danger before a quick Tranmere break saw Gary Jones shoot tamely at goalkeeper Mike Ingham.
Former Wrexham fan Gareth Roberts, from Corwen, who was impressive for Wales in Hungary last Wednesday, set out Tranmere's stall in the second half with a fine delivery to Jones, whose flick-on was met by Beresford for a shot well-held by Ingham.
And the on-loan keeper kept Wrexham in the game on 61 minutes with a superb double save, first palming away Eugene Dadi's effort before somehow blocking Jones' attempt from the re-bound.
The home side were on the back foot and struggling to either win or keep possession and when Jones played Dadi through again, the Tranmere striker drove his shot too close to Ingham.
With just 12 minutes remaining, Wrexham wingback Paul Edwards was booked for a foul on Jones and when Roberts delivered an in-swinging free-kick, Sharps beat Ingham to the ball to deliver the goal that had been coming.
Four minutes later Edwards felled Jones again, leaving referee Mike Ryan with little option but to administer a second caution that reduced the home side to 10 men.
Even so, Wrexham might have snatched a point as the visitors defended their lead.
Substitute Mark Jones drilled a 20-yarder just wide and fellow-replacement Matt Crowell saw his effort saved by Achterberg, who then denied Dennis Lawrence in added time.
WREXHAM: Ingham; S Roberts, Carey, Lawrence; C Edwards (Crowell 29), Thomas, Ferguson, Barrett (M Jones 78), P Edwards; Armstrong, Llewellyn. Subs: Whitfield, Holmes, Spender.
REFEREE: Mike Ryan.