WREXHAM fans of a certain age will still remember an FA Cup tie at Chesterfield when a mixup between Andy Marriott and Deryn Brace resulted in the goal that cost Brian Flynn's side a history-making place in the semi-finals of the competition.
While the stakes might not have been so high at the Racecourse on Saturday, an almost carbon-copy error - this time involving Mike Ingham and Danny Williams - ultimately proved to be the difference between Denis Smith's side and their opponents Northampton Town.
Substitute Ryan Gilligan took advantage of the momentary lack of under-standing between the Dragons duo in the 68th minute of a contest that proved to be as compellingly competitive and intriguing as the Wrexham boss had forecast 24 hours previously.
While Gilligan's goal ensured that the Cobblers remained on course for an automatic promotion spot it condemned the Dragons to their fourth defeat of the season in front of their own supporters and once more cast doubt on the likelihood of them forcing their way into the scramble for play-off places.
Time, and Wrexham's three games in hand over most of their rivals, will eventually tell on that score, but what is beyond dispute however is that Colin Calderwood's outfit are clearly one of the strongest and best-organised teams in the division and that there was no disgrace in the manner of the home side's performance.
The Cobblers and their spine of seasoned and hardened professionals - including keeper Lee Harper, central defender Sean Dyche, midfielders Eoin Jess and Jamie Hand and striker Scott McGleish - simply boasted t oo much experience.
And they drew on that to see them through to a victory that owed as much to Wrexham's habit of shooting themselves in the foot as to Gilligan's persistence in chasing a loose ball.
McGleish, by his own high standards, had an off-day and failed to convert any of the handful of chances which came his way, but the same could not be said of his team-mates, who rarely put a foot wrong, much to the delight of their manager.
"I'm very happy with the result and equally pleased with our performance, especially in the first half," said Calderwood.
"We deserved the victory, even though it came through a fairly scruffy type of goal, but the foundation was good and the standard of play throughout was good as well.
"I thought the team were excellent in their application and that some of our play was to be commended because of the opposition we were playing against.
"I've seen Wrexham on a few occasions outplay teams from start to finish and they've got a good home record, so for all sorts of reasons it was a great result. All the top five in the league won today and this was arguably the hardest fixture of the lot."
Disappointed though he was by the outcome, Smith said his young and relatively raw group of players had been outdone only by a mistake of their own making.
"Northampton are a top team and we should have come out of the game with a 0-0 result," he claimed. "If we had let a goal in early on when they were playing well I could have lived with it, but to make a really bad mis-take like that was disappointing.
"We've now got a competitive team, who are hard to break down and look as though they will create chances. We defended extremely well except for one mistake today and it's disappointing we didn't get what we thought we might from the game."
What was clearly obvious the longer the afternoon progressed was that Wrexham are now feeling the effects of having so many senior players sidelined through injury.
Faced with the prospect of chasing the game in the final 25 minutes, there were few if any alternatives up front where the willing teenage duo of Sam Williams and Matt Derbyshire had toiled for little reward.
But the not too distant return to the ranks of Darren Ferguson, Lee McEvilly, Jon Walters and Dean Bennett could yet provide fresh impetus, providing there are games enough left for them to make a positive contribution to a potentially successful run-in.
The framework is there as the Dragons demonstrated during an opening spell in which the visitors appeared eager and confident, but found defenders Danny Williams, Shaun Pejic and Dennis Lawrence in implacable mode.
McGleish could have done better with his 11th-minute header from David Hunt's free-kick but the first genuine chance fell to the home side when Mark Jones embarked on a 60-yard run from inside his own half.
But with Derbyshire and Sam Williams spread either side, the midfielder seemed to be caught in two minds and finally unleashed a tame shot which caused Harper no problems.
It was an isolated moment of excitement for the home fans as the Cobblers swept forward with purpose, McGleish again and Jason Crowe causing a few anxious moments in Ingham's penalty area, before Jim Whitley and Matt Crowell at last began to compete on more or less equal terms with their opposite numbers.
And the home side's spell of pressure leading up to the break was an indication that Northampton were not going to have it all their own way. But the Dragons were unable to find a way through, Pejic heading over the bar before Derbyshire tried to beat Harper from an acute angle when he might have picked out the better-placed Williams.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got, Northampton literally stealing the lead on 66 minutes when Gilligan pressed Williams and got his boot to the ball to steer it past the indecisive Ingham.
Wrexham all but abandoned their disciplined display in a bid to hit back and were grateful to Ingham, who twice denied McGleish with fine saves as Northampton played on the counter-attack.
But for the most part, they were content to sit back in numbers and comfortably keep their opponents at bay, although there was almost a fairy-tale ending for substitute Matty Done, whose 89th-minute diving header flew wide.
* MAN OF THE MATCH... Dennis Lawrence
* Another towering performance from the Trinidadian
* MAGIC MOMENT...
* Derbyshire's turn of speed and control when he turned the Town defence
WREXHAM : Ingham; Pejic, D Williams (Mackin 83), Lawrence; Spender, Crowell (Done 74), Whitley, Mark Jones, Holt; Derbyshire, S Williams. Subs: Michael Jones, Mike Williams, Marc Williams.
NORTHAMPTON: Harper; Chambers, Dyche, Doig; Crowe, Jess (Westwood 90), Hunt (Bojic 78), Hand, Johnson; Kirk (Gilligan 25), McGleish. Subs: Bunn, Cross.
REFEREE : Lee Probert
ATT : 5,012.
NEXT MATCH: Barnet (a), Sat, 3pm