Wrexham claimed a vital three points against Forest Green Rovers with an impressive performance in front of a large Racecourse crowd.
The visitors arrived topping the Blue Square Bet Premier table but left in second place as the Dragons ran out 2-1 winners and Newport County triumphed by the same score at Tamworth.
Adrian Cieslewicz">Adrian Cieslewicz’s pace and movement caused the visitors problems all afternoon and his two second half goals ultimately proved the difference.
The home side made a bright start as Cieslewicz and Andy Morrell both fired off target. The player-manager was looking lively as he also had a claim of handball turned down as the Dragons started to take control.
Rovers, themselves playing three forwards, threatened at times but Martin Riley and Chris Westwood did a competent job of sweeping up any attempted through balls.
Dean Keates picked up a yellow card for an innocuous looking challenge as frustration started to take over from both sides. Rovers substitute Steve Brogan blatantly took Cieslewicz out as he looked to counter and was fortunate to only see yellow.
Wrexham began to pile the pressure on as Morrell and Danny Wright both went close. Stephen Wright picked out Morrell after a good move but his header was beaten away by Sam Russell before Wright saw a header loop onto the crossbar.
The Dragons again threatened first in the second half as Cieslewicz brought a save from Russell after good work from Keates and Hunt in the midfield.
On 57 minutes Wrexham grabbed the opener. Hunt intercepted and lobbed the ball forward for Cieslewicz who beat the offside trap and outpaced the Rovers defence to lift an effort over the onrushing Russell from 20 yards.
Cieslewicz almost doubled his tally after cutting in from the right and firing against the bar but added a second moments later. Substitute Brett Ormerod teed up Hunt and his strike was turned goal-wards by Cieslewicz giving Russell no chance.
Rovers substitute Reece Styche saw red less than eight minutes after replacing Magno Vieira. Originally cautioned for sarcastically clapping a referee’s decision, he then put in a rash challenge on Neil Ashton to receive his marching orders.
Forest Green should have pulled a goal back with eight minutes left, Jamie Collins putting a free header over the bar from six yards from Steve Brogan’s set-piece.
With the game entering five minutes stoppage time James Norwood pulled a goal back for the visitors and in a nervy finale Rovers sent keeper Russell up for a corner but as the ball ended up in the back of the net a foul was given on Joslain Mayebi and the Reds held out.
In the aftermath of the final whistle the Rovers players surrounded the referee and Eddie Oshodi saw red, presumably for comments made to the man in black.
For the home team, it was an end to an excellent afternoon that saw them become the first side to score more than one goal against the Gloucestershire club.
Wrexham (4-3-3): Mayebi; S.Wright, Westwood, Riley, Ashton; Keates, Harris (Clarke 81), Hunt; Cieslewicz (Rushton 82), Morrell (Ormerod 71), D.Wright.
Subs: Coughlin, Walker.
Forest Green Rovers (4-3-3): Russell; Asfu-Adjaye, Turley, Oshodi, Stokes; Banura (Brogan 11), Forbes, Collins; Wright (Norwood 59), Taylor, Vieira (Styche 67).
Subs: Hopkins, Koroma.
Referee: Mr. Peter Bankes (M'side)
Sendings Off -
Forest Green: Styche (75, second yellow), Oshodi (90, dissent)
Wrexham: Keates (foul), Harris (foul)
Forest Green: Brogan (foul), Collins (foul)