TRINIDAD and Tobago international Hector Sam gave Wrexham boss Denis Smith a timely reminder that he does not need to rely on new boys Chris Armstrong and Chris Llewellyn for goals after grabbing a second-half winner against Notts County.
Sam, a 54th minute replacement for Armstrong, broke the deadlock with a close-range finish after good work from Thomas and Carlos Edwards just 12 minutes after coming off the bench.
The win ended Wrexham's 39-year hoodoo against Notts County, giving them their first victory at Meadow Lane since 1964 and their first victory of the new campaign.
After the disappointment of losing 2-0 to Crewe in the mid-week Carling Cup clash, Smith was delighted that his side kept a second successive clean sheet in the league against a team who were looking to put the humiliation of being crushed 5-0 by Bristol City on the opening day of the season behind them.
However, Smith was quick to single out his three centre-backs and goalkeeper Andy Dibble for praise after they stopped Notts County taking the initiative in the first half.
The Dragons' passing was abysmal, the tackling non-existent and the Meadow Lane side enjoyed an embarrassing amount of possession. Only heroic resistance from Brian Carey, Dennis Lawrence and Shaun Pejic kept the likes of Mark Stallard and Paul Heffernan at bay, and Dibble was forced to make two great saves from Ian Baraclough and Ian Richardson.
It was no surprise that the visitors failed to create any clear-cut chances, with both Armstrong and Llewellyn looking isolated.
The only half-chance that came to Llewellyn was courtesy of a poorly-struck back-pass from Steve Jenkins, which goalkeeper Mildenhall just managed to reach ahead of the ex-Norwich striker.
Smith clearly had strong words for his players during the interval as the Dragons came out firing. Steve Thomas drove a decent effort just too high before Jim Whitley was replaced by Paul Barrett.
And when Sam replaced Armstrong the visitors stepped up a gear, although Dibble had to make
another smart save from Stallard.
The Magpies striker was made to pay for that miss seconds later when Carlos Edwards' skill on the right flank saw him break into the box, beat Nicholson and send a low cross to the back post when Sam touched home from two yards.
Man-of-the-match Lawrence then tested Mildenhall with a looping header and Sam could have doubled his tally when his diving header from Paul Edwards' cross flew inches wide. The Trinidad international continued to torment the County defence and he went for goal with a wayward shot when Llewellyn was well-placed.
That miss could have been costly for Wrexham when the home side forced Dibble into another great save, this time tipping Baraclough's header over the bar. But it proved to be nothing more than a scare for the Dragons who held on for the points.
NOTTS COUNTY: Mildenhall, Fenton, Barras, Baraclough, Jenkins, Richardson (Caskey 69), Nicholson (Hackworth 78), Bolland, Baldry, Heffernan, Stallard. Subs: Riley, McFaul.
Booked: Nicholson WREXHAM: Dibble, Pejic, Carey, Lawrence, C Edwards, Thomas, Ferguson, Whitley (Barrett 49), P Edwards (Holmes 84), Llewellyn, Armstrong (Sam 54). Subs: Whitfield, Morgan.
Referee: Carl Boyeson Attendance: 4,768