It turned out to be a case of third time lucky for the Reds as we finally overcame the Sandgrounders in a cup competition since our exit from the Football League in 2008.
After two previous defeats at the Racecourse, we cam good on the back of goals scored late in both halves, Dean Keates with a free kick as half time approached and then the biggest cheer was reserved for Brett Ormerod and his first strike in a red shirt.
Southport gave a good account of themselves and their supporters will look at several incidents during the 90 minutes and just come to the conclusion that it was not to be their day.
The home side thought they had made the prefect start when Ormerod beat keeper Tony McMillan to head the ball into the visitors net, but a linesman’s flag denied him on that occasion and the DVD showed it was a tight decision.
Midway through the first half, Chris Almond found himself on the end of a glorious chance inside the Wrexham area, but was caught in two minds whether to shoot or play in ex-Red Shaun Whalley. In many ways, such a lack of conviction was typical of Southport’s afternoon.
Similarly, both Steven Tames and Karl Ledsham only managed weak shots at goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi, when they had enough of a chance to have done better.
It had always promised to be a difficult afternoon for the Sandgrounders and with their options already restricted due to players injured and cup-tied, the visitors were dealt the added blow of losing Steve Akrigg to a recurring shoulder injury after only 18 minutes.
The opening goal came as we headed into time added-on of the first half. Cieslewicz was brought down by Russell Benjamin 25-yards from goal and once the referee had got the wall back the right distance, Keates stepped up to fire goalwards with his effort seeming to clip one of the visiting defenders and wrong foot keeper Tony McMillan.
Wrexham controlled the play but opportunities for the home team were few and far between.
As the second half progressed, both Tames and Ledsham failed to connect cleanly with chances inside the Wrexham area, while calls for handball were easily dismissed by referee Chris Knowles after Whalley’s corner led to a frantic goalmouth scramble.
The Dragons made three changes during the final 15 minutes, with youngster Nick Rushton joining his manager up front and it was the only Welshmen on the pitch who was to set up Ormerod.
Wrexham broke quickly out of defence with Joe Clarke carrying the ball into the Southport half and then laying off to Rushton. The striker drove to the edge of the visitors’ area and with three blue shirts heading towards him slipped a pass inside for Ormerod to collect and spin through 180 degrees before dispatching a low shot into the corner of McMillan’s goal.
That wrapped up the result and saw the Reds edge into the first round proper.
Wrexham: Mayebi, S Wright, Devine, Westwood, Ashton; Keates, Harris, Hunt (Clarke 90); Cieslewicz (Rushton 79), D Wright (Morrell 76), Ormerod.
Subs: Coughlin, Walker, Morton, Colbeck.
Southport: McMillan, Lever, Akrigg (Ledsham 18), Parry, Grand, Whalley, Almond, Benjamin, Lynch, Tames, Poku.
Subs: Hibbert, Smith, Moogan, Bakare, Campbell, McIver.
Referee: Chris Knowles (Northampton)
Southport: Poku (65, foul), Lever (90, dissent)