TOP-SCORER Jefferson Louis spared the Dragons the lottery of penalties on Tuesday night as his extra-time winner sent them through to the last 16 of the Setanta Shield.
Louis’ ninth goal of the campaign killed off the spirited part-timers who, for the second time this season, proved to be more than a match for their full-time opponents.
Wrexham assistant manager Terry Darracott, speaking in place of boss Dean Saunders, said: “We’re in the next round and I think that’s the best thing I can say about the game.
“We are disappointed with the way we played because we know we can play a lot better.”
Without the banned Wes Baynes, star of Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Lewes, the Dragons produced a below-par performance, outstanding centre-half Ashley Westwood aside, and could have had no complaints had the third-round clash gone to spot-kicks.
That it didn’t was down to the character of Louis, who put two absolute sitters behind him to smash in substitute Simon Brown’s cross with 111 minutes on the clock.
Altrincham will be sick of the sight of the big striker given he had denied them three points when the teams met at Moss Lane back in August. As in that league encounter, Graham Heathcotes’s men’s combative approach unsettled Wrexham.
They took the lead, however, in the 48th minute when the on-fire Marc Williams raced on to strike-partner Louis’ threaded pass and slotted in off the post, only for the hosts to level six minutes later through Alex Meechan’s lob.
The Dragons are without a fixture on Saturday as, for the first time in 84 years, they will not be involved in the FA Cup first round proper.
Saunders responded to the shocking fourth qualifying round defeat to Eastwood Town by bringing in Belgian 20-year-old right-back Ritchie de Laet from Stoke City and Cypriot-born 19-year-old Angelos Tsiaklis from Manchester City on one-month loans.
The duo made their debuts in the Lewes victory, which was Wrexham’s fourth in succession under Saunders in the Blue Square Premier and which lifted them within five points of table-topping Kettering Town with a game in-hand.
Saunders, enjoying the best start to a Racecourse rein since John Neal 40 years ago, is hopeful of completing more signings before his eighth-placed side return to league action at Weymouth a week on Saturday.
A City team-mate of Tsiaklis’, defender Sam Williamson, is training at Colliers Park along with Senegalese striker Daniel Bocande.
Centre-back Darran Kempson has been sent out on a month’s loan to Forest Green Rovers, whose league trip to the Racecourse on November 18 has been postponed after four Dragons, captain Neil Taylor, brothers Marc and Mike Williams and Chris Maxwell, were called up to the Wales Under 23s semi-professional squad for the International Challenge Trophy showdown with Finland in Llanelli on the same night.
Carl Tremarco is hoping to shake off an ankle injury so he can take his place in the England C squad that travels to Benevento near Naples on Wednesday to face Italy in the same competition.