Wrexham booked their place in the final of the Blue Square Bet Conference play offs against Newport with a 5-2 aggregate victory over league runners up Kidderminster Harriers, sealed via a clinical 3-1 win at Aggborough.
In a thoroughly professional performance The Dragons controlled the majority of play and hit their hosts with two late sucker-punches after Harriers had cancelled out a first half strike from Brett Ormerod.
A deflected Joe Clarke free kick and another Neil Ashton penalty sent the raucous 1,650 strong travelling support into raptures, with pyrotechnics greeting the club’s passage to Wembley for the second time in the space of six weeks.
Over the course of the two legs Wrexham have emerged as deserved victors, showing a level of character and professionalism that has been lacking for much of the season’s run in.
Kidderminster have grounds to feel aggrieved having pushed champions Mansfield all the way following a sterling run of form since the turn of the new year. Wrexham, on the other side of the fence, can sympathise wholeheartedly with their vanquished adversaries after two successive years of play off heartbreak.
They will now approach the play off final at Wembley with renewed vigour following this monumental effort against a team that had lost just once at home in the league since the end of August.
Harriers appeared jaded, most likely a knock on effect from the intensity of the final weeks of the league season, whilst Wrexham were revitalised by the return of notable first-team players for the two-legged tie.
This emphatic victory has vindicated Andy Morrell’s end-of-season rotation, and compensated for some laboured performances during a hectic April schedule. The club now finds itself in unchartered territory. They had never before been leading on aggregate in a play off tie, so to have reached the final in such a comfortable manner is a boon for the manager.
The final itself will continue the theme of a golden 2013 for Welsh football, as countrymen Newport County loom next Sunday. Hot on the heels of Cardiff City’s promotion to the Premier League and Swansea’s triumph in the Capital One Cup, Welsh football is guaranteed to gain a third side in League football for the first time since Wrexham’s demotion in 2008.
Wrexham will not approach next Sunday as underdogs. The football club stands on the precipice of the goal that has been in their sights for the last three seasons now. It has been channeled through the club, becoming almost an obsession, and now they sit ninety minutes away from promotion to the Football League.
Winner takes all. Que sera, sera.
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