Rochdale 0, Wrexham 1
WREXHAM manager Denis Smith watched his players bounce back from a midweek setback at Macclesfield to notch up only their third success on the road this season.
Matt Derbyshire's sixth goal in seven games was enough to secure the win, which saw the Dragons close to within six points of the final play-off place.
The early chances fell to the home side, Ernie Cooksey and Ricky Lambert both squandering decent opportunities.
But wing-back Andy Holt made light of the conditions, regularly pushing forward to support his strikers, and it needed a fine interception from Simon Ramsden cutting out a Sam Williams centre to deny him a shot on goal in the 17th minute.
Another miss by Lambert, who failed to punish Mike Ingham's inability to hold a cross two minutes later, emphasised the anxiety evident in both camps, but Derbyshire kept his nerve to poach the 19th-minute winner, fashioned jointly by Holt and Williams.
The Aston Villa youngster chased down a long kick from his keeper and back-heeled it for Holt to swing the ball towards the far post, where Derbyshire swivelled to drive a cross-shot from six yards past Matthew Gilks.
A clumsy challenge by Shaun Pejic gave Lambert a set-piece opportunity, but defender Gary Jones volleyed wide of Ingham's goal before Wrexham went close to a second eight minutes before the break, Gilks turning Derbyshire's effort over the bar.
But the turning point of the game came on the hour when Lambert whipped in a free-kick from the left and Christie's close-range header was superbly parried by Ingham to preserve Wrexham's lead.
Two minutes later, Bayliss was sent off for a second bookable offence, but the Dragons still could not afford to relax, especially when defensive mainstay Danny Williams was forced off with an ankle injury 18 minutes from the end.
A mistake by the otherwise steady Mackin spelled danger in the 82nd minute, but Dagnall took his chance too early and Ingham was able to make a comfortable save before Wrexham had openings to put the result beyond doubt.
A fine through-ball from Mark Jones put Derbyshire clear to go round Gilks, but Ramsden was back to make the goal-line clearance and the ball rebounded to the young striker, who saw his second effort hit the post. nLex and Queens Park fought out a 3-3 draw in the Cymru Alliance. Warren Duckett scored twice for visitors Lex in a see-saw match in which both sides led. Queens' goals came from Gareth Lloyd, Paul Brunt and John Halton, while Dion Jones earned a point for Lex with an late equaliser. nNewi Cefn Druids edge clear of the Welsh Premier relegation zone with a valuable home point against Port Talbot.
The game finished 0-0 but Druids were denied all three points when an 85th-minute Heverin header was ruled out for a push.